Press "Enter" to skip to content

Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies (1986–projected: 2016)

Total assets (as of 2001 spend-down decision): $4,646,406 [1]

Total assets (as of 2012):  $10,011,566 [2]

Total giving in 2012:  $4,271,997

Prominent grants: Best known for grants supporting Jewish organizations, including the Birthright Israel Foundation, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, and other organizations and causes promoting Judaism.  Canadian grants have included the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Historica Canada, and the National Gallery of Canada.

Summary: Charles and Andrea Bronfman founded a variety of charitable organizations dedicated to promoting both Canadianism and unity for the Jewish people.  The couple co-founded the Birthright Israel Foundation, and Charles was also well-known as Chairman of such organizations as Koor Industries Ltd. (one of Israel’s largest industrial holding companies), Co-Chairman of the Seagram Company, Chairman and owner of the Montreal Expos baseball team, and the Chairman of United Jewish Communities. [3]

The founders made the commitment to spend down in 2001, choosing the year 2016 as the projected year that the organization would sunset.  Though Andrea passed away in 2006, Charles Bronfman has continued to lead the foundation and has also made a commitment to The Giving Pledge, promising to dedicate the majority of his wealth to philanthropic causes during his lifetime.

Atlantic Philanthropies (1982–projected: 2016)

Total assets (as of 2012): $2,219,468,000

Total giving as of 2012: $6.3 billion [1]

Total giving in 2012: $521,711,000 [2]

Annual giving:[3]

  • 2012: $576.9 million
  • 2011: $198 million
  • 2010: $285.1 million
  • 2009: $375 million

Prominent grants: Founder Charles Feeney’s personal grantmaking, conducted through Atlantic’s Founding Chairman’s Programme, has channelled grants toward causes in biomedical research, health care, and higher education. His grants in the United States have been most heavily concentrated at Cornell and Stanford Universities and the University of California at San Francisco. Trinity College Dublin and the University of Limerick in Ireland, Queensland University in Australia, and Queen’s University–Belfast have been major grant recipients.

Other Foundation programs have made significant efforts to reinforce human rights under the South African constitution, to expand advanced research at Irish universities, to reform primary health care in Viet Nam, to eliminate the death penalty in the United States, and to promote and protect the rights of older adults and immigrants internationally.

Summary: The Atlantic Philanthropies has dedicated its grantmaking to helping vulnerable populations, addressing areas such as ageing, children and youth, health, and human rights, and other areas of social inequity.  The organization was founded by Charles F. Feeney in 1982.  After accumulating wealth through the duty-free business, Feeney opted to transfer his business interests to his foundation.[4]  Like a number of other foundation leaders, Feeney has signed the Giving Pledge, committing to donating most of his wealth to philanthropy during his life or after death. In his case, however, the pledge was largely symbolic, given that his 1982 donation to the Atlantic Philanthropies transferred nearly all his personal wealth to the foundation.

The Atlantic Philanthropies are made up of several trusts and smaller philanthropies across Bermuda, Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States.[5]  The Atlantic Philanthropies have committed to completing their grantmaking by 2016, after which they will completely shut down by 2020.  At this stage they are poised to be the largest foundation in history to opt to spend down its endowment.[6]