How the Creator of Saturday Night Live Does His Philanthropy

The long-running TV comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live has launched many careers over the years, with a roster that includes some of the great names in comedy, including Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Tina Fey, and many more. The show's creator, Lorne Michaels, not only found a winning formula with SNL, but has also executive produced many other shows over the years, including Fey's 30 RockAll told, he holds a producer credit on more than 150 film and television projects, according to IMDB.

It's no surprise, then, that Michaels has earned quite a bit of money: Some estimates peg his net worth at around $350 million. That fortune is yet more evidence of a point we hammer home all the time: Bigger money than ever before is being made in the entertainment industry and that trend, in turn, is ushering in a new era of giving by leaders in this sector. 

He has put some of his money toward philanthropy, and in 1990, established the Michaels Family Foundation, which he runs with his wife, Alice. The foundation doesn't have much of a web presence, or a clear way to get in touch, but here's where grants have been going of late:

1. Education

The Lorne Michaels Family Foundation has given its largest grants recently in this area, according to the latest 990s available. Some $100,000 went to Dartmouth College in 2013, and Vanderbilt University received $250,000 that same year. Money has also gone to Deerfield Academy, the 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. Money has also gone to Harlem Village Academies in New York City.

2. Health

The foundation has recently funded Multiple Myeloma Foundation, Mount Sinai Dubin Breast Center, and New York Stem Cell Foundation. Some of this philanthropy has involved Canada, where Michaels was raised. The foundation has funded Toronto East General Hospital Foundation and North York General Hospital Foundation.

3. Global Development

The foundation has recently funded International Rescue Committee, Worldwide Orphans, and Operation Smile, "a worldwide children's charity organization that helps treat facial deformities such as cleft lips & cleft palates."

According to the most recent 990 available, the Michaels Family Foundation was all but depleted of assets and has given under $500,000 of late to a modest number of outfits. Michaels is 70 and still very much engaged in business. We'll have to wait and see if he commits more money toward philanthropy down the line.

Related: Lorne Michaels Glitzy Giving Profile