NET WORTH: $60 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Singer-Songwriter
FUNDING AREAS: At Risk Women and Children, Veterans
OVERVIEW: Michael Bolton Charities was founded in 1993 and is dedicated to two program areas: The assistance of children and women at risk and creating social awareness to broaden horizons and expand opportunities for youth across socioeconomics and multicultural lines. Bolton's grants focus on New York and Connecticut, with a handful of grantees annually of late.
BACKGROUND: Born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1953, Michael Bolton began performing at an early age, singing solo under his original last name, Bolotin, and then joining up with a band called Blackjack. He later changed his name to Bolton, and in 1983, released the self-titled Michael Bolton, which made its way up the Top 100 chart. Bolton cowrote How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, a ballad sung by Laura Branigan, which became a Top 40 hit. Bolton broke through on his third album, The Hunger, scoring his first two Top 40 singles. Since then, Bolton has sold more than 53 million records, won multiple Grammys, and appeared on Dancing with the Stars.
AT RISK WOMEN & CHILDREN: One of Michael Bolton Charities' aims is to "attempt to lessen children’s and women’s vulnerability to the damaging effects of poverty and emotional, physical and sexual abuse." The foundation has supported Yoga Blue in Ojai, California. The outfit's programming includes classes at a treatment center where women coping with issues such as "domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health challenges can put their lives back on track." Yoga Blue has also hosted the Michael Bolton and Dave Mason celebrity golf classic, benefit concert and dinner. Other grantees have included Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven, Children's Advocacy Center, Prevent Child Abuse America, Yale Child Study Center, and Nevada Council for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, among others.
Another grantee in this area is the Susan B. Anthony Project, which "works to promote the autonomy of women and the safety of all victims of domestic abuse/sexual assault in Northwest Connecticut."
The Michael Bolton Charities, in partnership with Clifford Beers Clinic, New Horizons School for Higher Achievement and BH Care-Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence, recently launched a music therapy program for children and women exposed to domestic violence.
VETERANS: Bolton has supported Work Vessels for Veterans, which "matches donations of equipment and vessels to returning vets to start their own businesses." Grantees have also included Military Support Alliance, whose mission is to "organize and promote the recognition and support of Nevada’s Men and Women of our Armed Forces, Veterans and their Families."
OTHER: In the past, grants have gone toward children's health outfits such as Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program in Los Angeles and St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
LOOKING FORWARD: Bolton intends to bring the Family Justice Center (FJC) to his hometown of New Haven. The FJC is a one-stop center for domestic violence victims and their families, and is modeled after the hugely successful Brooklyn FJC, which Bolton has supported since it launched in 2006. It's also worth noting that in addition to Michael Bolton Charities, Bolton might have other more direct ways of giving.
Proposals are by invitation only. Upon invitation, proposals should be submitted in duplicate to:
Jacqueline J. Smaga, Executive Director
The Michael Bolton Charities
P. O. Box 936
Branford, CT 06405