Mike Bloomberg has always believed in the power of philanthropy to change people's lives for the better. His commitment to giving back — as a way to improve lives and catalyze societal change — grew out of the values he learned from his parents and from his experience as an Eagle Scout.
Mike Bloomberg has pledged to give away the majority of his wealth to charitable causes he believes in, and has already donated more than $1 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University.
Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Mike Bloomberg's charitable activities, including his personal and foundation giving. Bloomberg Philanthropies focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change:
Public Health: In order to save and improve the most lives, Bloomberg Philanthropies focuses on addressing the world’s leading causes of death – many of which are preventable. To reduce tobacco use, road traffic crashes, obesity and other major health risk factors, Bloomberg Philanthropies supports proven strategies and strengthened public health policies around the globe. The organization also supports a maternal health and family planning program in developing countries, drowning prevention in Bangladesh, and in 2012 made a $100 million commitment to help eradicate polio worldwide.
Environment: In 2014, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Bloomberg as his Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change to engage cities and nations in creating more ambitious goals around climate change mitigation and adaptation. Bloomberg Philanthropies works to reduce carbon emissions, air and water pollution and other environmental threats that could potentially have severe negative impacts on the planet, public health and our global economy. The organization focuses on spurring change in cities by supporting the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and transitioning our economy to cleaner energy sources by creating the Clean Energy Program – a portfolio that includes the Clean Energy Initiative and support for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies also committed $53 million to help curb over-fishing and keep our oceans thriving.
Government Innovation: Bloomberg Philanthropies focuses on helping cities and city leaders develop and spread new, innovative strategies for improving city life and tackling difficult challenges – from crime to unemployment. The program includes investments to scale-up successful programs piloted in New York City under the Bloomberg administration, as well as the Mayors Challenge – a prize competition inviting cities to generate bold ideas for a chance to win funding and support.
Arts: The Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts program works to increase access to culture and strengthen and empower artists and cultural organizations to reach broader audiences. For instance, the Bloomberg Connects program supports digital projects, including state-of-the-art mobile apps and interactive galleries, at cultural institutions around the world to improve the visitor experience. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the Public Art Challenge to support temporary public art projects that enrich the vibrancy of cities in the United States. The organization also supports ArtPlace, a public-private partnership to invest in the arts as a strategy to drive community development.
Education: Bloomberg Philanthropies aims to improve education in America by supporting a number of efforts to drive important reforms and improve student outcomes. Current initiatives include a fellowship program to identify and empower effective educators and school leaders, a new assessment to help U.S. high schools measure and compare their performance to other countries for the first time, and efforts to strengthen education policies at the local, state and national levels. The organization also launched the College Access & Success Initiative to help as many as 65,000 high-achieving, low- and moderate- income students apply to, enroll in and graduate from top institutions by providing support and guidance.
Mike Bloomberg's Annual Letter on Philanthropy
Apr. 6, 2015 Bloomberg Philanthropies
We are committed to working with partners inside and outside government who are positioned to help us fulfill our mission: ensuring better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. In 2014, we found new opportunities to advance this mission in all five of our major areas of focus, and it was exciting to see some of that work firsthand.
Mike Bloomberg's 2013 Letter on Philanthropy
Feb. 26, 2014 Bloomberg Philanthropies
As the world's population continues to grow, so will the scale of our challenges. Bloomberg Philanthropies is fully committed to tackling those challenges head-on.
Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces Launch of New Website
Apr. 30, 2013 Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a new website featuring the first comprehensive look at all programs and initiatives in the organization's five key focus areas including Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts.
Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces Mayors Challenge Winners
Mar. 13, 2013 Bloomberg Philanthropies
Providence was presented the Mayors Challenge Grand Prize for Innovation and a $5 million implementation award for its cutting-edge early education initiative. Mayors Challenge innovation prizes also were awarded to Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Santa Monica, all of which will receive $1 million to support implementation.