Giving Model
    Category: Philanthropy By : Ardian Wibisono Read : 1517 Date : Sunday, May 04, 2014 - 17:35:32

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    Despite holding an event on a Saturday, more than 50 media showed up for the launching of the Indonesia Health Fund, along with over 100 VIP guests. Why? Maybe it was to see Bill Gates, the world’s richest man ($72 billion) and the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Melinda being the other chair). He was making a rare stop in Jakarta to witness the signing ceremony that was bringing a new model of fundraising to his global philanthropy. Although Bill had been in Indonesia before during his Microsoft days, this was his first-ever visit in his new role at the Foundation. The venue in the Shangri-La hotel had been originally set for about 70, but had to be expanded to 100 to accommodate the extra guests. Even then, many had to stand in the back after all the seats were filled. Among the high-level tycoons in attendance were Boenjamin Setiawan, The Ning King and Murdaya Poo. Including the eight Indonesian donors to the health fund, the personal net worth in the room easily exceeded $25 billion, not including Bill, who was coming because of his relationship with billionaire tycoon Dr. Tahir (who is the majority owner of the Forbes Indonesia license).

    Exactly on schedule and to a round of applause, Bill entered the room with Coordinating Minister for the People’s Welfare Agung Laksono and Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi. While Agung made his welcoming remarks in Indonesian, Nafsiah discreetly leaned over and translated for Bill.

    The day’s event set several milestones. First of all, Tahir had organized eight donors to each give $5 million over five years ($1 million per year) to the newly launched Indonesia Health Fund, for a total of $40 million—which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matched dollar for dollar, for a total of $80 million. This model of a group donation had never been done before in an emerging nation for the Gates Foundation (before it had always been individuals donations). The bulk of this money, $60 million, will be spent in Indonesia, to fight tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS and promote family planning. The remainder will go to fight polio on a global basis. With $60 million the Indonesia Health Fund instantly became one of the largest philanthropies in the country, ranked on size of funds.

    Just as remarkable was the speed by which this event came to fruition. It took Tahir only one year after he himself pledged his own money to the Foundation to organize this group donation—the original idea was his but developed over the year in dialogue with the Bill and the Gates Foundation. The $40 million was just a start, Tahir would like to raise that to a total of $100 million (with perhaps 20 donors giving $5 million as a model). “I think Indonesia is setting a new example,” Bill said in his remarks at the event.

    For Tahir, helping out the country was an easy decision. “I have thought a lot on what should I do in the coming days of my life. Mr. Gates has changed my life. For the past year, I have learned to be active and disciplined in participating in philanthropy,” Tahir said at the event. Last year Tahir also signed Bill’s Giving Pledge, making him among 121 others who have committed to giving a bulk of their wealth to a philanthropic cause within their lifetimes.

    The money raised at the day’s event will go to the Global Fund, chaired by Nafsiah in a global role. This Switzerland based fund is the world’s largest private donor fund, disbursing over $4 billion, with Indonesia as one of the largest recipient countries. In April last year, Tahir signed a $200 million partnership with Gates, with each donating $100 million. The partnership represented the Gates Foundation’s first major private donor partnership in Indonesia. The donation also made Tahir the second largest donor in the world to the Global Fund after Bill himself.