Founded by Melinda French Gates, Pivotal Ventures accelerates social progress by removing barriers that hold people back.


We are harnessing the power of philanthropy.

We believe that philanthropy has a unique and important role to play in supporting and scaling innovative new solutions to entrenched problems.


Key Principles
& Tactics

Supporting Partners

We make grants that help organizations maximize their impact. We seek out partners who are closest to the issues and support them as they scale proven ideas and catalyze new ones.

Seeding Innovation

We believe that transformational ideas can come from anywhere—and that philanthropy can help advance social progress by encouraging innovation and experimentation.

Advancing the Field

We use our resources to bring together people and organizations working toward shared goals and support ways for them to effectively collaborate, so that they can drive change further and faster.

Driving Sustainable Impact

We take a multi-phased approach to help us develop and refine our strategies.

Students gather around a laptop computer.

Our multi-phased approach allows us to explore multiple interventions, identify opportunities for impact, and build sustainably for long-term solutions.

We start by building a deeper understanding of the issues we work on. Then, with help from our partners, people with lived experience, and other experts, we develop hypotheses about how to accelerate progress.

As our partners test these theories, we learn together what works and what doesn’t.

Then, we work closely with our partners to build effective, long-term strategies and practices that will continue to unlock progress long after our partnership ends.

"We’re chipping away at the assumption that most disruptive innovation comes from the private sector. Philanthropy, too, is a proven source of transformative ideas."

Portrait of Dr. Renee Wittemyer
Dr. Renee Wittemyer
Vice President, Program Strategy
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