Community & Government

Name Your Giving Goals

Melinda French Gates

Lesson time 07:27 min

What gets measured gets done. In this lesson, Melinda encourages members to set goals in order to quantify and qualify their successes.

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Topics include: Create Ambitious Goals With Smaller Subgoals• Be Willing to Adjust• Exercise: Write Down Your Goals


[MUSIC PLAYING] - In this chapter, we're going to talk about the power of goal setting and why it's so important. I think it's incredibly important to measure your goals. We think of it as, what gets measured gets done. And I think that's true. And so, when you set a goal and then you have concrete objectives and measurements in place that you can say, did we affect this change, and then you can go back and look at that over the course of time, it helps you know whether you're making progress on an area or not. When you set goals, I sometimes say, it's a little bit more of an art than a science, because I think you have an area where you say, I want to set a goal here. I want to create change in this particular area in my community. But as you get into it, it may be that the thing that you pick to actually affect the change may change over time. [MUSIC PLAYING] At both the foundation and at Pivotal Ventures, we're working on societal problems that have been there for a long time. So we have to set and we do set very long term goals, because, you know, these are places where change doesn't happen rapidly. If it did, it would have already happened. And I think that's one of the most important things, as you start to set your own goal setting. If you want to affect societal change, if you want to affect, for instance, female empowerment, or girls education, or more girls in technology, or more women in technology, that's not something you're going to change overnight. Our friend, Warren Buffett, who invests with us in our foundation says, you know, in philanthropy, you're working on the problems that society left behind because they are hard. So if you're giving back, I would really encourage you to set a long term goal. And don't get frustrated along the way. There will be frustrating days. That I promise you, because you'll get data back that says, oh, my gosh, you know, that fundraising drive we did didn't succeed. Don't get frustrated. Use it as feedback loop, and say, I'm going to affect this change over time. And so, I would really encourage you to set long-term goals in your giving. At the foundation, we're working on very long-term problems. For instance, you know, one of the goals is to have far more women use contraceptives, if they choose to. And that has all kinds of elements to carry out that. But there are 200 million women that are telling us they want access to contraceptives and can't get them. And it turns out, as you-- more women get contraceptives, they tell other women about them, because they say, oh, my gosh, you can plan your family and have fewer children, if you and your husband choose, which means, you don't have as many to feed and to educate. And it brings down the stress. And you can actually make sure all your kids go to school, not just one or two of them. And so, while that's a very long-term goal, we also have concrete and measurable steps along the way, w...

About the Instructor

One of the greatest philanthropists in history, Melinda French Gates has dedicated her life to giving back to the world. Now she’s teaching how you can identify your own unique assets—time, money, specific skills, or even your voice to discover a strategic path that can turn your power into progress.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Melinda French Gates

A philanthropist and advocate for women and girls, Melinda French Gates teaches you how to take what you’re good at and use it to create change.

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