Non-profit

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Website:

www.rewild.org/

Location:

West Hollywood, CA

Tax ID:

81-2932097

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $6,300,967
Expenses: $28,245,299
Assets: $18,537

Formation:

1998

Executive Director:

Leonardo DiCaprio

Type:

Environmentalist Organization

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) was a left-of-center and environmentalist activist and grantmaking organization chaired by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio that distributed grants totaling more than $100 million from 1998 until 2019. [1] It operated in at least 46 countries, distributed grants that funded more than 200 projects, and worked with at least 65 partner organizations during its existence. [2] [3] LDF’s grantmaking activities were focused on six program areas: wildlands conservation, ocean conservation, climate activism, indigenous rights, innovative solutions, and “transforming California.” [4]

In 2018, LDF gave $20 million in grants to more than 100 climate change-related organizations. [5] In 2017, LDF received $22,759,990 from the left-of-center California Community Foundation. [6]

History and Leadership

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation was founded by left-of-center and environmentalist Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio in 1998. [7] [8] In 2008, LDF distributed $1.6 million in grants before it was reorganized into a donor-advised fund housed at the left-of-center California Community Foundation.[9] LDF would gain independent status again in 2016 as a public charity.[10]

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint alleging that the foundation received funds diverted from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which was suspected by investigators as being used for money laundering at the time. [11] In response to these claims, DiCaprio’s representatives said that he and the foundation were cooperating with the investigation and that the LDF would return gifts to it if they came from improper activities associated with 1MDB. [12]

DiCaprio was the CEO of LDF when it merged with the left-of-center Emerson Collective and the Global Wildlife Conservation to become left-of-center environmentalist organization Earth Alliance in 2019.[13] [14] [15]

To acknowledge his work with LDF, DiCaprio was designated as the United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate Change, received the 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award from the left-of-center Clinton Foundation, [16] [17] and won an award from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. [18]

DiCaprio has also sat on the board of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, Oceans 5, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. [19]

Activities and Funding

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation was a left-of-center and environmentalist activist and grantmaking organization that distributed grants totaling more than $100 million from 1998 until 2019. [20] LDF focused its grantmaking activities in six program areas: wildlands conservation, ocean conservation, climate activism, indigenous rights, innovative solutions, and “transforming California.” [21]

During its existence, LDF operated in at least 46 countries and its grants funded more than 200 projects, and worked with at least 65 different partner organizations. [22] [23] LDF also operated the OneEarth global initiative to address climate issues [24] and was in partnership with Microsoft and the National Geographic Society to work on projects in the middle east and Africa. [25]

In 2018, LDF gave $20 million in grants to more than 100 climate change-related organizations. [26] This included $3,573,562 to climate change-specific organizations, $6,360,000 to landscape conservation, $3,756,000 to marine life and oceans, $760,500 to “innovative solutions,” and $1,463,750 to California-specific programs. [27] LDF also managed $30 million of grants in 2016. [28]

The foundation’s grant activities included $15.6 million to “combat climate change” [29] in 2016, $9 million to the Wildlife Conservation Network, [30] $1.5 million to the Bears Ears Community Engagement fund in 2017 to support the establishment and preservation of national monument designation in Utah, [31] and pledges of $5 million for Amazon wildfire aid in 2019 [32] and $1 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts in 2017. [33]

In October 2022, it was reported that The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation was listed one of several foundation, including MacArthur Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund; that had made donations between 2017 and 2021 to donor-based fund the Collective Action Fund for Accountability. [34] The purpose of the fund was primarily to pay legal expenses for California-based law-firm Sher Edling, which was responsible for “high-impact, high-value environmental” legal cases filed against oil companies including ExxonMobil and Cheveron. [35] The Collective Action Fund for Accountability is sponsored by the New Venture Fund and managed by Arabella Advisors. [36]

Funding

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation received funding from individual contributions and foundations and through gala events hosted by CEO Leonardo DiCaprio. [37] [38]

In 2019 the LDF reported revenue of $6,300,967 and expenses of $28,2455,299. In 2018, LDF reported revenue of $47,0494,645 and expenses of $23,409,123. [39] In May 2019, LDF received a $500,000 grant from Microsoft. [40]

In 2018, LDF’s gala raised more than $7 million for climate and biodiversity projects and was co-hosted by left-of-center business executive Laurene Powell Jobs and philanthropist Julia Jackson. [41] That same year, LDF also hosted an art gallery to raise funds for the organization. [42] DiCaprio also hosted a fundraiser for LDF in 2017 that raised $30 million. [43]

LDF received $100,000 from the Sustainable Markets Foundation [44] and $10,000 from ImpactAssets in 2018. [45] In 2017, LDF received $22,759,990 from the left-of-center California Community Foundation. [46]

References

  1. “DiCaprio Foundation Merges With New Environmental Organization.” Candid Philanthropy News Digest. July 8, 2019. Accessed July 20, 2022. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/dicaprio-foundation-merges-with-new-environmental-organization. ^
  2. “Leonardo DiCaprio.” Climate and Clean Air Coalition. 2018. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.ccacoalition.org/en/content/leonardo-dicaprio. ^
  3. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Foundation Guide. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://foundationguide.org/service-categories/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation/. ^
  4. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Global Green. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://globalgreen.org/directory/listing/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation/. ^
  5. Foster II, Jerome. “The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gave $20M in Grants to over 100 Climate Change Organizations. The Climate Reporter Medium. March 13, 2018. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://medium.com/the-climate-reporter/the-leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-gives-20m-in-grants-to-over-100-climate-change-organizations-2d45316da211. ^
  6. “California Community Foundation.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2017. Schedule I. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/953510055/201901359349300410/IRS990ScheduleI. ^
  7. “DiCaprio Foundation Merges With New Environmental Organization.” Candid Philanthropy News Digest. July 8, 2019. Accessed July 20, 2022. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/dicaprio-foundation-merges-with-new-environmental-organization. ^
  8. “Leonardo DiCaprio.” World Wildlife Federation. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.worldwildlife.org/leaders/leonardo-dicaprio. ^
  9. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Comes Under Scrutiny.” Candid Philanthropy News Digest. August 19, 2016. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-comes-under-scrutiny. ^
  10. Internal Revenue Service, Final Letter 81-2932097, December 29, 2016. ^
  11. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Comes Under Scrutiny.” Candid Philanthropy News Digest. August 19, 2016. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-comes-under-scrutiny. ^
  12. “DiCaprio foundation would return gifts if from Malaysian fund in probe.” Reuters. October 18, 2016. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-scandal-dicaprio/dicaprio-foundation-would-return-gifts-if-from-malaysian-fund-in-probe-idUSKCN12I2DX. ^
  13. “DiCaprio Foundation Merges With New Environmental Organization.” Candid Philanthropy News Digest. July 8, 2019. Accessed July 20, 2022. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/dicaprio-foundation-merges-with-new-environmental-organization. ^
  14. “DiCaprio Foundation Merges With New Environmental Organization.” Candid Philanthropy News Digest. July 8, 2019. Accessed July 20, 2022. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/dicaprio-foundation-merges-with-new-environmental-organization. ^
  15. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2020. Part VII. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/812932097/202141349349302254/full. ^
  16. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Global Green. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://globalgreen.org/directory/listing/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation/. ^
  17. Programs / Leadership & Public Service.” Clinton Foundation. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://www.clintonfoundation.org/programs/leadership-public-service/clinton-global-initiative/. ^
  18. “Leonardo DiCaprio.” Climate and Clean Air Coalition. 2018. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.ccacoalition.org/en/content/leonardo-dicaprio. ^
  19.  “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Global Green. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://globalgreen.org/directory/listing/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation/. ^
  20. “DiCaprio Foundation Merges With New Environmental Organization.” Candid Philanthropy News Digest. July 8, 2019. Accessed July 20, 2022. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/dicaprio-foundation-merges-with-new-environmental-organization. ^
  21. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Global Green. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://globalgreen.org/directory/listing/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation/. ^
  22. “Leonardo DiCaprio.” Climate and Clean Air Coalition. 2018. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.ccacoalition.org/en/content/leonardo-dicaprio. ^
  23. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Foundation Guide. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://foundationguide.org/service-categories/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation/. ^
  24. “The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation: History and Future With Bioneers.”  Bioneers. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://bioneers.org/the-leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-history-and-future-with-bioneers-zmaz1806/. ^
  25. “Microsoft Partners with Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to empower change-makers in Middle East and Africa using AI for Good.” Microsoft. Posted July 8, 2019. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://news.microsoft.com/en-xm/2019/07/08/microsoft-partners-with-leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-to-empower-change-makers-in-middle-east-and-africa-using-ai-for-good/. ^
  26. Foster II, Jerome. “The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gave $20M in Grants to over 100 Climate Change Organizations. The Climate Reporter Medium. March 13, 2018. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://medium.com/the-climate-reporter/the-leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-gives-20m-in-grants-to-over-100-climate-change-organizations-2d45316da211. ^
  27. Brenna, Lorenzo. “The Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation donates 20 million dollars for environment protection.” Lifegate.  October 9, 2017. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.lifegate.com/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-20-million-environment. ^
  28. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Comes Under Scrutiny.” Candid Philanthropy News Digest. August 19, 2016. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-comes-under-scrutiny. ^
  29. Ungerman, Alex. “Leonardo DiCaprio’s Foundation Commits $15.6 Million to Fight Climate Change and Protect Wildlife.” 2WGRZ NBC News. July 13, 2016., Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.wgrz.com/article/news/leonardo-dicaprios-foundation-commits-156-million-to-fight-climate-change-and-protect-wildlife/71-271971364. ^
  30. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Foundation Guide. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://foundationguide.org/service-categories/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation/. ^
  31.  “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Backing Utah National Monument.” Voice of America. January 13, 2017. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.voanews.com/a/dicaprio-obama-utah-national-monument/3675717.html. ^
  32. Tacopino, Joe. “Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation pledges $5 million in aid for Amazon wildfires.” Page Six. August 26, 2019. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://pagesix.com/2019/08/26/leonardo-dicaprios-foundation-pledges-5-million-in-aid-for-amazon-wildfires/. ^
  33. D’Zurilla, Christie. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donates $1 million to Harvey Recovery.” Los Angeles Times. August 31, 2017. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-entertainment-news-updates-august-leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-harvey-1504188999-htmlstory.html. ^
  34. Catenacci, Thomas, and Joe Schoffstall. “Group LEO DiCaprio Funneled Grants through to Fund Climate Lawsuits Moved to Largest US Dark Money Network.” Fox News. FOX News Network, October 21, 2022. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/group-leo-dicaprio-funneled-grants-fund-climate-lawsuits-moved-largest-us-dark-money-network. ^
  35. Catenacci, Thomas, and Joe Schoffstall. “Group LEO DiCaprio Funneled Grants through to Fund Climate Lawsuits Moved to Largest US Dark Money Network.” Fox News. FOX News Network, October 21, 2022. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/group-leo-dicaprio-funneled-grants-fund-climate-lawsuits-moved-largest-us-dark-money-network. ^
  36. Catenacci, Thomas, and Joe Schoffstall. “Group LEO DiCaprio Funneled Grants through to Fund Climate Lawsuits Moved to Largest US Dark Money Network.” Fox News. FOX News Network, October 21, 2022. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/group-leo-dicaprio-funneled-grants-fund-climate-lawsuits-moved-largest-us-dark-money-network. ^
  37. Matthews, Damion. “Leonardo DiCaprio Raised Over $7 Million at His Wine Country Bash.” Town and Country Magazine. September 17, 2018j. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.townandcountrymag.com/the-scene/parties/g23274774/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-benefit-raised-7-million-dollars/. ^
  38. Blasberg, Derek. “Inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s Exclusive Riviera Fund-Raiser.” Vanity Fair. July 27, 2017. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2017/07/leonardo-dicaprio-fundraiser-party-report. ^
  39. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2019. Part I. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/812932097/202032619349300348/full. ^
  40. “Grant-Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Crunch Base May 23, 20219. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.crunchbase.com/funding_round/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-grant–7830a2b0. ^
  41. Matthews, Damion. “Leonardo DiCaprio Raised Over $7 Million at His Wine Country Bash.” Town and Country Magazine. September 17, 2018. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.townandcountrymag.com/the-scene/parties/g23274774/leonardo-dicaprio-foundation-benefit-raised-7-million-dollars/. ^
  42. Chouinard, Haley. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Celebrates 20 Years With Art Auction.” Galerie. September 13, 2018. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://galeriemagazine.com/leonardo-dicaprios-foundation-auction-ai-weiwei-frank-gehry/. ^
  43. Blasberg, Derek. “Inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s Exclusive Riviera Fund-Raiser.” Vanity Fair. July 27, 2017. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2017/07/leonardo-dicaprio-fundraiser-party-report. ^
  44. “Sustainable Markets Foundation.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990-PF). 2018. Schedule I. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/134188834/202021979349308592/full. ^
  45. “Impactassets Inc.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2018. Schedule I. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/262048480/201923179349308047/full. ^
  46. “California Community Foundation.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2017. Schedule I. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/953510055/201901359349300410/IRS990ScheduleI. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 2016

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $6,300,967 $28,245,299 $18,537 $0 N $2,844,050 $0 $368,516 $681,049 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $47,049,645 $23,409,123 $23,853,886 $1,162,777 Y $49,425,077 $0 $312,636 $648,540 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2017 May Form 990EZ $0 $0 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

    P.O. Box 692013
    West Hollywood, CA