Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $205 million to 1,100 nonprofits last year, an increase of tens of millions of dollars from previous years, according to a new ranking.
The billionaire ranked No. 7 on The Chronicle of Philanthropy's 2007 list of the country's Top 50 donors. He was No. 10 in 2006, when he gave away $165 million to more than 1,000 charities.
In 2005, Bloomberg ranked No. 8 and gave away $144 million. In 2004, he placed No. 10 after donating $138 million, according to The Chronicle, a Washington, D.C.-based publication that reports on giving and nonprofits.
Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said Monday the mayor's increased donations last year "speak to just how seriously he takes the challenge of trying to make the world a better place."
Bloomberg, who founded the Bloomberg LP financial data and news service, declined to name any of the charities to which he gave money last year, The Chronicle said. But most of the charities to which he gave in previous years focus on the arts, education, health care and social services, the newspaper said.
Last year, Forbes magazine's annual list of the richest Americans ranked Bloomberg No. 25, estimating his wealth at $11.5 billion, up from 40th place in 2006 with a net worth believed to be $5.5 billion. The magazine said the significant jump in Bloomberg's worth was based on its estimate of the value of his company, of which he retains 68 percent ownership.
Other New Yorkers on the 2007 philanthropy list included Sanford I. and Joan H. Weill (No. 6), John W. Kluge (No. 5) and George Soros (No. 4). Hotelier William B. Hilton, of Beverly Hills, Calif., ranked No. 1, committing $1.2 billion, The Chronicle said.
The two-term mayor, who has been mentioned as a potential third-party presidential candidate, in part because of his ability to self-finance a campaign, insists he plans to focus full time on philanthropy once he leaves City Hall at the end of 2009.
He established the Bloomberg Family Foundation and has asked the city's Conflicts of Interest Board to advise him on whether he can diversify his investments and those of the foundation without violating his mayoral responsibilities, The Chronicle said. Last month, the board ruled he could diversify his investments as long as the identities of money managers and the investments were kept secret from him.