Press & Media

Michael R. Bloomberg’s Annual Letter on Philanthropy: “In the year ahead, as political candidates debate what to do in the future, we will work to improve the present by expanding our efforts”

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Efforts Combatting Climate Change, Gun Violence, and Opioid Addiction; Improving Access to Higher Education and Creating Bold Local Leaders are Detailed

Mike Bloomberg’s Lifetime Philanthropic Giving is More Than $8 Billion

New York, NY – In Michael R. Bloomberg’s new letter on philanthropy, released as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2019 annual report, he writes, “Every day, the window for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change grows smaller. More Americans lose loved ones to opioid overdoses and gun violence. More students miss out on a good education and the opportunity to go to college. And communities that were once home to thriving industries slip further behind in the changing economy. Proposing ideas for 2021 isn’t good enough. We need to get things done in the here and now, and I’m lucky enough to be in a position to help that.”

In the report, Bloomberg highlights some of the ways Bloomberg Philanthropies is tackling urgent issues across its five program areas – Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health: Launching the $500 million Beyond Carbon campaign to accelerate the U.S.’s transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy; supporting Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, which push state and city leaders to pass bills and take executive action on common-sense gun rules; creating a blueprint to attack the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania and Michigan, from which other states can learn; building programs to provide virtual college advising to more high-achieving lower-income high school students and then have them enroll in, and graduate from, the nation’s top colleges; strengthening mayors’ ability to lead and manage their cities; and supporting American cities striving to bring new vitality to their communities through public art.

In her annual CEO letter, Patricia E. Harris discusses how much progress is possible globally when strong collaborations, especially between philanthropy and government, are formed. She points to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ partnership with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health to provide desperately needed maternal medical care to a community of women in Kigoma, Tanzania, and then how the program was turned over to the national government to lead. Harris writes, “In all of our work, we look for strong partners, try innovative solutions, follow the data, and spread what is proven to work.”

By The Numbers – Select Highlights from the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2019 Annual Report:

  • A 2018 $1.8 billion gift for student financial aid at Johns Hopkins University – the largest donation to a collegiate institution in U.S. history – making the school forever need-blind
  • 35 million lives will be saved through Bloomberg’s $1 billion total investments in tobacco control
  • 492 cultural organizations benefiting from management training since 2015
  • 289 coal plants retired in the U.S. since 2011 and 58 plants retired in Europe since 2016
  • 120 mayors and 240 senior staff members provided executive leadership training through the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative
  • Bloomberg Associates has worked on 314 projects across 14 cities globally since 2014
  • 161,798 hours volunteered by Bloomberg employees in 2018

In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies invested $767 million in 510 cities and 129 countries. Over his lifetime, Mike Bloomberg has given more than $8 billion to philanthropic efforts that transform lives every day.

To read the full letters from Mike Bloomberg and Patti Harris, and to view the annual report with podcast and video content about the foundation’s work, please visit https://annualreport.bloomberg.org/.

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About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 510 cities and 129 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $767 million. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

Media Contact
Rebecca Carriero, rebeccac@bloomberg.org