How A Music Industry Hall-of-Famer Does His Philanthropy

Now 88 years old, Mo Ostin spent several decades at the helm of Warner Bros. Records. In Ostin's time, Warner or its affiliate labels signed some of the biggest names in music, including legends like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald. Ostin later signed on to head the music arm of DreamWorks SKG. In 2003, Ostin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's safe to say that Ostin has amassed quite a bit of wealth over the years, though it's unclear how much he's currently worth.

Ostin has engaged in philanthropy over the years, moving his charitable contributions through the Ostin Family Foundation. In 2013, grantmaking was rather low, with under $30,000 in giving. In other years, though, annual grantmaking has surpassed $1 million. Unfortunately for grantseekers, the foundation doesn't have much of a web presence, or a clear way to get in touch.

Ostin's philanthropy has heavily featured higher education, particularly at his alma mater, UCLA. A few years ago, Ostin gave the university $10 million to establish the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center. The Ostin Music Center includes a high-tech recording studio, spaces for rehearsal and teaching, a cafe and social space for students, and an Internet-based music production center. Recently, Ostin made a $10 million commitment to UCLA's new on-campus basketball training and performance facility, to be known as the Mo Ostin Basketball Center. Recent grantees of the Ostin Family Foundation include Pitzer College in suburban Los Angeles, Silverlake Conservatory of Music, Young Eisner Scholars, and the Ross School in East Hampton, New York.

The foundation also funds arts and culture, giving recent grants to Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame, KCRW, Museum of Contemporary Art, and LA><ART an "independent, nonprofit art space showcasing contemporary & experimental art, lectures & events." A component of Ostin's philanthropy also involves Jewish outfits and cancer research—several Ostin family members have suffered from cancer.

Finally, Ostin has given smoney to We Are Family Foundation (WAFF), an outfit founded in the wake of 9/11 by musician Nile Rodgers, with an aim to create and support "programs that inspire and educate people about mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation of cultural diversity while striving to solve global problems." Ostin's son, Michael, sits on the board of WAFF.

Related: Mo Ostin