MediaQuant monitors the media ratings for brands and trends across nearly 40 sectors. But the Influencer Category sometimes doesn’t get the analytic love it deserves.  The Gates Foundation has been a leader within our Philanthropic influencer sector for as long as I can remember.

But the media winds may be changing for the Foundation.

Now, we’re talking media winds, not the organization’s effectiveness, charitable donations, cause focus or the broader impact on the world.  Just the level and type of media attention, both traditional and social, bestowed upon these philanthropic organizations.

What gives me some concern are a couple of recent developments.  From a media analytics perspective, the Gates Foundation has not infused new media life into its reasonably strong sector position.  Media momentum has been languishing for nearly 12-months.  Meanwhile, all growth rate indicators are down.  Cumulative 4-year growth (CUME) is off -4 percent.  Likewise, year-over-year growth is off -6 percent.  The Gates Foundation is currently down -4 points or -6 percent this period at a 62 rating.  While leading its respective sector, 62 points is low for a brand with so much inherent media potential.

The other concern comes from a recent article in Vox suggesting that if you look beyond mainstream media coverage, not everything is rosy at the (pearly) Gates Foundation.

Most foundations and charities would not consider themselves true competitors.  The Clinton Foundation doesn’t really compete in the classic sense with the Gates Foundation.  Or does it?


The Clinton Foundation is clearly benefiting from additional media coverage related to Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House.  But the media numbers are quite clear – the Clinton Foundation is pulling media ratings that are nearly 10 points above the organizations 12-month trailing rating average.  Whereas the Gates Foundation is on a declining trend, operating 4 points below its corresponding 12-month average and 15 points off its 4-year high of 77.

Both organizations, along with the 58 other major charitable businesses tracked by mediaQuant, are vying for the same media coverage.  These brands are highly dependent upon earned media exposure to secure high-value funding sources.  The Gates Foundation has never been this close to losing its #1 position in the Charitable Sector, and with the 2016 election wheels beginning to spin faster by each passing month, the Clinton Foundation is within striking distance of becoming the media leader in its respective sector.