Singing for Change: A Quick Rundown of Jimmy Buffett's Philanthropy

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett is likely best known for "Margaritaville," a 1977 song that was inspired by a drink he discovered in Austin, Texas. Buffett has moved all around the South over the years. He was born in Mississippi, and has lived in Mobile, Nashville and Key West, among other places. This explains why a lot of  Buffett's philanthropy has focused in on the Southern United States.

Before we continue, though, I should mention that Buffett also owns restaurant chain Margaritaville, meaning that he's amassed wealth in a number of different industries. Some estimate his net worth at around $450 million. 

Buffett has put some of this wealth toward philanthropy, establishing the SFC Charitable Foundation, also known as Singing for Change, in 1995. The good news is that Singing for Change is accessible, with a helpful website complete with grants information and clear guidelines. Here are some other things to know:

1. Buffett Has Supported the Environment

Recent grantmaking out of Singing for Change includes Growing Places Indy, which works to "cultivate wellness in the community through urban agriculture, food access and awareness and practices for healthy, sustainable living," and Harlem Grown, which "transforms abandoned community lots into accessible gardens in partnership with local public schools and the community." Some of this grantmaking involves environmental education with supporting going to places like Climate Cycle, which aims to catalyze "environmental education in the classroom... by developing young leaders in sustainability."

2. Money Has Also Gone toward Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Work

Steady streams of money have flowed to Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA), with $125,000 going to FAVACA in 2014. Singing for Change recently completed its four-year commitment to funding infrastructure rebuilding in Haiti, but states that it hopes to continue supporting "similar agriculture projects to spur self-sufficiency in areas that need technical assistance and some small grants." Money has also gone toward efforts to rebuild and protect the regions affected by Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill. For instance, Buffett has supported Just the Right Attitude, which has helped evacuees and displaced homeowners. Buffett has also supported Points of Light Institute/HandsOn Network, toward disaster relief and preparedness. HandsOn Network includes 13 HandsOn Action Centers that are currently serving Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana, all of which were impacted by the oil spill.

3. Support Has Also Gone to Youth and Human Services

Recent money has gone to places like S.A.Y. Detroit, which helps the "poor and homeless of Motor City with shelter, medical care, job training and transitional housing," Take Stock In Children, which helps low-income youth go to college, and WINGS for Kids, a "social and emotional education program" for youth.

It's possible that apart from the grantmaking through Singing for Change that Buffett also moves money through more direct channels.

Related: Jimmy Buffett Profile