When You Have $24 Billion...

What would a charity look like if it took Microsoft's hard-driving formula for success and applied it to giving away money? Well, a lot like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Patty Stonesifer, who was the top female executive at Microsoft before she got into the check-writing business, is the first to admit her approach to philanthropy combines a desire to help the needy with a geek's approach to problem solving. "Hey, we come out of the math-camp world," she says. So when Stonesifer, who chairs the foundation with Bill Gates Sr., the First Dad of Microsoft, talks about how she...

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