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Buffett's money and the Gates Foundation

Aug. 13, 2006 at 8:18 PM

NEW YORK, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Seattle's Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world's biggest dispensers of funds, needs to find the right ways to double its donations.

Investor Warren Buffett last June pledged to the foundation stock valued at about $31 billion. The foundation has a two-year period in which to ramp up operations and, by 2009, the foundation's payout will approximately double from this year's estimated $1.5 billion, The New York Times reported Sunday.

To deal with the influx, foundation Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Scott told the Times the charity is facing the prospect of doubling its staff to about 600 people over the next two years. The Gates Foundation is known for being careful about the way its funds are allocated, so it's not a case of just doubling current disbursements.

"I've been a manager for close to 30 years, and this is a well-run organization," Scott told the Times. "But if you put that kind of a load on the current process we have, it's not going to carry it through."

The foundation focuses on philanthropy in education and global health issues in Third World countries.

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