Foundation staff work alongside FamilyWorks' staff during the United Way Day of Caring in Seattle, WA on September 19, 2014.

Updated: 30th November, 2022

What gives? Sharing our caring this season

A few friends from the Gates Foundation share reflections on the causes they support to spark your ideas for giving.

Foundation staff work alongside FamilyWorks' staff during the United Way Day of Caring in Seattle, WA.

Because we’re a little geeky here at Gates Philanthropy Partners, we can’t help but share a scientific fact that we love: Generous behavior increases happiness, and happiness increases generous behavior.

What an incredible cycle!

This time of year is full of that spirit—gratitude, reflection, and sharing what we have with others. As you close out 2022, we hope you find your own cycle of generosity and happiness. And, if you need some inspiration, a few of us at the Gates Foundation and GPP share our giving lists for the year.

Pilar Pacheco

Pilar Pacheco, Senior Program Officer, Emergency Response, Global Development

I like to give back to local organizations. When I moved to Seattle, I wanted to find organizations that supported immigrants because my family and I migrated to this country, and I know how difficult it is navigating a different system. I think it’s important to make sure the right support is available to help people navigate the system and understand what resources and rights they have.

These organizations and causes are top of mind for me.

  • Casa Latina: They work to advance the power of immigrants and to protect and support immigrant workers’ rights through employment, education, and organizing. I’m actively involved and currently serve as Board President.
  • El Centro de la Raza: They are working to provide educational opportunities, leadership opportunities, and advocacy and organization to support immigrant rights and much more in the Pacific Northwest.
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC): They are one of the foundation’s grantees, but locally, they do a lot to help communities in crisis, including people fleeing from Afghanistan and Ukraine.

I also provide funding for the arts, such as ballet and opera, which are all close to my heart. I also support KEXP—a Seattle radio station that supports local artists.

A final message: As we close the year, if we can pause and think about what’s important to us—what causes matter to us, what we’re seeing in our own community—we’re able to make a difference. Now that I have the chance to see an organization from the inside, I know how helpful these gifts are, no matter how small, to support our communities.

Check out Pilar’s passion for addressing global emergencies in the September blog.

Jennifer Alcorn

Jennifer Alcorn, Deputy Director, Philanthropic Partnerships & Gates Philanthropy Partners

Food is everything. Especially when you don’t have enough of it.

I’m a huge fan of food banks and all they do for hyper local communities across the US. From food to diapers to clothing, food banks do so much for families and individuals. A big portion of my monthly giving (and matching funds from the Gates Foundation) goes to food banks in my past and present neighborhoods.

My family also supports organizations that feed people across the world, especially in places like Somalia and Yemen. My son started giving his allowance to Global Giving’s East Africa Hunger Relief Fund after hearing a news story earlier this year, and I match his donations.

These organizations are close to our hearts.

David Blazes

Dr. David Blazes, Deputy Director, Modelling and Pathogen Genomic Sequencing, Global Health

I give mostly in the realm of education. I see it as essentially paying it forward because education is the key to improving our world and to increasing understanding across cultures.

I support schools that my family is connected to, whether I attended personally or my kids did. Though I live in Seattle now, I grew up in Dallas, PA, where I’m still connected to my high school alma mater through my giving. I like to give back to broaden opportunities at those schools for students who can less afford it. All the institutions I support provide scholarships and financial aid to make their top-notch education available and more accessible to those of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

These are the organizations that always make my list.

Learn more about David’s work on genomic surveillance and sequencing in the January blog.

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