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Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust (1968–2009)

Total Assets (endowment): $72,482,155[1]

Total Giving: $334,245,969

Prominent Grants: Chesapeake Bay Foundation, EarthJustice Legal Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council.

Summary: Mary Flagler Cary was heir to part of the Standard Oil fortune and became a notable philanthropist, mainly through the charitable trust established at her death. The Trust was intended to sunset after 50 years. In 2009, after 41 years and 9 months, the Trust officially closed.

The Trust’s strategy for dispensing its assets was to guard principal, make annual grants primarily from income, and give the assets to a set of long-term grantees as endowments at termination. Over half of that principal was being guarded for transfer as endowment to the Institute for Ecosystem Studies. This decision reflected trustees’ assessment of the best route for achieving sustainability for the Trust’s purposes.

The Foundation emphasized environmental, campaign reform, gun control issues, education, and cultural programs.