Singer and businesswoman Gloria Estefan is enormously successful in the music world, a recipient of seven Grammys and a number of other awards and accolades. The Cuban-born Estefan first gained fame as lead vocalist for the Miami Sound Machine, which was led by her eventual husband, Emilio. The couple remain music industry and Miami-area fixtures, and they've parlayed their music success into other ventures, such as hotel and restaurant management, and talent management. As a result, the couple has amassed quite a fortune over the years, with one estimate pegging Estefan's net worth at $500 million.
Estefan and Emilio have also been involved in philanthropy, and in the late 1990s established the Gloria Estefan Foundation. In recent years, the foundation has given somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 annually. While the foundation doesn't have much of a web presence, or a clear way for grantseekers to get in touch, here are a few must-knows:
1. Estefan's Support of Health and Hispanic Causes Is Personal
Prior to her success, a young Estefan and her family fled Cuba during the late 1950s and resettled in Miami. Her father was in the military in Cuba, and also fought in Vietnam. He returned from the war with multiple ailments, including multiple sclerosis, that could have been caused by exposure to herbicide while serving. In the 1990s, Estefan's band bus was involved in an accident, and Estefan suffered a broken vertebra in her back. These powerful personal experiences likely explain, in part, Estefan's support of health and Hispanic causes.
For her health philanthropy, Estefan teamed up with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and served as the capital campaign director for the Miami Project’s new building campaign, which raised over $40 million dollars. Her foundation continues to fund the Miami Project, as well as Miami Children's Hospital, American Cancer Society, La Liga Contra el Cancer, and Leukemia Lymphoma Society, among others.
In terms of Hispanic causes, Estefan has funded Hispanic Unity of Florida, which was founded in 1982 as a haven for immigrants and refugees, and has grown to serve "diverse and multi-cultural working families from the United States as well as more than 25 other countries." Other grantmaking here includes Ballet Hispanico in New York.
2. Estefan Supports Animal Care
The foundation has given recent funds to outfits such as North Shore Animal Hospital, Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, Humane Society of Greater Miami, and the Cesar Millan Foundation, whose mission is to "create and deliver community humane education programs and promote animal welfare."
3. The Foundation Supports Other Causes, Too
Estafan has given sums to outfits that serve youth and children, including Amigos Together for the Kids, "a nonprofit dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect," and to local schools, including Miami Senior High School, and the Cushman School. At least $1 million alone went to University of Miami, her alma mater, in 2006.
Related: Gloria Estefan Glitzy Giving Guide