The WWE is a fixture of the sports world. Or maybe it's a fixture of the entertainment world; I'll save that debate for another day. In any case, the business of wrestling is not up for discussion: The WWE generated revenue of $540 million in 2014. At the center of the WWE is 70-year-old Chairman and CEO Vincent K. McMahon, a third-generation promoter who purchased his father's regional business and took it national. In 1985, McMahon created "Wrestlemania," a pay-per-view showcase that has become one of the most watched paid events each year. Forbes named Wrestlemania one of the world's most valuable sports brands, putting it in the company of events such as the Super Bowl, the Summer Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup.
McMahon has made big money in the unique world of wrestling and once made the Forbes billionaire list. He's now worth "only" $998 million. McMahon's wife, Linda, was also heavily involved with WWE before she left to make an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. senate. The couple has engaged in philanthropy, and last decade founded the Vince and Linda McMahon Family Foundation, which, in the 2014 fiscal year, did around $2.6 million in grantmaking. The couple's philanthropy is largely regional, focusing on the state of Connecticut, where they live. The foundation doesn't have much of a web presence or a clear way to get in touch, but here are a few must-knows:
1. The Couple Has Been Strongly Interested in Youth
Recent money has gone to schools such as Grace Academy Hartford, "an independent, tuition-free middle school for at-risk girls," and Cloonan Middle School in Stamford. In the 2014 fiscal year, a $25,000 grant went to Greenwich Alliance for Education, which "mobilizes community resources to provide opportunities and services that foster educational success for all Greenwich Public School students," and Stamford Public Education Foundation. Last decade, meanwhile, at least $3 million went to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Grantmaking has also involved outfits such as Connecticut Basketball Club, Catholic Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Inspirica, an academic tutoring outfit, Yerwood Center, "a community resource center providing educational and personal development opportunities to Stamford’s diverse community," and ConnCAN, "leading a movement to improve education outcomes for Connecticut’s kids."
2. Support Has Also Gone to Human Services Outfits
In the 2014 fiscal year, a $250,000 grant went to Westport Weston Family YMCA, and in the 2013 fiscal year a $500,000 grant went to Liberation Programs, a "a nonprofit community-based organization providing alcohol and drug treatment and prevention in lower Fairfield County." Support has also recently gone to Women's Center of Greater Danbury, and Heroes In Transition, which provides assistance to veterans in need.
3. Assorted Sums Have Also Gone to Health
Recent funds have gone to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Stamford Hospital and Greenwich Hospital Foundation, which received a $1 million grant in the 2014 fiscal year. Support has also gone to Ability Beyond, a nonprofit that works with children with disabilities.
The couple's philanthropy has largely stuck close to home. It's worth mentioning that a large, multi-million-dollar grant last decade went to Young Peoples Community Center in Pennsylvania. Linda's mother is from a town between Pittsburgh and State College, Pennsylvania. Other more recent philanthropy has involved Pennsylvania as well.
Related: Vincent K. McMahon