It’s in the Name

The Gates Foundation. Doesn’t that get you excited just thinking about it? What comes to mind? Bill, the internet, massive sums of money, college scholarships, the works! Whats more, what a statement when he  announced that he will leave all his money to charity, not to his children, and are now running one of (if not the) biggest charitable organizations in the United States.

However, while the amount of money is attractive, it’s not the reason why I want to speak with either Bill, Melinda, or whoever spearheads their philanthropic ventures. It’s the name. Think on it: everyone grows up with this fascination with Harvard. They hear the name, the praise, gain awe and appreciation, and then its in their eyes: I’m going to Harvard one day. (Many never do… but still, its the mindset. And even if they didn’t want to go there, there’s no way they don’t know about it).

Thus, I am excited because I know the attractiveness of a brand name. The great intangible asset that is its name carries with it the hum of experience, of two kinds: (1) they receive such a wide assortment of pitches thrown at them and grant applications, that can you imagine the different things they’ve must’ve encountered? Everyone wants to go to THEM with their idea! And not only do they want to go to them, but they want to go to them FIRST. (2) With such great fame and recognition, the foundation itself must’ve developed quite an investment criteria! What are they looking for? Why? Who do they turn away? What matters most to them? They have so much experience to go on.

If I could but interview the men of passion behind this organization, it would be quite an enlightening few minutes. I hope I could get an hour. Then again, this being the fictional prompt that it is, why not — let’s just say I’ve become a good friend, and they don’t mind a casual interview every now and then. Oh what a resource to tap!