NET WORTH: $820 million
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, Combs Enterprises
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth
OVERVIEW: Diddy supports education and youth in his philanthropy. He recently gave a $1 million gift to Howard University to launch a scholarship fund. He has also been involved with K-12 education and launched a charter school in Harlem.
BACKGROUND: Born in Harlem, Sean "Diddy" Combs attended Howard University, but dropped out to take an internship at Uptown Records, which led to a talent director position. Combs rose at the label but left to launch his music production company, Bad Boy Entertainment, in 1993. He worked with major artists like Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, and Biggie Smalls. He is also founder and CEO of Combs Enterprises, which works in music, fashion, spirits, and more.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Diddy recently made a $1 million grant to Howard University. The Sean Combs Scholarship Fund provides business majors with scholarships and internships. Combs prioritizes education in his grantmaking. On the K-12 front, he launched Capital Prep Harlem, a free, public charter school located in his old New York City neighborhood. At the launch, he said, “Great schools and great education make a big difference. Unfortunately, too many people don’t get the opportunity to succeed, no matter how hard they try. This is leveling the playing field.”
He has also been involved with organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and last decade, he ran the New York City Marathon, raising $2 million to support children in New York City Schools. He also pledged one million bottles of water with a long-term commitment to Flint, Michigan citizens.
Diddy has also engaged in philanthropy through Daddy's House Social Programs, a foundation established in the 1990s interested in education, recreation and sustenance for underprivileged urban youth, including homeless and foster children.
LOOKING FORWARD: Diddy is only in his 40s and very much engaged in business, so it seems likely that he will put off bigger grantmaking until later on. But his work in education is likely to be notable.