Lorne and Alice Michaels

NET WORTH: $500 Million, estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Producer/Writer

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Health, Global Development

OVERVIEW: Lorne Michaels and his wife Alice do their grantmaking through the Michaels Family Foundation, which has given under $500,000 annually to a handful of outfits. The couple supports education, health and more. Grantmaking tends to be focused on New York City and the greater Northeast.

BACKGROUND: Lorne Michaels was raised in Toronto, where he began writing fiction as a teenager. After graduating from the University of Toronto, he charted a career for himself in entertainment. Michaels co-developed a show for the Canadian Broadcasting Co., The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour. In 1968, Michaels moved to Los Angeles to write for The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show and Laugh-In. In 1975, NBC hired Michaels to create the immensely popular and successful Saturday Night Live. Michaels has also been executive producer of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Portlandia, 30 Rock, and other award-winning television shows and films.


EDUCATION: The Lorne Michaels Family Foundation has given its largest grants in this area lately, according to the most recent available 990s. Grantees include Dartmouth College, Vanderbilt University, Deerfield Academy, Chapin School, and the Buckley School. Much of this philanthropy is based in personal connections. For instance, one of the couple's children went to Dartmouth. The foundation's grantmaking has also supported Harlem Village Academies.

HEALTH: Grantees have included Autism Speaks, Multiple Myeloma Foundation and New York Stem Cell Foundation. Michaels and Alice have also supported Toronto health outfits such as Toronto East General Hospital Foundation, and North York General Hospital Foundation.

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT: The foundation's grantmaking has supported International Rescue Committee and Tanzanian Children's Fund. 

LOOKING FORWARD: As active philanthropists with plenty of money left to give, look for bigger giving down the line from this couple, likely tracking with their established interests. 


The Michaels Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue to get in touch with the couple, but below is an address: 

The Michaels Family Foundation Inc.
1619 Broadway, 9th Fl.
New York, NY 10019