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DJB (Daniel J. Bernstein) Foundation (1948–2008)

Total Assets in 1970: $5,000,000

Prominent Grants: SourceWatch, the Center for Media and Democracy, anti-apartheid efforts in South Africa and anti-colonialist efforts in Mozambique and Rhodesia.

Summary: The DJB Foundation, a progressive social change philanthropy, was founded in 1948 by Daniel J. Bernstein (1918-1970). With his death in 1970 almost $5,000,000 came to the foundation. Its most active period began in 1971 when the Board of Directors decided that all assets would be given away within ten years. The grants concentrated on groups and programs that the Foundation regarded as generally ignored by conventional philanthropy because they were “controversial” — Clergy & Laity Opposed to the War in Vietnam, the poor, GIs, deserters and draft resisters, ethnic groups, African liberation groups, convicts and ex-convicts.

With its funds virtually exhausted by 1975, the board members of the DJB Foundation more than achieved its ten-year goal of depleting its resources in only four years. The Foundation existed on a much smaller scale until 2008, when it officially closed.