NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Blum Capital Partners; TPG Capital
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Policy & Global , Human Services/Community Development, Arts & Culture, Environment
OVERVIEW: Richard Blum moves his philanthropy through the Blum Family Foundation. His wife, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, does not appear to be on the foundation's books. Blum has strongly supported alma mater UC Berkeley, where last decade he established the Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies. Education, policy and community development are strong interests. Blum also appears to be interested in arts organizations that aim to have a social impact. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.
BACKGROUND: Born in 1935, Richard C. Blum received his BS in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1958, followed by an MBA in 1959. He served with Sutro & Co. for nearly two decades and in 1975 cofounded Blum Capital Partners. Blum also cofounded TPG Capital. Blum isn't on the Forbes list, though he's been referred to as a billionaire.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Last decade, Blum's $15 million gift to alma mater UC Berkeley launched the Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies, an interdisciplinary hub for students, researchers, and scholars focusing on global poverty and inequality. Blum joined the University of California Board of Regents in 2002. Blum continues to support his school as well as places like UCSF, UCLA, UC Merced, Macalester College and Sonoma State University. On the K-12 front, grantees include Consortium of Catholic Academies, which supports students of four inner-city Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Washington; The Nueva School; and Dianne Feinstein Elementary School in the San Francisco Unified School District.
POLICY & GLOBAL: Given that Blum's wife is prominent U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who's also a former mayor of San Francisco, it's no surprise that policy is a major philanthropic interest of the family. Via his family foundation, Blum has supported outfits like Panetta Institute for Public Policy, which serves the entire California State University system plus several other schools; San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association; The Brookings Institution, where Blum is a trustee; Institute for Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley; and the National Democratic Institute. Blum also supports organizations that work on a global level, and he chairs the American Himalayan Foundation (AHF), which engages in humanitarian projects in Tibet and Nepal. Blum supports AHF as well as the Carter Center, and others.
HUMAN SERVICES/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Blum funds organizations that support the underprivileged. Blum Family Foundation's grantees include Inner City Advisors, a national, non-profit organization that promotes the competitive advantages and social impact of doing business in the inner city; John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes; SF Food Bank; and Time for Change Foundation, whose mission is to "empower disenfranchised low-income individuals and families by building leadership through evidence-based programs and housing to create self-sufficiency and thriving communities."
ARTS & CULTURE: Blum's arts and culture philanthropy appears to focus on organizations that aim to have a social impact. For instance, he's supported Creative Visions Foundation, which "supports creative activists, who use media for change," and Daniel Pearl Foundation, which "promotes cross-cultural understanding through journalism and music." Other grantees include Geffen Playhouse, Rubin Museum of Art, Asian Art Museum, and SF Conservatory of Music.
ENVIRONMENT: Blum via his foundation has funded outfits like The Wilderness Society, National Geographic International Council of Advisors, and EcoFlight, which provides aircraft for environmental advocacy.
OTHER: Blum also supports health outfits and Jewish organizations through his foundation.
LOOKING FORWARD: Blum is in his 80s and still very much engaged in business. However, he and wife Dianne Feinstein are a socially and politically connected couple who should be watched carefully.
The Blum Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is an address: