Annual Update

2014 Annual update

Mike Bloomberg’s Annual Letter on Philanthropy



Modern philanthropy began as a substitute for government. Where government failed, philanthropists stepped in, providing food for the poor, hospitals for the sick, and libraries, museums, and colleges for the masses. Philanthropy continues to play a vital role in all of these areas. But some still see philanthropy as an alternative to government. I see it as a way to embolden government.


In so many areas, governments represent our best hope for making the broad-based societal changes that philanthropic organizations are devoted to bringing about. Governments have the authority to drive change in ways that philanthropic organizations cannot. By leveraging our resources, and forming partnerships with government, philanthropic organizations can help push those changes forward. That mindset may be untraditional, but it is at the heart of nearly everything Bloomberg Philanthropies does.


I have been lucky to see this issue from the other side. Serving for 12 years as mayor of New York City gave me a special appreciation for government’s ability to be a force for good and a catalyst for global change.

Read More…

Patti Harris’ Annual Letter on Philanthropy



We have always believed in big, bold ideas at Bloomberg Philanthropies, and in 2014, our ambitions continued to grow. It was a year in which our founder – Michael Bloomberg – left public office and returned to the private sector, allowing him to spend more time on his philanthropic passions. As a result, it was a year filled with new commitments on new issues, new partnerships with new allies, and new initiatives aimed at achieving new goals.


Our approach to philanthropy, as Michael Bloomberg explains on the previous pages, is unique. We’re entrepreneurial at heart and apply the best lessons from business and government to the management of our global philanthropic work. By staying lean, our talented team of experts and staff can act quickly and boldly to tackle emerging issues. It keeps us nimble and allows decisions to be made quickly, as well as empowers every staff member on every level to put their best ideas forward and interact directly with key leadership.


We also work to identify serious problems that receive too little attention – or that are too easily accepted as social or cultural norms. Reducing tobacco use, our first major investment in a global campaign, certainly fits that description, but so do many other areas of our work. And last year, we announced new initiatives, including one to combat drowning deaths in Bangladesh, where 32 children drown every day.


We also added a new program to reverse the decline in the world’s fish supply, which threatens both human health and the ecosystems that sustain oceanic life.

Read More…


“Thankfully, the C-section was successful, and because the couple decided that these children should be their last, the Assistant Medical Officer counseled them in family planning options. This is just one of many success stories. As our partners upgrade more health centers, mothers can take comfort knowing that quality obstetric care is within their reach.”

Public Health
Bloomberg Philanthropies


“We fishers really depend on the seas as our life and our livelihood and believe that this resource is the last frontier. Sadly, it is dying today due to the abuse of illegal fishing. The Vibrant Oceans initiative empowered us and gave us a voice in every step of project implementation.”

the Peoples’ Association of Santo Niño United Resource Protectors


“City Halls dedicate much of their time to day-to-day operations. It can sometimes be hard to find the bandwidth to step back and solve problems holistically, but Atlanta’s Innovation Team is helping us do just that.”

the City of Atlanta


“In New Orleans, and in cities across the country, temporary public art is striking – it disrupts the urban backdrop, prompts discussion, and encourages connection amongst viewers. Artists use public space as an open platform to showcase – and spur – creativity.”

The City of New Orleans


“I chose to serve as a Virtual Advisor to be a part of something new and exciting. We are creating new ways to reach more students through the use of technology, which is so relevant to our students’ lives. Video chatting is my favorite way to connect with my students.”

Virtual AdvisoR


“Thanks to this training, Asterie and thousands of additional women farmers gain access to coffee agronomy best practices as well as training in coffee processing, roasting, and tasting…She and her cooperative members are able to support themselves and their families and, as local entrepreneurs, engage with the global coffee market.”

Executive director
Relationship Coffee Institute