Bloomberg’s Billions: Philanthropy, Power and Politics

Written by: Elbert Garcia

Date: March 03, 2020

How does Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropy compare to that of other living donors? What percentage did he spend supporting social justice organizations and marginalized communities? What does his charitable giving say about he would run the country.

These and other related questions were discussed last Friday, Feb. 28, as NCRP’s Aaron Dorfman moderated one hour online discussion entitled “Bloomberg’s Billions: Philanthropy, Power and Politics.” Check it out below if you missed it.

Dorfman was joined by a panel of experts that included Inside Philanthropy’s David Callahan, Black Votes Matter Executive Director LaTosha Brown and Farhad Ebrahimi of the Chorus FoundationPublicly available 2012-2016 domestic data compiled by NCRP Director of Research Ryan Schlegel and unveiled by Dorfman during the discussion noted that Bloomberg trailed other living billionaires in the percentage of giving that went to a number of groups, including, African Americans, women and girls and the disabled.  

His percentage of total giving for people of color (8%) was slightly lower than his percentage of total giving for poor people (10%). Only 1% of his total giving went to women and girls, while only 2.8% of total giving was for people with disabilities.  

The percentages of giving to marginalized communities and social justice organizations were also far off NCRP’s benchmarks of 50% and 25% for marginalized groups and social justice groups respectively.  

Click here to viewthe replay video on your favorite social media platform, includingFacebook

Panelist views 

Here are some of the discussion highlights, courtesy of Twitter: 


DAVID CALLAHAN is the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy. He has written extensively on trends in philanthropy, as well as American culture, public policy and business. David is author, most recently, of “The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.” Before launching Inside Philanthropy in 2014, David co-founded Demos, the national think tank, where he held various leadership positions and conducted research on a wide range of issues related to economic and political inequality, as well as writing on moral values, professional ethics and business. Previously, David was a resident scholar at the Century Foundation and managing editor of The American Prospect, the public policy journal. More.

LATOSHA BROWN is a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics and the co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, a power-building, southern-based civic engagement organization that played an instrumental role in the 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate race. The award-winning organizer, philanthropic consultant, political strategist and jazz singer has more than 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to political empowerment, social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation and civil rights. More.

FARHAD EBRAHIMI is an activist, philanthropist and founder of the Chorus Foundation, which works for a just transition to a regenerative economy in the U.S. The Chorus Foundation supports communities on the front lines of the old, extractive economy to build new bases of political, economic and cultural power for systemic change. More.

Elbert Garcia is NCRP’s director of strategic communicationsFollow @ElbertGarciaFl and @NCRP on Twitter.

Photo by David Shankbone, used under Creative Commons license.