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Our Favorite Gifts This Holiday Season

London Mithraeum

The Bloomberg Philanthropies holiday gift guide, chosen by our program teams.

It’s time to take a fun look back at the past year. In 2016, we shared a playlist inspired by some of our work, and in 2015 we recapped our favorite Instagram photos. This time, we wanted to share ideas you can use. If you’re searching for a gift that makes the world a better place, look no further.

One-of-a-Kind ExperiencesGifts of quality time spent with friends and family.

  • Plan a visit to the newly opened London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, the free cultural experience that brings the Roman Temple of Mithras to life, located at the new Bloomberg European Headquarters – rated the most sustainable office building in the world.
  • Bring a loved one or friend to a museum on a free admissions day. Or spend an afternoon visiting public art around your city. If you live in New York City, the Public Art Fund has great projects! And don’t forget to engage with digital experiences supported by Bloomberg Connects if you visit one of these 16 participating institutions.
  • Design a guide book for your favorite city – and invite a friend to join! Looking for ideas of how cities are the hub of innovation? Check out the Mayors Challenge and the Autonomous Vehicles map for tips on what to include in your guide.
  • Host a movie night for friends and family and watch one of our favorite documentaries from this year: STEP – an inspiring tale of a group of all-girls high school step team in Baltimore; Chasing Coral – an urgent call to action to save coral reefs; and From the Ashes, our full-length documentary about the legacy of the coal industry. A treat for the eyes, and the brain!
  • Help teach a child to swim. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death and injury worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The sooner children learn, the more prepared they’ll be.
  • Know someone who is thinking about attending or already in college? Find a student to mentor or connect them with an online mentor.
  • Help someone quit smoking. You can’t exactly put a bow on it, but this gift could last a lifetime.


Gifts for Any BudgetGifts you can wrap that also make a difference.

  • Purchase a Little Sun Diamond, a solar-powered lamp designed by Olafur Eliasson and inspired by nature. For every lamp sold, one goes to our partners in rural Africa.
  • Grab a bag of specialty-grade Question Coffee, a product that helps transform the lives of rural, low-income women coffee farmers.
  • Pre-order your Flow, a smart, portable air quality monitor from Plume Labs so your friends and family can protect themselves from dangerous air pollution.
  • Stop by the gift shop at a cultural institution for unique gifts like the Artist Project Book, featuring interviews with 120 of the world’s most influential contemporary artists on how they are inspired by collections at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Join the optimistic conversation about climate change and real solutions by gifting a copy of New York Times Best Seller Climate of Hope by Mike Bloomberg and Carl Pope.
  • Goods from Nest’s Artisan Guild bring together global heritage craft traditions with contemporary design. Your support goes toward their work to increase economic opportunities around the world.
  • Help your friends curb gridlock and reduce pollution with a bike-share membership like Citibike.
  • And, for anyone on the road, a bike or motorcycle helmet is a low-cost, effective way to reducing the likelihood and severity of head injuries.
  • Lastly, for the John Mellencamp fan in your life download the song “Dark As a Dungeon,” featured in our documentary From the Ashes – only $1.29 on iTunes!

Making an Impact Greater Than You Can See
Support organizations making the world safer, healthier and cleaner.

  • Beyond Coal: For the naughty one on your list, don’t give them coal. Give them the gift of cleaner air, cleaner energy and fewer coal plants in the U.S. and Europe.
  • From the Ashes CrowdRise: Support Coalfield Development Corporation, the Just Transition Fund and the Western Organization of Resource Councils as they create new jobs and a sustainable future for communities left behind by the coal industry.
  • USVI Recovery: The U.S. Virgin Islands are still reeling from the effects of devastating storms this hurricane season. Your gift to the Fund for the Virgin Islands will go directly to the recovery efforts in St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix.
  • Cities of ServiceBring more city-led, citizen-powered initiatives that target specific needs to cities.
  • Everytown for Gun Safety: Help sustain Everytown’s work to pass common-sense gun laws and protect communities across America.

If you give one of these gifts, we’d love to hear about it! Tweet us at @BloombergDotOrg to share which one you liked best. Happy holidays from all of us at Bloomberg Philanthropies.