The Bloomberg Family Foundation is the $7 billion foundation created by billionaire former Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg (I). Bloomberg, who has a reported net worth of nearly $50 billion, has pledged to give away most of his fortune during his daughters’ lifetimes. The Bloomberg Family Foundation is the main focus of Bloomberg’s charitable giving enterprises that are together come to be known as Bloomberg Philanthropies. 
So far, the Bloomberg Family Foundation has doled out over $1.7 billion to various causes that dovetail with Bloomberg’s political priorities. The foundation has spent over $100 million on Bloomberg’s environmentalist agenda including a $50 million gift to the Sierra Club to fight against the coal industry; has created a $50 million anti-gun organization, Everytown for Gun Safety; has partnered with Planned Parenthood to provide $50 million to family planning and abortion-providing organizations in developing countries;  has partnered with left-wing billionaire George Soros to respectively provide $60 million for a variety of social programs focusing on African-American communities that served as a model for a national plan put forth by President Barack Obama;  and has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to support restrictive policies on individuals’ personal consumption choices. 
The Bloomberg Family Foundation has been a source of controversy. During Bloomberg’s mayoralty, he allegedly commingled his interests as a businessman with his public role;  allegedly improperly used city funds to conduct foundation operations;  and used its ample resources to buy political support by rewarding friends and punishing enemies. In 2010, it was reported that the foundation had invested almost $300 million in offshore investment holdings, including the tax-shelter Cayman Islands.
For nearly a decade, the Carnegie Corporation of New York funded almost 600 of the city’s arts and social-services groups on behalf of an anonymous donor, widely assumed to be Michael Bloomberg, though his aides declined to confirm his involvement. In December 2006,Bloomberg created the Bloomberg Family Foundation. As of 2015 the foundation’s net assets had grown to $7.15 billion.
Bloomberg, like his cohorts billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, has suggested that he believes in “giving while living” and that he plans to accelerate donations while he is alive, with the remainder of his money spent during his daughters’ lifetimes. As of December 2017, Forbes estimated Bloomberg’s net worth at $49 billion.
Since its inception in 2006 through 2015, the Bloomberg Family Foundation has taken in over $7.7 billion almost exclusively from Michael Bloomberg. Other donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided a $24 million contribution to support Bloomberg’s anti-smoking initiatives.
Conversely, the Bloomberg Family Foundation has spent $1.7 billion during that same time period, with $1.2 billion going towards grants and other various contributions. 
The Bloomberg Family Foundation is a large part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies, which in addition to the Foundation also includes Michael Bloomberg’s personal giving to other charities, and support from the corporation Bloomberg LP. 
In 2017, 60 Minutes reported that Bloomberg Philanthropies has given away $5 billion to causes that often dovetail with his political interests, like gun control and environmentalism.
Bloomberg’s foundation spending is divided among six areas: government innovation, public health, education, arts, founder’s projects, and environmentalism.
In this vein, in 2015, Bloomberg and his allies committed $110 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, which according to Politico cemented his role as the loudest and wealthiest foe of the coal industry. Bloomberg’s donations accelerated and amplified the Sierra Club’s goal of closing half the nation’s coal-fired power plants by 2017 and replacing them with energy sources like wind and solar. 
In 2017, after President Donald Trump announced the United States would pull out of the Paris Climate Accords, Bloomberg Philanthropies funded and partnered with California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to keep the United States on track to abide by the international agreement.
The Foundation has also supported the environmentalist effort of other left-of-center philanthropies. In 2012, the Foundation gave $2.5 million to the Pew Charitable Trusts to create protected marine areas.
In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies pledged $50 million to support family planning services across four developing countries in partnership with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations.
In accepting Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Global Citizen Award, Bloomberg said that the Planned Parenthood grants would be used to train local activists in four nations to “push for less restrictive abortion laws and more government funding for [abortion] services.”
According to Townhall, under this Planned Parenthood partnership Bloomberg Philanthropies split $2 million of its grants between two African abortion providers: EngenderHealth and Marie Stopes International in Tanzania, and that Marie Stopes had previously admitted it performs “illegal abortions all over the world.”
Michael Bloomberg is one of the nation’s leading advocates of restrictions on firearms rights. Bloomberg has expressed support for a ban on modern sporting rifles (known to gun controllers as “assault weapons”), an end to private sales of firearms at gun shows, and an expansion of background checks. In 2006, Bloomberg’s foundation along with then-Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D), started Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which signed up more than 700 mayors to lobby for anti-gun-rights legislation.
In 2014, Bloomberg, through his foundation, pledged $50 million for an ostensibly “grassroots” network against firearms rights known as Everytown for Gun Safety, which seeks to pass anti-gun legislation by focusing on state and local lawmakers, corporate boards, and state and federal elections.
Bloomberg serves as chair of this new gun control network, which also includes his pre-existing groups Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense.
In a New York Times interview announcing this new network, Bloomberg said that due to his work on guns: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I‘m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.” he told the newspaper
While Bloomberg was still serving as Mayor of New York, the Bloomberg Family Foundation and liberal billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute (now the Open Society Foundations) both pledged $30 million each to support to create the highly controversial Young Men’s Initiative in partnership with New York City, which would also provide $67.5 million funding for the program. The program was intended to reduce ethnic disparities in education, health outcomes, employment, and incarceration.
Critics of the Young men’s initiative were vast. Michael Myer, the Executive Director, New York Civil Rights Coalition said it was racist while Gabriel Sayegh of the pro-drug legalization Drug Policy Alliance said the initiative was merely “a maneuver at the end of his term to try to bolster his legacy.”
The Young Men’s Initiative served as a model for President Obama’s creation of the national “My Brother’s Keeper” Initiative. As part of the announcement for Obama’s new nation-wide initiative, Bloomberg Family Foundation joined with a number of other liberal foundations such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the California Endowment, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Knight Foundation and the Kapor Center for Social Impact, in a 5-year $200 million pledge to support the effort.
Michael Bloomberg has restrictive views on so-called “public health” issues, including individuals’ rights to smoke, eat, and drink as they please. He has committed $600 million over ten years to anti-tobacco efforts globally.
Since 2003, he has widened his efforts, funding successful campaigns through the Bloomberg Family Foundation for a sugar tax in Mexico and spending $1.6 million to successfully promote a 1.5 cents-per-ounce soda tax in Philadelphia.
According to The Guardian, the Bloomberg Family Foundation “must be seen as the main global financial backer [in a] war on sugar and tobacco,” and according to Bloomberg, his foundation is winning that war. 
Similarly, as Mayor, Bloomberg successfully sought a ban on partially hydrogenated cooking oils in New York that the Obama administration Food and Drug Administration later implemented nationwide. In support of this decree in 2017, the Bloomberg Family Foundation pledged $100 million along with similar pledges from the Gates and Zuckerberg Foundations to help implement this nation-wide ban.
In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies offered $5 million in assistance to about 40 cities internationally to help impose lifestyle-related policy mandates, including curbing soda consumption or air pollution, promoting exercise, or banning smoking.
National Control of Education
In 2010, the Bloomberg Family Foundation committed $4 million to assist several states that were applying for Obama’s Race to the Top education initiative. And when Colorado failed to qualify for federal funds, Bloomberg personally spent $400,000 in local elections to make sure that Democratic state senators who had backed the Race to the Top application were re-elected.
Then in 2016, Bloomberg Family Foundation partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, among others, to provide millions of dollars of free support services to help teachers comply with the controversial national curriculum initiative Common Core.
Conflicts of Interest
Multiple reports indicated that Bloomberg had direct contact with his foundation staffers during his term as mayor. Most notably, in 2007 as Mayor, Bloomberg requested and received clearance from the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board allowing at least three of his City Hall staffers to use government resources, like office space, phones and Internet service, for foundation work. The report also noted that long-time Bloomberg loyalist Patti Harris was for a period the sole officer listed on the foundation’s tax return and “volunteers” as the head of the Bloomberg Family Foundation. As one Daily Beast source put it, Harris is “really deputy mayor for Mike. She would look after everything that touched on him, his life and his philanthropy.”
In 2010, two labor-union-aligned government transparency groups, Common Cause and NY Public Interest Research Group, filed complaints against the Bloomberg Family Foundation with a city ethics panel claiming that it violated the City Charter for Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris to have a government job while chairing the Bloomberg Family Foundation.
In 2013, the Financial Times wrote that Bloomberg’s political involvement was distinctive of his giving philosophy. According to the article, Bloomberg was unlike many other philanthropists who steer clear of campaigning because he had “long channelled (sic) money to political causes, including his own three election campaigns.” 
Buying Political Power
Critics of Bloomberg argue that he has long used his personal wealth to buy political support. For instance, the Financial Times wrote that Bloomberg’s political contributions had freed him to pursue his chosen reforms in the city using it as a laboratory for testing ideas inspired by or subsequently influencing his philanthropy. Items included in this list were tough antismoking rules and a ban on trans-fats in food.
According to Joel Berg, head of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, which has not benefited from Bloomberg’s largesse, the Bloomberg Foundation demonstrated “a consistent pattern of rewarding friends and punishing enemies.”
Similarly, the Daily Beast wrote that Bloomberg has a long history of commingling his interests as a businessman with his public role and ambitions, and that the year before he first ran for mayor, his charity doubled its giving and began redirecting it to New York institutions.
During his tenure as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg gifted funds to numerous local “arts and social-service groups” through the Carnegie Corporation of New York. While most of the gifts were philanthropic, in 2008 Bloomberg asked several recipients of Carnegie grants to lobby in support a proposed change in New York City’s term limits law allowing an additional four years to his mayoralty.
Bloomberg has also been accused of providing part of a $110,000 “favor” donation to Al Sharpton shortly before running for his third term as New York City mayor. In 2013, Bloomberg’s aides acknowledged Bloomberg was an anonymous donor to Education Equality Project, which gave the $110,000 grant to Sharpton’s National Action Network. 
In 2010, The Observer reported that through the end of 2008, the Bloomberg Family Foundation had transferred almost $300 million into various offshore destinations, including such tax avoidance destinations such as the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, and Bermuda. The report noted that some of the foundation’s money was housed at in hedge funds located at a P.O. box at Ugland House in the Caymans a building that President Obama had labeled “the biggest tax scam in the world.”  The report also detailed how holding these funds in overseas tax shelters would allow the foundation to potentially avoid more than 40 percent in federal and local taxes on business income unrelated to the foundation’s core mission.
The Observer’s report also noted that in 2007 then-Mayor Bloomberg requested special permission for his foundation’s funds to be managed by Steve Rattner’s subsequently scandal-ridden investment firm.
ExxonMobil Climate Change Allegations
In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies began funding a new program created by State Energy and Environmental Impact Center (SEEIC), an organization run by New York University Law School. SEEIC financially supports the salaries and benefits of legal fellows in the New York Attorney General’s office that pledge to advance “progressive clean energy, climate change, and environmental legal positions.” The SEEIC claims it does not influence the work of the fellows, but controversy arose after Matthew Eisenson, a fellow in the Attorney General’s office, signed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil alleging that the company falsely exaggerated the negative impact that climate change regulations would have on its business.
In turn, Exxon alleged that “New York’s investigation of, and enforcement against, ExxonMobil are driven by improper motives,” claiming that the Attorney General office’s act of hiring fellows from SEIC “generates a conflict of interest.” Christopher Horner, a fellow at the libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Organization, requested the Attorney General’s office release the quarterly reports they send to the SEEIC that detail their fellows’ progress on environmental initiatives. The Attorney General’s office only released emails that mentioned the reports but did not release the reports themselves.
As of 2018, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, Oregon, Maryland, Washington state, and New Mexico were also participating in the Bloomberg-funded program.
In June 2019, the Government Accountability and Oversight law firm sued Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, demanding that she divulge her two fellows’ documents pertaining to SEEIC. In March 2019, the state of Virginia had to block further speculation of Bloomberg influence by formally mandating that their Attorney General office only compensate their employees with public funds.
Chief Executive Officer
Patti Harris is the current CEO and CAO of Bloomberg Family Foundation. A longtime Bloomberg loyalist, Harris has been working closely with Bloomberg since 1994. She worked at Bloomberg’s media conglomerate, Bloomberg L.P., before joining the Bloomberg’s mayoral administration, and played a central role in developing his philanthropy.
Board of Directors
The board of directors for Bloomberg Family Foundation has included a number of high-profile names. The initial Board, announced in 2010, included such noteworthy individuals as then-Newark Mayor (now U.S. Senator) Cory Booker (D-N.J.) former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R).
In 2015, Elaine Chao, the former U.S. Secretary of Labor in the George W. Bush administration who would later serve as Transportation Secretary in the Trump administration, resigned from the board over the foundation’s decision to invest tens of millions of dollars in the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.
Currently, the Board includes former U.S. Senator David L. Boren (D-Oklahoma), former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-Georgia), former Mayor of Miami Manny Diaz (D), Disney President (and Democratic Party donor) Bob Iger, and Walter Isaacson, the president and CEO of the left-leaning Aspen Institute. Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary under President George W. Bush, also serves on the board.