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Stern Fund (1961–1986)

Prominent Grants: Prominent recipients included groups that questioned economic arrangements under the status quo, including Ralph Nader’s Project on Corporate Responsibility, the National Organization of Women (NOW), and to support the Clamshell Movement’s anti-nuclear activities.

Summary: Edith Stern (daughter of Sears, Roebuck & Company Chairman Julius Rosenwald) established the Stern Fund after the dissolution of the first family fund, the Rosenwald Fund.  Following her father’s example, Edith Stern’s fund was established to expire after 50 years. The fund trustees made a number of strategic decisions that reinforced Rosenwald’s commitment to bold social action, utilizing innovative grant-making tactics to accomplish those goals. The Stern Fund supported projects focused on government accountability, corporate responsibility, grassroots organizing, and redistribution of wealth. The Fund is most remembered for its grantmaking to many organizations on the forefront of the civil rights integration movement.