Louis Bacon

NET WORTH: $1.8 billion 

SOURCE of WEALTH: Moore Capital Management

FUNDING AREAS: Environment, Education, NYC Community

OVERVIEW: The vast majority of Louis Bacon’s philanthropy has been toward environmental causes, and in particular, land trusts that prevent development in certain areas. He’s also been known to make donations to educational and cultural institutions, and community organizations in New York City. 

BACKGROUND: Bacon graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in literature before heading to Columbia Business School. He worked for Walter Frank, Bankers Trust, and eventually Shearson Lehman before founding his own firms, first Remington Trading Partners and later Moore Capital Management. He did quite well during the market downturn in the late 80’s, and founded the Moore Charitable Foundation in 1992, which was established to provide financial support to nonprofit organizations that work to preserve and protect wildlife habitat and improve water systems.

ISSUES:

ENVIRONMENT: Bacon’s efforts in environmental protection primarily focus on the three main areas he’s called home: North Carolina, New York, and Colorado, where he has created conservation easements and land trusts, including a 90,000 acre easement in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado, which he announced in 2012 he intends to donate to government for a conservation area. He also supports a number of national organizations, including the Land Trust Alliance and National Resources Defense Council, conservation for animals such as Atlantic salmon and sea turtles, and projects in other areas such as the Florida Everglades, and the Bahamas. Some of his biggest contributions have gone to the Waterkeeper Alliance, which has seen more than $1 million in total donations. In the winter of 2015, Bacon donated $120,000 to the rebuilding efforts in the Bahamas after Hurricane Joaquin.

EDUCATION: Moore has donated well over $10 million to his alma mater Middlebury College in a series of gifts of up to $2 million per year, and recently set up a preservation fund at Middlebury's Bread Loaf graduate school campus. He also recently gave $3.5 million to Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership to form the Louis Bacon Environmental Leadership Program. Fordham, Georgetown Prep, St. Mary’s in North Carolina, and a small number of other educational institutions have also received donations, but they tend to be single gifts, and are generally under $10,000.

ARTS & CULTURE: In 2008, Moore made a million dollar gift to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, but this appears to be the only major donation in this arena. He’s given smaller donations to places like the Parrish Art Museum in New York, the Museum of Natural History, the Kennedy Center, and some smaller venues in the New York area, but the donations are infrequent, and tend to be for $15,000 or less.

HEALTH: Bacon has contributed to the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but the largest donation in this area has been $15,000.

NYC COMMUNITY: Bacon has given to a number of community-based organizations in the New York City area, including the Robin Hood Foundation and Harlem Children’s Zone, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys Club, UNICEF and the Red Cross of New York. Most donations are on the small side, with Robin Hood topping the list at three donations totaling $120,000.

LOOKING FORWARD: If Bacon is to broaden his philanthropic horizons, it will probably be related to the environment. The best bet would be conservation, environmental protection, and sustainable farming and development practices in developing countries, along with climate change and environmental education.

LINKS:  

Moore Charitable Foundation

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