Foundation Guide

A Tour of Our Global Community of Giving

Foundation Guide

A Tour of Our Global Community of Giving

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Foundation Guide - Bloomberg Philanthropies


Bloomberg Philanthropies has five key areas on which the organization focuses most of their funding:

  • Environment
  • Education
  • Public Health
  • Government Innovation
  • Arts & Culture

The organization notes that by focusing on these five areas, they can ensure better and longer lives for the greatest amount of people. Bloomberg Philanthropies works on a wide range of issues and donates and funds a diverse range of projects within each funding area. The foundation offers both funding and community services to the public in each funding area. The driving force behind many of the health initiatives Mike Bloomberg is passionate about funding and projects that work in tobacco control, obesity health projects, road safety and mental health.

The foundation operates on a national level in the United States, as well as at a local and state level in education and government innovation. Many of the environmental and public health grants are disbursed on a global scale in developing nations.

Supported Causes

Bloomberg Philanthropies support in their five key operating areas is further segmented into support for the following causes in each area:

Environmental Causes: The foundation is focused on making a difference by combating climate change and supporting projects that promote clean and renewable energy sources.

Public Health: The Bloomberg Philanthropies public health program is lead by epidemiologist Kelly J. Henning. Key areas of support include reducing tobacco use, road safety, the eradication of polio worldwide, obesity programs and a global focus on women’s health and reproductive health services in Africa and Latin America.

Education: The foundation works primarily at a local level supporting programs that seek to change public policy and improve the public-school system in the United States.

Government Innovation: Bloomberg Philanthropies supports several initiatives aimed at fostering innovation in America’s cities. Latterly, the foundation has increased the reach of this initiative with the 2016 Mayors Challenge that included Latin America and the Caribbean.
Arts & Culture: Focused mainly on large scale projects in New York City and other metropolitan areas, Bloomberg Philanthropies has launched several public art programs and made large donations to national arts programs.

The foundation works exclusively through key partners to identify programs that may be awarded grants. The foundation does not work directly with individuals and grant proposals are by invitation only


Bloomberg Philanthropies also work with several strategic partners including the World Health Organization, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, H&B Agerup Foundation and EMBARQ. Strategic partnerships are a key component to Bloomberg Philanthropies. Since 2006 the foundation has made many large donations to programs in focus areas as follows:

  • Environment:
    • $50 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign in 2011.
    • $6 million to the Environmental Defense Fund to help in the fight against fracking
    • $53 million to Vibrant Oceans in 2014
  • Public Health:
    • $220 million in the fight to reduce tobacco consumption globally. By 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies had donated over $1 billion to tobacco related causes globally, focusing on low- and middle-income countries.
    • $50 million to the Global Family Planning Initiative in 2014
    • $16.5 million to the Obesity Prevention Program in Mexico in 2012
  • Government Innovation:
    • $16.2 million awards to five different cities for establish Financial Empowerment Centers in 2013
    • $42 million to launch What Works Cities in 2015 – aimed at helping 100 American cities use evidence-based data to improve services

The Foundation's History

Founded by Michael Bloomberg in 2006, Bloomberg Philanthropies is led by Mike Bloomberg with Patricia E. Harris as Chief Executive Officer. It is the 12th largest foundation in the United States. 

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