John Arnold Backs Gun-Violence Research: Philanthropy Tracker

  • Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz gives $20 million to ACLU
  • Game show host Bob Barker ponies up for animal studies

Shaping policy to end gun violence, helping first-generation Americans go to college and assisting visual artists are some of the efforts that benefited from contributions announced in May. To submit a tip to the Bloomberg News Philanthropy Tracker, email agordon01@bloomberg.net.

May Gifts

$20 million: Centaurus Capital founder John Arnold and wife Laura, through their foundation, to create the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research. Run by Rand Corp., the five-year project will use data to develop policies to reduce gun violence. “Our goal is to provide objective information to guide a rational, fact-based response to a national crisis," Laura Arnold said in a statement.

$20 million: Rick Magnuson, founder of GI Partners, and his wife Allison, to create an entrepreneurship center at Dartmouth College. Magnuson started a transportation business with a classmate before graduating Dartmouth in 1979.

$20 million: Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital and his wife Harriet Heyman, a novelist, to the American Civil Liberties Union for work including the protection of immigrants. Made through their Crankstart Foundation, the gift includes funds to match bequests.

$20 million: Connie and Steve Ballmer to College Advising Corps to place 1 million low-income, first-generation students in college by 2025. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based nonprofit trains and deploys recent graduates to work full-time in high schools as “near-peer" college advisers. Ballmer, former chief executive officer of Microsoft, was the first person in his family to graduate from college.

$20 million: Blackstone co-founder Pete Peterson, who died in March, made a $10 million gift and an additional $10 million challenge grant to establish the Joan Ganz Cooney Fund for Vulnerable Children in honor of his wife, the co-founder of “Sesame Street.” The gift, announced at Sesame Workshop’s gala on May 30, will support face-to-face work with children on learning basics, health and trauma.

$15 million: Bill Conway, co-founder of Carlyle Group, and his wife Joanne, for nursing-degree scholarships, with $10 million to University of Maryland Baltimore and $5 million to the University of Virginia.

$10 million: Emily and Len Blavatnik, founder of Access Industries, to establish a women’s health research institute and expand a medical center in Chelsea that are part of the Mount Sinai Health System. The focus will be ovarian and endometrial cancers, postpartum depression, pregnancy-related deaths and severe maternal complications. The gift was made through the Blavatnik Family Foundation.

$4.3 million: Rae and Dan Emmett through their foundation to expand research into environmental governance and policy at UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Institute. Dan Emmett runs a real estate investment trust based in Santa Monica, California.

$1 million: Bob Barker, retired from hosting “The Price is Right,” to the animal-studies program at his alma mater, Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. The gift establishes a fund for scholarships and internships named after Barker’s late wife, Dorothy Jo.

$200,000: Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman of MSD Capital and Suzanne Deal Booth, an art adviser and founder of Friends of Heritage Preservation, to support an artist. The Fuhrmans’ contribution doubles the award of the prize established by Deal Booth, with an independent advisory committee selecting the recipient. Funds will be unrestricted, with costs covered for a scholarly publication and exhibitions at the Contemporary Austin in Texas and FLAG Art Foundation in New York. The prize will be awarded biennially starting in 2020.

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