NET WORTH: About $1 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Blum Capital Partners; Newbridge Capital, TPG Capital
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Policy & Global Development, Human Services & Community Development, Arts & Culture, Environment
OVERVIEW: Richard Blum moves his philanthropy through the Blum Family Foundation. His areas of philanthropic interest include education, policy and global development, human services and community development, arts and culture, and the environment. Many of his foundation’s grantees operate in Blum’s home state of California.
BACKGROUND: A native of San Francisco, California, Richard Blum earned BS and MBA degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He worked for Sutro & Co, a brokerage firm, for many years. In 1975 he founded Blum Capital, an investment firm, and in 1994, he cofounded Newbridge Capital, which invested heavily in emerging global markets, and which later became a part of TPG Capital. Blum is married to California Senator Dianne Feinstein.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Blum supports a broad range of schools, colleges and universities. One major recipient has been his alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley, which received $15 million to establish the the Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies, an interdisciplinary hub that focuses on alleviating global poverty and inequality. Blum also serves on the University of California’s Board of Regents. Other higher education recipients include the San Francisco, Los Angeles and Merced campuses of the University of California, Macalester College and Sonoma State University. Past K-12 grantees include Consortium of Catholic Academies, which supports underprivileged students of four inner-city Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Washington; the Nueva School; and the Dianne Feinstein Elementary School in the San Francisco Unified School District.
POLICY & GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT: Via his family foundation, Blum has supported a broad range of global, national and California-based initiatives. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Himalayan Foundation, which engages in humanitarian projects in Nepal and Tibet. Blum has also supported the Carter Center, which “seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health” in the U.S. and abroad. On the national level, he is a trustee of the Washington D.C.-based Brookings Institute and has supported the National Democratic Institute. California grantees in the area of policy have included the Panetta Institute for Public Policy and the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association.
HUMAN SERVICES & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: In this funding area, Blum has prioritized underprivileged people and communities in California. Past grantees include Inner City Advisors, a Bay Area nonprofit that supports the development of sustainable and responsible small businesses; the John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes; the San Francisco Food Bank; and the Time for Change Foundation, which supports individuals and families recovering from homelessness, addiction and incarceration.
ARTS & CULTURE: Blum's arts and culture philanthropy supports a broad range of organizations, including some that aim to have a social impact on audiences. Past grantees include the Creative Visions Foundation, which "sparks awareness and ignites change through impact media, the arts and technology.” Another recipient, the Daniel Pearl Foundation, “promotes mutual respect and understanding among diverse cultures through journalism, music and dialogue.” Other past grantees include the Los Angeles’s Geffen Playhouse, San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
LOOKING FORWARD: Although he is in his 80s, Blum is still very much engaged in both business and philanthropy. It is likely that his foundation will continue to fund his areas of interest, prioritizing Blum’s home state of California.
The Blum Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is an address:
Blum Family Foundation
909 Montgomery St., Ste. 400
San Francisco, CA 94133
Telephone: (415) 434-1111