Connie Snyder, Ballmer’s wife, had been actively involved in philanthropic work aimed at helping foster and underprivileged children in the state of Washington. In 2015, Ballmer decided to join his wife in philanthropy, and the two co-founded the Ballmer Group. At the beginning of his philanthropic work, Ballmer became obsessed with understanding how much the government was actually helping disadvantaged children. However, he found it challenging to locate accurate data and statistics, which motivated him to establish USAFacts.
USAFacts is a not-for-profit organisation and website that provides data and reports on the United States population, its government’s finances, and its impact on society. Ballmer was interested in having a unified view of government activities and expenditures. Specifically, he wanted to know where the money comes from, where it goes, and the impacts of wealth transfer.
Therefore, the sole purpose of the Ballmer Group was to help children, especially those born at the bottom of the economic ladder, to move up economically. The group funds leaders and organisations that have demonstrated the ability to reshape opportunity and reduce systemic inequities.
The group also provides grants that target direct services to strengthen communities in the short term, as well as initiatives that have the potential to transform systems in the long term. The organisation recognises that systemic racism creates obstacles for people of colour to advance economically and strives to address barriers to racial equity in all of its endeavours.
Together with the USAFacts, the Ballmer Group is finding ways to stimulate the right behaviours and spending by the government. In particular, Ballmer has been very active in popular US news talk shows in his endeavour to influence the government to spend resources correctly, as he believes it can make a significant difference.
Although he admits that topping Microsoft’s accomplishment of changing the way people work forever is tough. And with regards to ever selling his shares at Microsoft, Ballmer describes himself as a ‘loyal guy’ who still drives a Ford because his father worked at Ford.