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Time Limited Foundations


As part of its project on spend-down, the Center is assembling a list of foundations that have spent down or who are known to be actively spending down. If you know of any foundations that should be but are not included in the list below, please contact Mary Grimm at

Time Limited Foundations Graph: shows the lifespans of all spend-down foundations known as of October 2012, arranged in order of end-date.

Sort by founding dateSort by spend-down date.

Sorted Alphabetically:

Aaron Diamond Foundation (1955–1996)

The Aaron Diamond Foundation, which finished spending out its funds in 1996, was founded by Aaron and Irene Diamond in 1955.  Aaron had accumulated substantial wealth from real estate investments in New York City, while Irene, who took over stewardship of the foundation upon her husband’s death in 1984, had been involved in the motion picture industry before dedicating herself to philanthropy.  Together, the two began a foundation that they dedicated to providing financial support for minority education, biomedical research, and cultural institutions, primarily in New York City.

The Aaron Diamond Foundation had financial assets of $150 million when it began the process of identifying charitable organizations in which to invest in 1986.  These investments included providing money to local colleges, contributing to cultural institutions like libraries, museums, and art galleries, and supporting medical research at institutions like the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the Public Health Research Institute of New York City.[1]  The Diamond Foundation may be best known for its early focus on joining the fight against the AIDS epidemic, as it was regarded as the largest private supporter of AIDS research in the United States.[2]  As part of this effort, Irene Diamond directed funds to establish the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, which still operates today in contributing AIDS research.[3]

Additional Resources:

Albert A. List Foundation (1952–2004)

The Albert A. List Foundation was founded by Albert and his wife Vera List.  Albert acquired his wealth through a family grocery business that quickly grew to be a business empire.  Much of the giving through the foundation focused on arts and education.  Institutions that benefited included the Metropolitan Opera, the Mount Sinai Hospital, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Jewish Museum, and the New School in New York.  The foundation also gave money for the construction of the Lincoln Center in addition to much of the art that was installed there.  Albert List passed away in 1987, and the foundation completed its spend-down and closed its doors in 2004.[1]

American Fund for Public Service (1922–1941)

The American Fund for Public Service was founded thanks to Charles Garland’s decision to channel his inheritance from his Wall Street Broker father toward helping the public good rather than maintain it for himself.  Rather than retain his million-dollar inheritance, Garland dedicated nearly $1 million toward leftist causes, with the support of leaders like A. Phillip Randolph and Upton Sinclair.  Between 1922 and 1941, much of the Fund’s grantmaking included giving to such causes as labor unions, radical publications, bail and legal defense funds; and civil liberties, penal reform, and minority rights groups.[1]  The board members liquidated the fund in 1941, at which point the organization had dedicated substantial resources toward worker education and the fight for civil rights.

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]

AVI CHAI Foundation (1984–projected: 2020)

Total Assets in 2012:  $570,152,807 [1]

Total giving in 2012: $35,535,000

Total Assets in 2005 (when spend-down was announced): $649,096,797 [2]

Prominent grants:  Funding activity has included directing funds toward Jewish day- school education and summer camps in the United States, Jewish education projects in Israel and the Former Soviet Union, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America for teacher training, and the Jewish Community Day School Network to promote Jewish education.

Summary: AVI CHAI was established in 1984 by financier Zalman Chaim Bernstein, with the mission of strengthening Judaism, Jewish literacy, and Jewish tradition, promoting mutual understanding among Jews of differing religious orientations, and sustaining, enlarging, and enriching Jewish commitment to the State of Israel. avi chai makes grants in three regions: North America, Israel, and the former Soviet Union (FSU). [3]

Bernstein made his fortune as CEO of the investment management firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, which he established in 1967. Bernstein passed away in 1999, but the organization continued to grow. Its board — following a wish informally expressed by Bernstein — committed to a plan to spend down by 2020, which it announced in 2005.

[1] “AVI CHAI Foundation,”
[3] Joel L. Fleishman, “Sunset Approaching More Rapidly Than It Seems,” Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, Nov. 2013, p. i.

Beldon Fund (1982–2009)

Total Giving 1982-2009:  $120 million

Average Annual Giving during 10-year spend-down:[1]  $14 million

Total Assets when spend-down was initiated:[2]  $100 million

Prominent Grants:  Thanks to its public policy-oriented grantmaking, the Beldon Fund’s most prominent highlights included giving to state-based campaigns and organizations addressing toxic chemicals in consumer products, as well as strengthen environmental advocacy arms to influence state victories such as the ratification of the Great Lakes Compact in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan; legislation promoting clean drinking water, landfill regulation, power plant regulation, and the establishment of a global warming commission in North Carolina.

Summary: The Beldon Fund was created by environmental philanthropist John Hunting in 1982, with the intention of funding advocacy and public policy issues concerning the environment.  Hunting sold the stock for his father’s sale of his Steelcase company, acquiring $100 million to channel toward the Beldon Fund.  At this stage in 1997, he committed to spending down the foundation’s assets in 10 years.

The Beldon Fund focused on promoting a healthy environment and policies that supported environmental protection through 2 main programs:  The Human Health and the Environment program worked toward reforming policies regulating toxic chemicals in consumer products, while the Key States Program sought to increase the capacity and impact of environmental advocacy efforts in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.  Ultimately the organization focused its approach in order to optimize its impact during the 10-year spend down, including promoting advocacy, civic engagement, and bringing new voices into the environmental movement.  The organization had a range of policy-related victories that it could claim when it closed its doors in 2009.

Bemis Taylor Foundation (1927–1974)

Summary: The Bemis Taylor Foundation was founded under the leadership of Alice Bemis Taylor.  Taylor came from a family with an extensive philanthropic history:  Her father, Judson Moss Bemis, who founded the packaging manufacturer Bemis Company in 1858, gave $25 million to philanthropic causes before his death in 1921.[1]  Alice Bemis Taylor established the Bemis Taylor Foundation in 1927 in order to manage her grants.

Alice Bemis Taylor focused her philanthropy on arts, culture and education, with major grants going toward the Colorado Springs Day Nursery, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and endowments at Colorado College.  She contributed $400,000 for a new library at the college, and was the biggest single contributor to the Colorado Springs Community Chest for many years.  She became the first female trustee at Colorado College, and her endowments there continue to provide almost $1 million per year.[2]

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (1994–projected: twenty years after the death of the survivor of Bill and Melinda)


Brainerd Foundation (1995–projected: 2020)

Total Assets (2012):[1]  $26,187,673

Total giving (2012):  $2,581,024

Total assets in 2008 (when spend-down commenced):[2]  $30,216,336

Prominent Grants:[3] The Brainerd Foundation has invested in over 300 organizations in order to meet its goals of promoting conservation capacity and policy in the Northwestern United States.  Among those organizations are Earthjustice, the Oregon Bus Project Foundation, the Montana Wilderness Association, Trout Unlimited, and the Washington Environmental Council.

Summary: The Brainerd Foundation is a small family foundation established by Paul Brainerd in 1995, with a focus on promoting conservation in the Northwest.  Brainerd made his fortune as a pioneer in desktop publishing, having founded Aldus, the company that produced PageMaker. In establishing his foundation, Brainerd aimed to both promote a healthier environment and build broader support among citizens to work toward greater environmental protection.  In 2008, Brainerd announced his intention to spend down the foundation’s funds by 2020.[4]

The Brainerd Foundation focuses its grantmaking on promoting advocacy, policy implementation, and capacity building to encourage environmental protection.  The Foundation has five major program areas:  Conservation Capacity, Conservation Policy, the Grassroots Fund, the Opportunity Fund, and Place-Based Conservation.  Funding to promote policy, advocacy, and capacity-building is focused on grantee organizations across the U.S. Northwest, including Alaska, Oregon, Montana, and Washington, among others.

Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation (1930–1962)

Summary: The Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation was founded and named in honor of Carl Schurz, who served as ambassador, Senator, and Secretary of the Interior during the 19th Century.  This foundation, which formed shortly before the beginning of the Second World War, when tensions with Germany were high, dedicated itself to promoting German language and culture, as well as positive relations between Germany and the United States.  The founders were a group of professors and teachers of German, who were invested in maintaining the teaching of the German language.[1]

Some of the foundation’s main grants went toward funding a book exchange in which American libraries would receive German books, providing travel funding for doctors, social workers, and other professionals to travel to Germany, and funding to support refugees from the Nazi regime.[2]

The Foundation shifted its focus in 1962, when it changed over from an independent philanthropic foundation to a general membership association, changing its name to the National Carl Schurz Association, Inc.

Center for the Public Domain (1999–2005)

Summary: The Center for the Public Domain, originally known as the Red Hat Center for Open Source, was founded as a short-term philanthropy venture by entrepreneurs Marc Ewing and Bob Young.  After their company, Red Hat, Inc., a pioneer in open-source software, went public and proved very lucrative, the founders turned their interest toward establishing a philanthropic organization to “sponsor, support, promote, and engage in a wide range of scientific and educational projects intended to advance the social principles of open source for the greater good of the general public.”[1]

Though they initially counted on having Red Hat, Inc. provide a large portion of the funding for this venture, Investors prevented this, making the Center much smaller than originally intended. This had the effect of narrowing the original scope of their investments to focus just on intellectual property issues.[2]  The Red Hat Center was closed by 2001 and replaced by the newly-incorporated Center for the Public Domain, “a nonprofit foundation that supports the growth of a healthy and robust public domain by establishing programs, grants, and partnerships in the areas of academic research, medicine, law, education, media, technology, and the arts.”[3] Ultimately, the Center worked to provide free online legal resources, sponsor public domain spaces, and provide resources on intellectual property.  Grant recipients included the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Creative Commons, the Free Software Foundation, and the Future of Music Coalition.[4]

[1] “Red Hat, Inc., Establishes Red Hat Center for Open Source,” company press release, Red Hat, Inc., November 1999, p. 1, accessed 11 June 2014 at

[3] Archived copy of the CPD web site’s home page, accessed on 11 June 2014 at

Century Fund (1985–projected: 2021)

Total Assets as of 2004: $27,532,300

as of 2012: $20,876,081

Total Giving (2012):  $832,946

Prominent grants:  Allentown Symphony Association, Lehigh County Historical Society, Allentown Art Museum, Muhlenberg College, Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Mosser Village Family Center[1]

Summary: The Century Fund Trust was an independent foundation established to fund local organizations and causes in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Its headquarters are in Allentown. The grantmaking by the foundation has spanned a range of domains, with a focus on promoting arts and culture, education, conservation, human services, and community development in Lehigh Valley.

[1] “The Century Fund Trust,” The Foundation Directory Online

Chaloner Prize Foundation (1890–1974)

Summary:[1] John Armstrong Chaloner, an attorney, founded the Chaloner Prize Foundation in order to promote opportunities for artists to study abroad in Paris.  The fund, originally called the “Paris Prize Fund,” relied on contributions from various art patrons, but had made only two grants by 1917. In that year, it was reorganized as a fully incorporated grant-administering foundation formally named the John Armstrong Chaloner Paris Prize Foundation but commonly known as the Chaloner Prize Foundation. The first grant awarded after the reorganization was for $4,800 to fund a five-year residency in Paris for a single artist.  In subsequent years, grantees selected every other year would receive $6,000.  The foundation’s final grant was awarded to the American Academy in Room for a fellowship in sculpture.  When the foundation dissolved in 1974, it passed all of its assets and records to the American Academy in Rome.


ClearWay Minnesota (1998–projected: 2023)

Total Assets (at creation): $183,000,000 [1]

As of 2013:  $89,331,817 [2]

Total Giving in 2013: $3,848,173 [3]

Prominent Grants: Tobacco-related research, programs, and initiatives in Minnesota. 2014 recipient organizations include the University of Minnesota, Center for Energy and Environment, and the Public Health Law Center.

Summary: ClearWay Minnesota was created in 1998 to oversee 3 percent of a $6.1 billion tobacco settlement fund received by the state of Minnesota. It is an independent nonprofit organization with a limited lifetime of 25 years.

ClearWay funds initiatives around smoking cessation, tobacco control among priority populations (including African Americans, American Indian nations, Asian Americans and Pacific Islander-Americans, Chicano Latinos, the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community, eighteen- to twenty-four-year olds, and labor union members), and community-based efforts to pass smoke-free policies. It also funds scientific research on tobacco use prevalence, quitting beliefs and behaviors, secondhand smoke exposure, and the impact of public policies on tobacco use.

The organization accepts grant proposals only periodically through a requests-for-application (RFA) process, when posted on the organization's web site; unsolicited requests for funding are not otherwise considered or acknowledged.

Columbia Foundation (1940–projected: 2013)

Total Assets (approx. as of 2012 spend-down decision): $83,965,658  [1]

Total Giving: $85,000,000

Total Giving (FY2013): $4,469,315  [2]

Prominent Grants: Focus areas included arts, human rights, sustainable food and farming. Notable grants were also awarded to several Jewish organizations.

Summary: Columbia Foundation was started in 1940 by Madeleine Haas Russell and William Haas with a mission to further public welfare. The Foundation originally distributed grants to support the continuing college education of Japanese-American youth from the internment camps and to provide birth-control education and supplies to migrant women. It also provided a start-up grant to establish the San Francisco Foundation. Since then, the foundation's broad philanthropic purpose has given it the flexibility to respond to changing social conditions. Long-standing interests in world peace, human rights, the environment, cross-cultural and international understanding, the quality of urban life, and the arts have evolved to reflect current conditions and opportunities.

In 2013, Madeleine Haas Russell’s children decided the best way for the family to continue its philanthropic tradition was to shut down the Columbia Foundation and divide the remaining funds between three family foundations: Cockayne, Gaia Fund, and Yerba Buena Fund.

Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation (1980–2010)

Total Assets (as of 2004 spend-down announcement): $93,223,050 [1]

As of 2013:  $40,080,407

Total Giving in 2013: $5,719,490

Prominent Grants: The Foundation gives through two different avenues. The Bonner Scholars Program gives funds to universities for community-service scholarships, and the Crisis Ministry Program gives to churches and other community-based organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, to support their anti-hunger and anti-poverty work. Most of their giving is focused on New Jersey.

Reports: Aspen Institute, Time is of the Essence: Foundations and the Policies of Limited Life and Endowment Spend-Down (2009)

Summary: Through sustained partnerships with colleges and congregations, the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation seeks to improve the lives of individuals and communities by helping meet the basic needs of nutrition and educational opportunity.

Since its founding in 1989, the Bonner Foundation has awarded more than $86 million in annual grants and another $85 million in Bonner Program Endowment awards to 20 participating colleges and universities (which have a current market value of more than $162 million).  The Foundation has led a number of Federally-funded higher education consortium grants, including four Learn & Serve America grants (three for community-based research and one for social media), three grants through FIPSE, the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (including one to establish civic engagement certificates, concentrations or minors), and more than ten years of national and State AmeriCorps grants.

The Foundation supports anti-poverty programs in the area of hunger and education.  The Crisis Ministry Program concentrates its efforts in central New Jersey with support for 25 community-based and educational institutions combating poverty, especially in the area of hunger. Beginning at Berea College in the fall of 1990, the Foundation began supporting a four-year, service-based college scholarship program.  The Bonner Scholar and Bonner Leader Programs have expanded to more than 75 colleges and universities across the country, providing "access to education, and an opportunity to serve" to more than 3,200 students annually.

Shortly before her death, Corella Bonner initiated plans to sunset the Foundation. The Foundation was initially projected to spend down by 2010, but as of 2013 the organization still had over $40,000,000 in assets.

Danforth Foundation (1927–2011)

Total Assets (as of 2011 spend-down announcement): $60,000,000

As of 2009: $120,452,076  [1]

Total Giving: $1,000,000,000 [2]

Total Giving in 2009: $39,574,528  [3]

Prominent Grants: Concentrated on the St. Louis region, primarily for projects involving religion and higher education. Prominent recipients include Washington University, the Danforth Plant Science Center, and more than $20 million for revitalization projects in downtown St. Louis.

Reports: St. Louis Beacon, “Danforth Foundation has ended its giving but not its influence” (June 2011)

Summary: Established in 1927 in St. Louis by Ralston Purina founder William Danforth and his wife. Until 1996, the Foundation focused on gifts to promote higher education nationwide. The Danforth Fellows Program supported graduate study in religion for scholars in other fields, and the Danforth Associates Program aimed to foster better instruction on college campuses by improving relations between teachers and students. After William Danforth’s death in 1955, the Foundation began to give grants to institutions as well as individuals, most prominently Washington University and St. Louis University.

In 1997, the Foundation shifted its mission to focus exclusively on the St. Louis region. This included major gifts to Forest Park Forever, to support work in park restoration, Downtown Now!, to support inner-city revitalization projects, and to the Danforth Plant Science Center. The Science Center was established with a mission to make St. Louis the epicenter of life sciences research, tying together work done by Washington University, Monsanto, and other organizations. These three areas made up the focus of the Foundation’s giving during its final years. In 2011, it announced that its final $60 million would be gifted to the Danforth Plant Science Center, and the Foundation would sunset.

Davison Fund (1930–1942)

Prominent Grants: Davison Fund was created to handle John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s annual, small-scale grants to his local New York City area.

Summary: The Davison Fund was established by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1930 to systematize his personal giving. It was created to handle what Mr. Rockefeller called his ‘citizenship giving’— annual, small-scale grants to social service and other charities in the communities where he lived[1]. In general, the program developed from two motivations: an interest in the social, cultural, educational, and health needs of New York City and its environs, and the recognition of the importance of "certain problems which cut across national and international boundaries and which invite the cooperation and support of thoughtful men everywhere."

By the end of 1940, the Rockefeller brothers decided to set up a fund of their own — the Rockefeller Brothers Fund — and the Davison Fund was closed soon after.

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund (U.K.) (1997–projected: 2013)

Total Assets: £138,645,000 [1]

As of 2007 spend-down decision (approx.): £80,000,000

Total Giving: £111,978,000

Total Giving in 2007-2012 spend-down (approx.): £50,000,000

Prominent Grants: £650,000 to Action on Armed Violence, which works to ban cluster bombs. £10,000,000 to support palliative care work for people with HIV/AIDS in seven African countries. £1,500,000 to the Prison Reform Trust to run Out of Trouble, a five-year campaign to reduce the number of children and young people in custody.

Summary: The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund was created days after the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, on August 31, 1997, in response to the public donations that poured into Kensington Palace. In total £112,000,000 were donated. The mission of the Fund was to create a lasting legacy to the Princess’ humanitarian work. By the time the Fund closed, it had awarded 727 grants to 471 organizations. On December 31, 2012, the Fund closed as a staffed, operational organization, having successfully completed its ambitious, time-limited program of work aimed at improving the lives of the most disadvantaged people in the UK and around the world.

For its first ten years, the Fund was largely a criteria-led grant-maker. Grant programs were devised and developed on an annual basis and were open to any eligible organization that wished to apply. During this period, the Fund spent over £60 million on helping improve the lives of displaced people, people at the margins of society, survivors of conflict and those who were dying or bereaved.

For the 2007-2012 spend-down period, the Fund shifted to focus on three initiatives:  £10,000,000 on a Palliative Care Initiative to promote the scale-up of palliative care in Africa, £10,000,000 to raise awareness of the needs and issues of young asylum seekers under the Refugee and Asylum Seekers Initiative, and under the Partnership Initiative the Fund is committed to spending £5,000,000 to build on previous investments. The desired outcome is that systemic change takes place in the UK in penal affairs, mental health and other areas, towards better outcomes for young people, and internationally in the area of landmines and explosive remnants of w

In March 2013 The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry took over the legal ownership of the Fund in order to safeguard both the Fund’s name and ensure any future income donated to the Fund is used for charitable work.

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.

Donald W. Reynolds Foundation (1954–projected: 2022)

Total Assets (as of 2013): $175,552,668

As of 2014 spend-down decision: $160,000,000 [1]

Total Giving (up to 2014): $1,800,000,000

Total Giving (2013): $58,939,931

Prominent Grants:$87,000,000 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, $28,800,000 to the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. The Foundation primarily focuses on Arkansas, Nevada, and Oklahoma, and has given more than $454,300,000 to nonprofits in the three states.

Summary: Founded in 1954 by the late Donald Worthington Reynolds, a media entrepreneur who founded the Donrey Media Group (now Stephens Media LLC), a Nevada-based media company that owns multiple newspapers and broadcast outlets in smaller markets across the United States.

The Foundation focuses its giving primarily on Arkansas, Nevada, and Oklahoma for capital and planning grants. It also gives nationally for cardiovascular clinic research and the training of physicians in geriatrics, as well as business journalism.

In accordance with its articles of incorporation, the Foundation was designed to terminate rather than continue in perpetuity. The Board of Trustees has determined that the Foundation will cease to make grants on or before 2022. The latest projection (as of 2014) is that the Foundation will close its doors in 2017.

Eckerd Family Foundation (1987–projected: 2014)

Total Assets: $100,000,000 endowment

As of 2009: $20,000,000 [1]

Total Giving (2009): $6,000,000

Total Giving (2008):  $6,400,000

Prominent Grants:Giving is focused on the Florida region, including $365,000 to found the nonprofit “Connected by 25,” which helps youth aging out of foster care, between the ages of 18 and 25, and $100,000 to the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation.

Summary: The Eckerd Family Foundation was started by Jack Eckerd, founder of the Eckerd’s Drugs store chain, with a $100,000,000 endowment. The mission of the foundation was to help troubled youth and foster children, particularly in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.

The Eckerd Family Foundation was designed from Day 1 to go out of business by spending all its money in a set period of time.

"In our case, we tried to identify three or four areas that we are really interested in, focus on those areas and see if we can make an impact within that period of time," says Joe Clark, 62, foundation president and a son-in-law of founder Jack Eckerd.


Eleos Foundation (2007–projected: 2020)

Total Assets: $6,000,000 endowment

As of 2010: $6,834,293

Total Giving (2012): $19,000

Prominent Grants:Sanergy, a startup that’s bringing clean toilets to slums in Kenya through a franchise model; Eneza, a business designed to provide quality mobile-phone-based education to students in the world’s most remote areas.

Summary: The Eleos Foundation strives to improve millions of lives by investing in pioneering business solutions to poverty. It was originally founded to make small grants in emerging markets, particularly around issues affecting women and children[1]. To increase impact, the Foundation’s board made the decision to shift to a social-impact investing foundation from a traditional grant-making organization. In part, this involved a commitment to spend down the Foundation’s funds into social impact investments within 10 years. The Foundation does continue to give some grants, but its primary focus is now on social impact investments. The hope is that the Eleos Foundation will become a self-sustaining entity not through maintaining its corpus but through earning a return on its investments.

The Foundation functions under the theory that early-stage social businesses are challenged by the lack of financial and technological support needed to achieve success. The Foundation seeks to bridge this ‘pioneer gap’ by providing entrepreneurs with the capital and advisory support needed to take their business from a pilot to a proven model, ready to scale.

It works with companies in East Africa, Liberia, India, Central America, and the Northern Andean Corridor.

Endswell Foundation (1992–2009)

Total Assets: $17 million endowment[1]

Total Giving: $20 million[2]

Total Giving (2003-2009): $8.7 million[3]

Prominent Grants: Provided over 700 grants in the environmental and social justice sectors in B.C.; launched Canada’s first social venture fund - Renewal2 Investment Fund; and the incubation of Tides Canada and Tides Canada Initiatives[4].

Summary: Through the 1990s the Endswell Foundation was the largest charitable foundation funding environmental issues in the British Columbia province. Carol Newell founded Endswell with the intention to spend down within a 10-year period- choosing to maximize its immediate impact over its longevity as a private institution. Positive financial markets extended that lifespan to almost 20 years, but the Foundation officially spent down in 2009.

This spend-down strategy is highlighted by the largest annual grant dedicated to building Tides Canada. The Social Justice Fund at Tides Canada supports “innovative initiatives that promote more broadly shared economic opportunity, robust and inclusive democratic process, respect for human rights, and cultural diversity.” Tides Canada will be a lasting legacy: a robust Public Foundation that will serve the philanthropic needs of hundreds of Canadians. Tides Canada will carry Endswell’s work into the future, granting over $80 million to charities since 2000.

Endswell provided 12 years of support to the Hollyhock Leadership Institute (HLI). HLI was formed to build networks, skills, leadership, and capacity within the social change sectors.  HLI offers high level strategic consulting, facilitation, and unique customized programming to enhance careers within civil society.

Endswell played a crucial role in the transformation of the Hollyhock Centre on Cortes Island from a for-profit business into a charitable organization.  Hollyhock exists to inspire, nourish and support those working to make the world better.  Offering life skills that serve as the foundation for advancing important societal advances, Hollyhock is now positioned to carry forward long into the future.

Field Foundation of New York (1940–1989)

Total Assets (1977): $16 million[1]

Prominent Grants: $30,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund


The Field Foundation was established by Marshall Field III in 1940 while he was living in New York City. Moved by the despair created during the Great Depression, he was inspired to help those struggling with poverty and endorsed a wide range of New Deal policies, activists and progressive thinkers. In the 1940s, Field III also founded the Chicago Sun, which later merged with the Chicago Times to become the Chicago Sun-Times.

Assembling an impressive board of advisors that included some of the country's leading social scientists, scholars, business leaders and judges, Field III wanted the foundation to create "a few ideas and social techniques [that may] germinate and eventually prove to be of enough value to be adopted by the community." A passionate integrationist, he had a deep interest in matters of race and juvenile behavior.

Four years after Field III's death, in 1960 the foundation was divided into two separate entities: the Field Foundation of New York, which was led by Field III's widow, Ruth, and the Field Foundation of Illinois, led by Field's son, Marshall Field IV. By 1989, as Ruth Field had directed, the Field Foundation of New York fully spent its assets and closed.

The Field Foundation of New York "provided support to organizations promoting civil rights, civil liberties, and child welfare and to other groups and individuals working for social change.”

Fleischmann Foundation (1951–1980)

Total Assets (at creation): $50,000,000[1]

Total Assets (as of 1971): $100,000,000

Total Giving: $192,037,457[2]

Total Giving (1970):  $4,400,000

Prominent Grants:$1,000,000 to the Nevada Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources for acquisition of land in the state, and more than $19,000,00 to the University of Nevada.

Summary: The purpose of the trust was to distribute funds for specific projects of religious, educational, charitable and scientific nonprofit organizations in the United States. It was designated from the Foundation’s start that all funds were to be distributed within twenty years from the date of the death of the Major’s widow, Sarah Hamilton Fleischmann, who died July 4, 1960. By July 4, 1980 all of the Foundation’s assets had been liquidated and the proceeds distributed in “termination grants.”

During the existence of the Foundation the Trustees made 1,962 grants totaling $192,037,457 to 790 grantees. The University of Nevada System received the largest amount in 45 grants totaling $19,375,037. These grants assisted such projects as the construction of the Planetarium, Home Economics and Agriculture buildings; establishment of the Desert Research Institute; and purchase of the College Inn. Nevada was also the recipient of many other millions of dollars in grants, ranging from scholarships established for high school seniors, Native Americans, students of Fish and Game and Forestry, and medical and dental students; to hospitals and libraries for all Nevada counties. Organizations such as the YMCA also received funding.

Four Acre Trust (U.K.) (1995–projected: 2015)

Total Assets (2013): £4,470,421

Total Assets (2008): £9,700,000[1]

Total Giving (2013):  £1,486,067[2]

Total Giving (2008): £2,300,000

Prominent Grants: Room to Read (£105,000); Visions for the Future (£77,000); International Childcare Trust (£71,000); Essex Assn Boys Club (£60,000); Tarabai Hospital (£53,000); Sight Savers (£48,000); Fostering Network (£33,000); Centre 63 Church of England Youth (£29,000); Whitehaven Harbour Project (£25,000); Let Us Play schemes (19,000); John Fawcett Foundation (£10,000); and Belfast Activity Centre (£7,500).

Reports: The Power of Now: Spend Out Trusts and Foundations in the UK, Institute for Philanthropy: February 2010

Summary: Four Acre Trust was founded in 1995 by John Bothamley with profits from the building industry. The current programs support schools' extra curricula projects, early intervention work, as well as international eye and water projects. Most grants are between £10,000 and £20,000, and the Trust prefers to support organizations that work to prevent problems occurring, rather than trying to cure them. Giving is primarily limited to Great Britain and Ireland, although approximately one-quarter of funding has supported charities working in the developing world. Most grants have supported revenue expenses, and much funding has been the support of salary costs. Projects have included water, sanitation, eye and educational projects. In 2010, the fund closed to new applicants.

Around ten years into the Trust’s life, Founder Trustee John Bothamley began to become concerned about the amount of Four Acre’s income that was being spent on investment management fees. He calculated that the Trust was spending 20% of the Trust’s income on fees. “It just seemed to me,” says John, “that this was a big chunk of income that wasn’t actually doing any good. Then we realized we could spend four times as much annually if we spent out our entire capital over the next ten years.” At the time the decision to spend out was made, the Four Acre Trust was spending around £750,000 a year[3].

Frank H. and Eva B. Buck Foundation (1990–projected: 2015)

Total Assets (2013): $21,491,385[1]

Total Assets (2008): $49,216,244[2]

Total Giving (2013):  $3,434,780

Total Giving (2008): $13,408,418

Summary: Located in Vacaville, California, the Buck Foundation is focused on education in the six counties where we fund — Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Contra Costa. These counties were the congressional district served by Frank H. Buck in the 72nd through 76th United States Congresses (1932-42). Since its founding in 1990, the Buck Foundation has provided full scholarship support to more than 270 students from its geographic area. These students have attended colleges and universities throughout the United States, as well as international educational institutions. They have studied a broad range of fields, and are now making a positive contribution to society and their communities.

In June 2009, The Frank H. and Eva B. Buck Foundation announced that the Foundation would spend down its endowment and close in December 2015. The Board of Directors chose 2015 as the closing date of the Foundation, since it marks the 25th Anniversary of the Frank H. Buck Scholarship program. The final class of Frank H. Buck Scholars were chosen in the spring of 2010 which will allow them adequate time to complete their undergraduate education while the Foundation is still in existence.

French American Charitable Trust (1992–projected: 2016)

Total Assets[1]: $40 million endowment

Total Giving: $54 million[2]

Prominent Grants: Focused on California, the Southwest and the South. A small grant-making program was also established in France. Prominent grants include $100,000 annually to Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE).

Reports: Giving More, Making Change: A Journey in Progressive Grant Making

Summary: The French American Charitable Trust (FACT) is a small family foundation that, during its 18 years of grant-making, took on the underfunded sector of community-led organizing and advocacy and made a difference in a small period of time. FACT was established in 1990 by Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers, and Danielle Feeney, his then wife, with a $40 million endowment to enable their five children to learn about philanthropy.

One of Feeney’s children, Diane Feeney, took over direction of the foundation. She was soon persuaded that one way to bring change was to help people who were directly affected by environmental toxins, low wages, and lack of opportunity develop the skills to speak up for themselves in an organized way. Once energized and empowered, those people could come together to curb the noxious power plants spewing fumes into their houses, fight for living wages, and persuade legislators to enact policies that would enable them to take sick days without fear of losing their jobs. As active community leaders and voters, they could also hold elected officials accountable. They could apply their skills and their community network to any issue, small or large, and join with other groups to work on a regional, state, and even national level. FACT’s staff developed a theory of how to bring about change that involved “funding strong and effective community-led organizations with a global perspective that prioritize leadership development, organizing and advocacy at the state, regional and national levels with the objective of developing public policies that address their needs.”

From its inception, FACT has strategically targeted its resources by choosing a small group of promising grantees, giving them general operating support over the long term, responding to specific needs with appropriate funding, and engaging other funders to support this work.

FACT leaves behind a group of strong, effective organizations that will continue to thrive. It has also launched RoadMAP, an ongoing version of its carefully crafted capacity building program, so that more groups can benefit from its wealth of expertise, and keep FACT’s mission alive.

Fund for Democratic Communities (1997–projected: 2020)

Total Assets (2012): $7,957,284

Total Assets (2013): $9,263,393[1]

Total Giving (2012): $226,096

Total Giving (2013): $728,924

Prominent Grants:$60,000 to Project South-Institution for general operating support in the elimination of poverty and genocide. $8,610 to Faith in Action, Greensboro, NC, for general operating support. $1,470 to Interactive Resource Center, Greensboro, NC.

Summary: The Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC), a Greensboro, North Carolina-based private foundation, supports community-based initiatives and institutions that foster authentic democracy to make communities better places to live. F4DC makes grants to groups that engage in participatory democracy to further their social change objectives; convenes groups and individuals committed to social and economic justice through deepening democratic practice; conducts research; and produces materials to nurture the growth of authentic democracy. To make the maximum impact, the Fund’s founders made the decision to spend-down within a 10-year window. The Fund will close out in 2020.

General Education Board (1903–1960)

Total Assets: $180 million endowment

Total Giving (1934): $5.5 million

Total Giving: $324.6 million[1]

Prominent Grants: $659,700 for establishing demonstration farms in the South with the purpose of promoting agriculture. $41 million to promote higher education institutions in the United States.

Summary: The General Education Board was a philanthropy which was used primarily to support higher education and medical schools in the United States, to help rural white and black schools in the South, and to modernize farming practices in the South. The board was founded in New York City in February 1902 and chartered by the United States Congress on January 12, 1903, its object being the promotion of education throughout the United States, without distinction as to race, sex or creed. It helped eradicate hookworm and created the county agent system in American agriculture, linking research as state agricultural experiment stations with actual practices in the field.

The Board was created by John D. Rockefeller and Frederick T. Gates. Rockefeller endowed $180 million to the foundation. The foundation’s head, Frederick Gates, envisioned "The Country School of To-Morrow," wherein "young and old will be taught in practicable ways how to make rural life beautiful, intelligent, fruitful, recreative, healthful, and joyous." By 1934 the Board was making grants of $5.5 million a year. It spent nearly all its money by 1950 and closed in 1964, when its programs were subsumed into the Rockefeller Foundation.

In the 1940s the GEB began to struggle with decisions about its future and its legacy.

It began to wind down its program in 1953, committing the last of its principal funds to such groups as the Council of Southern Universities and the Council for Financial Aid to Education, which it had created with the collaboration of three other foundations to encourage the business community to support colleges and universities. The GEB finally closed its doors in 1964, having expended a total of $324.6 million since 1902.

Gill Foundation (1994–projected: twenty years after death of founder)

Total Assets (2012): $ 222,817,729

Total Giving (through 2012): $243 million[1]

Total Giving (2012): $15.5 million[2]

Total Giving (2010): $11.8 million

Prominent Grants:Established the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado. $600,000 to Tides Foundation for state equality work. $150,000 to American Independent News Network for program support for Colorado Independent.

Summary: Gill Foundation is one of the nation’s leading funders of efforts to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.  The Gill Foundation was founded by Tim Gill in 1994, two years after the passage of Amendment 2, a Colorado ballot initiative denying lesbians and gay men equal protection under the law.

Gill Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations that advance equality by doing research, educating people, developing public policy recommendations, and working within the legal system. They also provide grants to nonprofits in Colorado to lower barriers to economic opportunity for all our state’s citizens.  Gill Foundation focuses on securing change to public policies at the state level, and actively pursues collaboration with other philanthropists and funders. The Foundation is expected to close out within twenty years of Tim Gill’s death.

Girls' Best Friend Foundation (1994–2007)

Total Giving: $8.3 million[1]

Total Giving (2007): $1.6 million

Prominent Grants: Giving primarily focused in Illinois. Established Sisters Empowering Sisters (SES), a leadership development program.

Summary: The Girls’ Best Friend Foundation was started to promote and protect the human rights of girls and young women by advancing and sustaining policies and programs that ensure their self-determination, power, and well-being. The Foundation’s mission was to support those who challenge the status quo by offering alternatives to the societal messages that girls and young women receive.

When Cyndie McLachlan founded GBF in 1994, it was with the plan to be a short-term foundation, not a perpetual one. The foundation has chosen to use our relatively modest resources for the greatest impact. They spent down their assets over a three-year period and officially closed out in 2007.

Hagedorn Foundation (2005–projected: 2017)

Total Assets: $58 million endowment[1]

Total Assets (2012): $31,994,459

Total Giving (through 2013): $37 million

Total Giving (2012): $4,460,823

Prominent Grants: Giving is limited to Long Island, NY. Prominent grants include $300,000 to establish the Child Care Council of Suffolk's Parent Leadership Initiative, and $8 million in 2012 to fund Nassau County youth services agencies.

Summary: The Hagedorn Foundation was incorporated in November 2005 as a private family foundation that seeks to support and promote social equity on Long Island. The Foundation was started by Amy Hagedorn with $58 million left by her late husband Horace Hagedorn, founder of Miracle-Gro plant food. Beneficiaries have included more than 70 Nassau and Suffolk groups. The Foundation is based in Port Washington, New York.

The foundation was created to operate for a limited time so that it could maximize the amount it could give each year, said its executive director, Darren Sandow.

The expiration originally was set for 2021, but the recession reduced the endowment's earnings, and officials moved the closing to the end of 2017, Sandow said. By then, the organization will have given out the remaining $27 million, he said.

The grantmaker is a signatory to Philanthropy's Promise, an initiative of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). By signing on, the grantmaker has committed to allocating the majority of its grantmaking dollars to marginalized communities and at least 25 percent to social justice strategies, such as advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement.

Aside from funding established nonprofits, the foundation started several of its own initiatives. They include the nonpartisan Long Island Civic Engagement Table, which seeks to involve voters in local issues through candidate forums, voter registration drives and educational workshops.

Haigh-Scatena Foundation (1967–2007)

Total Assets (2001): $3,095,169[1]

Total Assets (2007): $72,311[2]

Total Giving (2001): $249,850

Total Giving (2007): $1,057,000

Prominent Grants: Youth Law Center, California Juvenile Justice Reentry Partnership.

Summary: The Haigh-Scatena Foundation provided grants in Mendocino County, California to support programs promoting youth leadership, empowerment, and media literacy. Haigh-Scatena’s founders, Isabelle Simi Haigh and Tadini Bacigalupi, Jr., intended the Foundation to sunset. The appropriate time came and the remaining assets were distributed and business affairs concluded by 2009.

During its lifetime, the Foundation was run by Ron Clement, who operated the Foundation from an office in his home, charged with seeking out and supporting advocates and organizers striving to improve their communities and, often, statewide policies affecting kids and families.

Henry Kaufmann Foundation (1928–1999)

Total Assets (1998): $441,114[1]

Total Giving (1998): $284,500

Prominent Grants:Giving primarily to Jewish organizations in New York. Prominent grants included $1 million in 1953 to establish the Henry Kaufman Campgrounds, a large-scale campground that could accommodate several community centers and provide New York City’s Jewish youth the opportunity to experience the great outdoors. The Foundation also gave $550,000 in 1958 for the construction of a Jewish community center in Brooklyn.

Summary: Henry Kaufman was established with wealth from his family’s business- Kaufman’s Department Stores. The Foundation primarily gave grants to Jewish organizations around the New York City area.

HKH (Harold K. Hochschild) Foundation (1980–projected: 2012)

Total Assets (2011): $6,334,099

Total Assets (2002): $28,161,128[1]

Total Giving (2011): $7,205,000

Total Giving (2002): $2,002,811

Prominent Grants:$235,000 in 2002 to the National Resources Defense Council. $685,000 in 2003 to the Tides Foundation & Tides Center.

Summary: The HKH Foundation is named for Harold K. Hochschild, former executive head of the American Metal Company. The Foundation professed allegiance to one overriding philanthropic imperative: “to create new possibilities in pursuit of meaningful and lasting change” in a society where social and racial injustice are widespread. In this effort to create new possibilities, the Foundation sought to “convene, challenge and enable visionaries, advocates and activists across our areas of grant-making.” These areas included environmental protection, safeguarding civil liberties, peace and security, civic engagement, and protecting the commons. Further, HKHF long reserved a portion of its philanthropy for groups and causes in the Adirondack region of upstate New York.

Among HKHF’s notable grantees are, American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for American Progress, the Center for Media and Democracy, the Greenpeace Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Security Archive, and more.

A member of the Peace and Security Funders Group, HKHF concluded its grant-making by the end of 2012. Harriet Barlow, an HKHF board member, stated that money used to build an endowment is, in effect, out of circulation and “is not nearly as effective in sustaining the common good as money that’s in circulation.” Thus, the foundation spent out and closed down by the end of 2012.

International Education Board (1923–1938)

Total Assets (endowment): $28 million[1]

Prominent Grants:$40,000 institutional grant to Niels Bohr and the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Copenhagen in 1923. Its largest appropriation in the United States was given to the California Institute of Technology to construct a telescope at Mount Palomar.

Summary: The International Education Board (IEB) was incorporated in 1923 with funding from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. The IEB was dedicated to the “promotion and/or advancement of education, whether institutional or otherwise, throughout the world.” The foundation was led by Wickliffe Rose, who described the IEB as “a bird of passage; will therefore undertake no permanent functions; will establish and maintain no institutions of its own; will seek rather to encourage development of institutions that may be depended upon to derive their support from the people they serve; will seek to direct its efforts to fields of educational activity that may be regarded as germinal …”[2]

the IEB focused its funding in the areas of agriculture and the natural sciences. IEB support was extended through grants to universities and research institutes, as well as to promising individuals through fellowships. The majority of its grants were dispersed in Europe.

In fifteen years the IEB supported 57 institutions and 603 fellows, including 509 in the natural sciences. In its 1928 reorganization, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) had created a new Division of Natural Sciences and gradually, the RF took over much of the work of the IEB. The IEB was officially closed on December 31, 1938.

International Health Board (1913–1951)

Total Giving (2011): $94 million[1]

Prominent Grants:Focused mainly on strengthening developing country public health infrastructure and combatting hookworm, tuberculosis, yellow fever, and malaria.

Summary: This division of the Rockefeller Foundation was an early public health organization, conducting campaigns against malaria, yellow fever, and hookworm in Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Founded in 1913, it succeeded the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission. In 1927, it was renamed the International Health Division (IHD).

The organization functioned using two strategies: collaboration with local government agencies to address specific diseases, and using these collaborations to set up a permanent public health infrastructure. The basic principles of the IHD were:

  1. Public health work is fundamentally a function of the government.
  2. IHD can be of use by helping government agencies organize and by providing expert advice, financial resources and facilities for the education of health professionals.
  3. IHD aid is temporary and must be withdrawn when governments can control their own public health operations.
  4. All IHD aid must be given with the aim of creating or strengthening government health agencies.

The World Health Organization, formed in 1948, was seen as a successor to the IHD. The IHD was integrated into the larger Rockefeller Foundation in 1951, discontinuing its overseas work. By the time of its dismantling in 1951, the IHD had spent the current-day equivalent of billions of dollars on hookworm, yellow fever, and malaria campaigns, as well as on more delimited efforts against tuberculosis, yaws, influenza, rabies, schistosomiasis, malnutrition, and other health problems in some 93 countries and colonies.

Jacobs Family Foundation (1988–projected: 2030)

Total Assets (2013): $150,369,772

Total Assets (2002): $83,366, 827

Total Giving (2013): $81,274

Total Giving (2002): $163,152

Prominent Grants: Giving limited to the Village at Market Creek, a 60-acre community development plan in southeastern San Diego.

Summary: The Jacobs Family Foundation (JFF) explores new philanthropic roles and relationships for strengthening under-invested neighborhoods by making grants and other investments that support innovative, practical strategies for community change.

JFF's funding focus is in support of partners and projects that comprise The Village at Market Creek, a 60-acre community development plan in the Diamond Neighborhoods of southeastern San Diego created by teams of community residents.

The Jacobs Family Foundation (JFF) was founded in 1988 by the late Joseph J. Jacobs, Jr., (1916-2004), his wife, Violet, and daughters Meg, Linda, and Valerie.

Joseph and Violet, both children of Lebanese immigrants, grew up in strong families of humble means in Brooklyn, New York. When the company they started in 1947, the now $9-billion Jacobs Engineering Group, went public, the family chose to invest its wealth in creating opportunities for others.

At first, JFF was solely a grantmaker. Then non-profit directors asked for hands-on help, and technical assistance was added to the foundation's role. In time, those relationships revealed that it takes time for individuals and organizations to grow strong, which confirmed the commitment not just to fund a program, but to develop long-term, non-profit strengthening partnerships.

Those first partnerships revealed a great deal about how communities work and how issues interconnect. Meaningful change can't happen project-by-project. It requires investing in and working with a community and its people over time.

In 1998, JFF and its sister organization, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI), moved into the Diamond Neighborhoods of southeastern San Diego, a diverse network of neighborhoods. The organization's work will continue in this area until the foundation sunsets in about the year 2030. By that time, ownership of the assets created through the partnership will be transferred to the community.

James Foundation (1941–1965)

Total Assets (endowment): $25 million[1]

Summary: The Foundation was established after the death of Arthur Curtiss James, a wealthy speculator in copper mines and railroads. He left approximately $25 million entrusted to the James Foundation, for use in charitable, religious and education institutions. The terms were such that the money had to be distributed within 25 years of his death.

JDR 3rd Fund (1963–1979)

Total Assets: $10 million annually[1]

Summary: The JDR 3rd Fund was the primary philanthropic institution of John D. Rockefeller 3rd. The Fund did not have an endowment, but rather was funded annually by JDR 3rd, usually to the tune of $10 million. The JDR 3rd Fund was incorporated in 1963 "to stimulate, encourage, promote, and support activities important to human welfare." The Fund allowed its founder to address his varied interests in fields not served by such organizations as the Population Council and the Asia Society.

The Fund was engaged in three major programs. The Asian Cultural Program promoted East-West cultural understanding. The Arts in Education program aimed to make the arts an integral part of education at all levels. Another major program, the Youth Task Force, was established in October 1970 to promote collaborative efforts between youth and business and professional leaders. Other projects of the Fund included the Bicentennial Project, the teaching of English in Japan, domestic volunteer service in Indonesia, and the study of the impact of private philanthropy in American life.

After JDR 3rd’s death in 1978, the Fund was dissolved. Its Asian Cultural Program was continued by a new organization, the Asian Cultural Council[2].

John M. Olin Foundation (1953–2005)

Total Assets (endowment): $120 million

Total Giving: $370 million[1]

Total Giving (2005): $5 million[2]

Prominent Grants:Primarily towards organizations preserving free market ideals. Established the Federalist Society.

Summary: The John M. Olin Foundation was an American grant-making foundation established in 1953 by John M. Olin, president of the Olin Industries chemical and munitions manufacturing business. To preserve donor intent, the Foundation was charged with spending out all of its assets within a generation of Olin’s death.

Its stated mission was to “provide support for projects that reflect or are intended to strengthen the economic, political and cultural institutions upon which the American heritage of constitutional government and private enterprise is based. The Foundation also seeks to promote a general understanding of these institutions by encouraging the thoughtful study of the connections between economic and political freedoms, and the cultural heritage that sustains them."

The Foundation officially closed out on November 29, 2005, after having dispersed over $370 million to primarily conservative think tanks, media outlets, and law programs at influential universities during its lifetime. The Foundation is most notable for its early support for the law and economics movement and the Federalist Society.

The Foundation is credited with helping to shape the modern conservative movement that first took hold in the 1980s. Perhaps more than any other philanthropist of the modern era, Olin succeeded by clearly defining a mission, establishing a timeline, and carefully selecting dedicated partners who shared his vision[3].

John Merck Fund (1970–projected: 2022)

Total Assets (2012): $73,942,428

Total Assets (as of 2011 spend-down announcement): $75,000,000[1]

Total Assets (2001): $194,017,773[2]

Total Giving (2012): $7,319,500

Total Giving (2001): $12,715,944

Prominent Grants:Grant-making is focused in 4 program areas: clean energy, environmental health, regional food systems, and development disabilities. Grant-making primarily focused on the six-state New England region, although grants are given nationally.

Summary: Based in Boston, Massachusetts, The John Merck Fund was established in 1970 by the late Serena Merck and is now in its third generation of family leadership. Starting in 2012, The John Merck Fund will spend all of its assets over the next ten years to spur progress in clean energy, environmental health, development of a New England regional food system, and treatment of developmental disabilities. The John Merck Fund will award its last grants in 2021 and close its doors in 2022. For the first sixteen years, The Fund worked exclusively to support research into children’s developmental disabilities. Beginning in 1986, it added programs in other fields that also were of concern to Mrs. Merck and her late husband, George W. Merck.

The Fund concentrates its grant-making in 4 areas: clean energy, environmental health, a regional food systems program, and a developmental disabilities program. The clean energy program promotes the development of a clean-energy economy in the six-state New England region. The environmental health program supports development and implementation of market signals and government policies that encourage a transition away from petroleum-based chemicals linked to preventable diseases. The regional food program helps strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship in New England's expanding market for regionally and sustainably grown food by funding initiatives to develop institutional demand and the regional supply network. The developmental disabilities program, the Fund's original grant-making area, is shifting its focus from basic research to clinical and translational research, with primary emphasis on children who have Fragile X or Down syndromes.

Julius Rosenwald Fund (1917–1948)

Total Giving: $22,249,624[1]

Prominent Grants: $4.4 million to build 5,000 one-room schoolhouses for African American students in the rural South. Grants to prominent individuals, including Ralph Ellison, W.E.B Du Bois, and Langston Hughes.

Summary: The Rosenwald Fund was established by Julius Rosenwald, part-owner of Sears, Roebuck & Company. His primary philanthropic interest was with social issues, primarily education for African Americans in the rural South. The Fund was intended from its establishment to spend-down within 25 of Rosenwald’s death. It officially closed in 1948 after donating more than $70,000,000 to public schools, colleges, universities, museums, black institutions and Jewish charities.

A rural school building program for African-American children was one of the largest programs administered by the Rosenwald Fund. Over $4.4 million in matching funds stimulated construction of more than 5,000 one-room schools (and larger ones), as well as shops and teachers' homes, mostly in the South. The Rosenwald Fund also made grants directly to African-American artists, writers, researchers and intellectuals between 1928 and 1948. Civil rights leader Julian Bond, whose father received a Rosenwald fellowship, has called the list of grantees a "Who's Who of black America in the 1930s and 1940s.

Kahanoff Foundation (1979–projected: 2012)

Total Giving: $250,000,000[1]

Prominent Grants: Provided most of the financial support for The Banff Centre in Calgary. Also gave to charitable programs in Israel.

Summary: The Kahanoff Foundation was a private charitable foundation established in 1979 by Sydney Kahanoff, a Calgary oil and gas executive and philanthropist. The Foundation was established with a mandate to provide funding for innovative charitable organization and programs in Israel and Canada, with a focus on philanthropic initiatives in Calgary.

Sydney Kahanoff passed away in 1980. Prior to his death he outlined to the board of The Kahanoff Foundation the direction he wished for the Foundation. In summary 60% of the funds were to be dispersed in Canada and 40% in Israel. Grants would also be considered in the USA and Australia. 25% was to be used to support general charitable activities and the balance was for innovative projects developed by the Foundation, preferably, or in support of the innovative projects of others. The Foundation stopped receiving grant proposals in 2011, and spent down its funds by 2012.

Lenfest Foundation (2000 - projected: 2023)

Total Assets (2013): $103,125,296

Total Assets (2001): $155,637,336[1]

Total Giving (2013): $7,476,737

Total Giving (2001): $8,366,066

Prominent Grants: Primarily focused on students in rural Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. Prominent programs include The Lenfest College Scholarship Program and other programs aimed at early childhood education and career and technical education.

Summary: The Lenfest Foundation is a private foundation that was established by H. F. (Gerry) and Marguerite Lenfest in 2000. Its priorities are The Lenfest College Scholarship Program, primarily for students from rural areas of Pennsylvania, and career and technical education, early childhood education and out of school time programs for disadvantaged youth, primarily in Philadelphia.

The Foundation plans to close out within 10 years of its founders’ deaths. In 2013, Gerry Lenfest stepped down as head of the Foundation, and an independent board took over leadership. At that time, he also donated another $80 million to the Foundation, which will be spent down over the next 15 years, primarily on programs to benefit disadvantaged Pennsylvania youth[2].

Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Foundation (1958–projected: one year after death of founder)

Total Assets (2013): $1,277,274

Total Assets (2001): $50,153,309[1]

Total Giving (2013): $1,401,564

Total Giving (2001): $10,662,246

Prominent Grants: Giving primarily in New York and Maryland. Prominent recipients include Johns Hopkins University, Museum of Modern Art, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Summary: Established in 1958 in New York.

Founded by the late Dorothy F. Cullman and her husband, Lewis B. Cullman. Mr. Cullman is credited in financial circles with being one of the first to employ a strategy of buying and selling companies that later became known as a "leveraged buyout" when he and two partners purchased the multi-million dollar Orkin Exterminating Company; a subsequent purchase of a desk calendar company evolved into At-A-Glance, the largest U.S. calendar and appointment book manufacturer.

The Foundation primarily gives in New York and Maryland. Grant-making is primarily in the areas of arts, higher education, museums, and performing arts.

Lincy Foundation (1989–2011)

Total Giving: $1.1 billion[1]

Prominent Grants: Housing in Armenia following the 1989 earthquake in Spitak. At its closure, $200 million was transferred to UCLA for The Dream Fund, a community-based fund devoted to the support of medical research and academic programs at UCLA.

Summary: The Lincy Foundation was formed by Mr. Kirk Kerkorian, principal owner of the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas. The Foundation was established in 1989 in response to the devastating earthquake in Spitak, Armenia. Twenty-five thousand people lost their lives in the earthquake as two major cities and 100 villages were completely destroyed. The substantial contributions from The Lincy Foundation provided housing to thousands of displaced individuals and families and reconstruction of roads and other key infrastructure. While it continued to provide support to Armenia, The Lincy Foundation gave generously throughout the United States for over 22 years to support education, medical, social service programs, scientific research projects and many other charitable endeavors.

In February 2011, The Lincy Foundation announced the closure of its operation. Its assets were transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to establish a donor-advised fund referred to as The Dream Fund.

Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust (1983–1997)

Total Assets (endowment): $300 million[1]

Total Giving: $500 million

Prominent Grants: University of Virginia Molecular Biology Institute, Markey Scholar Awards. Grants were primarily to prominent universities and scholars, most commonly at Stanford, Harvard, and Yale.

Summary: The Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust (Markey Trust) was established as a limited term trust in the will of Lucille P. Markey in 1975.  The Trust distributed over $500 million in three broad categories during its fifteen year operation[2]. Lucille Markey’s interests in health meant that the Trust funded primarily biomedical institutions with an emphasis on research, as well as individual scholars. The Trust also funded general organizational grants towards the training of Ph.D.’s and M.D.’s pursuing careers in biomedical research.

Over the fifteen-year period of the Trust, 113 scholars were awarded grants from a pool of 1,203 candidates promoted by their individual institutions. The bulk of Mrs. Markey’s estate derived from a large interest in oil and gas leases inherited from her first husband Warren Wright, and drilled on the Waddell Ranch in western Texas.

Halfway through its life, the Trust increased its grant-making due to tremendous returns on investments. In addition to its original individual Markey Scholar Awards and multi-million dollar university research program grants, the Trust began funding additional biomedical institutions[3].

Martha H. Beeman Foundation (1929–2011)

Total Assets (2009): $593,398[1]

Total Assets (2001): $1,652,416[2]

Total Giving (2009): $26,500

Total Giving (2001): $127,650

Prominent Grants: $4,000 gift to the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

Summary: The Martha H. Beeman Foundation and Beeman clinics were established in 1930 through Martha and Marcus Beeman, who donated $500,000 to the City of Niagara Falls "for whatever purpose best served the needs of those Niagara County residents too young to have made their own mistakes."

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.

Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation (1929–1965)

Total Assets (endowment): $10,000,000[1]

Total Assets (1961): $6,895,575[2]

Prominent Grants: Falk Project for Economic Research in Israel, Maurice Falk Medical Foundation.

Summary: The Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation is a racial and social justice organization founded in 1929. The Foundation funded research in economics, healthcare, political science, and racial discrimination issues.

Mustard Seed Foundation (1983–projected: 2020–2025)

Total Assets (2013): $2,381,755[1]

Total Assets (2012): $4,046,909[2]

Total Giving (2013): $1,629,736

Total Giving (2012): $2,971,375[3]

Prominent Grants: Church-based grants provide seed funding for small startup projects of churches and Christian organizations around the world. The Harvey Fellows Program provides financial support to Christian students who are pursuing graduate studies at premier institutions in fields considered to be underrepresented by Christians. Theology of Work grants fund theological institutions to instruct seminarians, pastors, and educators in a biblical basis of a theology of work.

Summary: The Mustard Seed Foundation is a Christian family foundation established in 1983 under the leadership of Dennis W. Bakke and Eileen Harvey Bakke. The Foundation was created as an expression of their desire to be faithful stewards of the financial resources entrusted to them, to bring together the members of their extended families into common ministry, and to advance the kingdom of God. The Foundation provides grants to churches and Christian organizations worldwide that are engaged in ministry including outreach, discipleship, and economic empowerment. The Foundation also awards scholarships to Christians pursuing advanced educational degrees in preparation for leadership roles in both the Church and society[4].

In 2012 the Foundation ceased international giving in order to limit administrative expenses and maximize giving through grants and scholarships.

Nathan Hofheimer Foundation (1919–1970)

Summary: The Hofheimer Foundation was established in 1919 by Nathan Hofheimer, one of the founders of General Motors, to “improve the living conditions of unfortunate persons through research and publications and by the establishment of benevolent agencies.”[1]

NoVo Foundation (2006–projected: lifetime of cochair)

Total Assets (endowment): $1 billion[1]

Total Assets (2012): $200,696,839

Total Giving (2012): $36,548,528

Total Giving (2007): $45,624,287

Prominent Grants: Focus on empowering adolescent girls, ending violence against girls and women, advancing social and emotional learning, and promoting local living economies. In 2008, NoVo Foundation joined forces with the Nike Foundation to create the Girl Effect. Since 2008, NoVo Foundation has committed more than $116 million to this effort.

Summary: NoVo Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. We support the development of capacities in people—individually and collectively—to help create a caring and balanced world. We envision a world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation, thereby reversing the old paradigm predicated on hierarchy, violence, and the subordination of girls and women. Grantmaking is structured around initiatives, rather than program areas. NoVo was founded by Jennifer and Peter Buffet; Jennifer also serves as President. Peter Buffet is the youngest son of investor Warren Buffet. NoVo was created in 2006 after Warren Buffet pledged to donate 350,000 shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock to the foundation.

One Foundation (Ireland) (2004–projected: 2013)

Total Assets (endowment): $1 billion[1]

Total Assets (2012): $200,696,839

Total Giving (2012): $36,548,528

Total Giving (2007): $45,624,287

Prominent Grants: Focus on empowering adolescent girls, ending violence against girls and women, advancing social and emotional learning, and promoting local living economies. In 2008, NoVo Foundation joined forces with the Nike Foundation to create the Girl Effect. Since 2008, NoVo Foundation has committed more than $116 million to this effort.

Summary: NoVo Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. We support the development of capacities in people—individually and collectively—to help create a caring and balanced world. We envision a world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation, thereby reversing the old paradigm predicated on hierarchy, violence, and the subordination of girls and women. Grantmaking is structured around initiatives, rather than program areas. NoVo was founded by Jennifer and Peter Buffet; Jennifer also serves as President. Peter Buffet is the youngest son of investor Warren Buffet. NoVo was created in 2006 after Warren Buffet pledged to donate 350,000 shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock to the foundation.

Paul Rapoport Foundation (1987–projected: 2015)

Total Assets (endowment): $7,500,000[1]

Total Giving (1987-2009): $11,000,000

Total Giving (2010): $2,328,300[2]

Prominent Grants: Giving limited to LGBT causes in the New York metropolitan area. Grantees include the Long Island Crisis Center, New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project.

Summary: The Paul Rapoport Foundation was an independent private foundation established in 1987 to serve the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual (“LGTB”) communities of the metropolitan New York area with the mission to achieve full equality for the LGBT community, in all of its diversity. The Foundation made the decision to spend down in 2009 due to the financial crisis. After engaging outside consultants to evaluate its past funding and its options for continuing to support the New York LGBT population, the foundation’s board and staff unanimously agreed to seek to maximize its impact over a five year period by dramatically increasing its funding levels in the near‐term and spending‐out by 2015. The Foundation officially closed as on June 2014.

Quixote Foundation (1997–projected: 2017)

Total Assets (2009): $15,588,000

Total Giving (1997-2009): $9,657,718[1]

Prominent Grants: $80,000 to the Center for Social Inclusion, $600,000 over 3 years to Legal Voice (formerly NW Women’s Law Center), $100,000 to support the Election Verification Network, and $100,000 over 2 years to support Media Democracy Fund.

Summary: The Quixote Foundation was established in 1997 in Madison, Wisconsin by Arthur Stuart Hanisch. Arthur “Stuart” Hanisch was born into a prominent and wealthy family in 1932. Even though Stuart was very young during the Great Depression, he was uncomfortable with the contrast between his family’s affluent situation and the struggles of his peers. This intuitive response matured into a lifelong concern for fairness. Stuart believed his donor’s role was secondary to nonprofit groups, saying “Money provided doesn’t deserve credit—what people and organizations do, does deserve credit.” He named the foundation after the fictitious Don Quixote in order to shift attention from himself. He loved the notion of “tilting at windmills”—charging into the fray to defend heartfelt ideals no matter how strong the resistance, whether or not others share the cause—and he supported the idealism of organizations brave enough to tilt. The Quixote Foundation wants to see free people in fair societies on a healthy planet. Interest areas include U.S. media reform, election integrity, reproductive rights and environmental equity. Following the lead of other spend-down foundations like The Beldon Fund, French American Charitable Trust, and Atlantic Philanthrophies, the Quixote Foundation made the decision to spend out all of its assets. The Foundation plans to conclude its grant-making activities in 2016.

Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation (2015–projected: 2035)

Total Assets: $1.2 billion

Total Giving (2015-16): $60,000,000

Summary: The foundation is the legacy of entrepreneur Ralph C. Wilson, former owner of the Buffalo Bills, who died in 2014. It is dedicated "primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Western New York and Southeastern Michigan."

Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund (1951–projected: 2012)

Total Giving (1951-2011): $700,000,000[1]

Total Assets (as of 2011 spend down decision): $280,000,000

Prominent Grants: $5 million to protect Alaskan wilderness, $25 million to the San Francisco Symphony, $40 million to UC Berkeley.

Summary: In 1951, Richard and Rhoda started the Goldman Fund, a philanthropic foundation that gave away nearly half a billion dollars to a variety of nonprofit organizations that are making the world a better and safer place. The Goldmans are known for their commitment to arts and culture, Jewish affairs and the environment. The fund was primarily focused on organizations and projects that have an impact on the City of San Francisco and local Bay Area communities. Richard Goldman passed away in November 2011, and the decision was made to distribute the Fund’s remaining assets to the foundations managed by his three children.

Robert Bowne Foundation (1968–projected: 2015)

Total Assets (2013): $6,285,619[1]

Total Assets (2001): $18,608,408[2]

Total Giving (2013): $1,561,000

Total Giving (2001): $1,300,850

Prominent Grants: Giving primarily in the New York City area. Prominent grantees include Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries Metro Baptist Church, Forest Hills Neighborhood Center Queens Community House, and the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services.

Summary: The Robert Bowne Foundation  was established in 1968 by Edmund A. Stanley, Jr. and named in honor of Robert Bowne (1744-1818), founder of Bowne & Company.

Its mission is to support the development of quality programs that offer literacy education to children and youth of New York City, in the out-of-school hours, especially for those living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. The out-of-school-time programs it supports are typically part of community-based organizations with deep roots in their neighborhoods. An out-of-school-time program can, for example, enable children of immigrants to explore the values and cultures of their home and adopted cultures through literature, song, dance, and art.

The foundation's first priority is to support individual programs that make literacy education an integral part of their work and provide quality experiences for young people, and organizations that support the ongoing development of participants, staff, families, and communities as learners. An additional priority is to identify, develop, support, and disseminate research and practices that will significantly impact out-of-school education policy. It is the foundation's hope that improved policies will lead to youth-centered, quality out-of-school programs for all young people.

In 2010, The Robert Bowne Foundation decided to cease program funding and close its doors on December 31, 2015, after 47 years of working to foster and sustain afterschool and youth literacy.

Robina Foundation (2004-projected: 2025)

Total Assets (2012): $76,591,184

Total Assets (2005): $9,837,990

Total Giving (2012): $26,428,609

Total Giving (2005): $150,000

Prominent Grants: Grantmaking limited to Northwestern Hospital, The Council on Foreign Relations, University of Minnesota Law School, and Yale University.

Summary: The Robina Foundation, a Minnesota-based private grantmaking foundation, seeks to positively impact critical social justice issues by encouraging innovation and financially supporting transformative projects by its four institutional partners. These partners, selected by the Foundation’s founder, James H. Binger, are: Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, MN; The Council on Foreign Relations, New York, NY; University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN; and Yale University, New Haven, CT. The Robina Foundation exclusively supports the four institutions selected by its founder. The Foundation was established upon James Binger’s death, and is expected to spend down 20 years after its creation.

Roy G. Kerr Foundation (1994–projected: 2019)

Total Assets (endowment): $770,000[1]

Total Assets (2013): $541,991

Total Giving (2013): $164,732

Prominent Grants: National Hispanic Institute in Texas for leadership training, College of Lake County, ChildServ.

Summary: Roy G. Kerr established the Kerr Foundation upon his death in 1994. The Foundation’s mission is to provide education and leadership opportunities for Hispanics in the Chicago region and nationwide. It was established as a spend-down foundation, and will spend all of its assets within a 20-year period.

Russell Berrie Foundation (1986–projected: 2033)

Total Assets (2013): $215,018,834

Total Giving (2013): $18,532,935

Prominent Grants: Primarily focused in New Jersey, Metropolitan New York and Israel. Prominent grant recipients include The Center for Interreligious Understanding, The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University, and the Bergen Performing Arts Center.

Summary: The Russell Berrie Foundation was created to express the values and passions of Russell Berrie through social investments in innovative ideas designed to:

  • Promote the continuity and enrichment of Jewish communal life
  • Support advances in medicine focusing on diabetes and humanism in medicine
  • Fostering the spirit of religious understanding and pluralism
  • Recognizing individuals who have made a significant difference to the lives of others
  • Elevating the profession of sales
  • Raising the awareness of terrorism and promoting its prevention

To fulfill this vision, Trustees of The Russell Berrie Foundation will be guided by the major themes set forth above, with New Jersey, Metropolitan New York and Israel as the primary geographic focus of grant making.

S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and Stephen Bechtel Fund (1957–projected: 2020)

Total Assets (2013): $339,549,608

Total Assets (2010): $280,700,000

Total Giving (2013): $109,000,000[1]

Total Giving (2010): $57,100,000

Prominent Grants: $5,000,000 to the Boy Scouts of America; $4,000,000 to the California Waterfowl Association.

Summary: The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Stephen Bechtel Fund (“the Foundation”) envision a productive, vibrant, and sustainable California that is a model of success and a source of innovation.

The Foundation’s vision for California is pursued through two programs.

The Education Program focuses on helping young people develop the knowledge, skills, and character they need to become productive, engaged citizens. The Foundation supports students and educators in STEM education and character development, and encourages effective education policy.

The Environment Program concentrates on the management, stewardship, and conservation of the state’s natural resources by supporting organizations and partnerships that inform, demonstrate, implement and advocate for improvements in water management and land stewardship.

Both programs work to strengthen the link between policy and practice, which is critical to achieving the Foundation’s vision.

The Foundation’s board made the decision to spend down all of its assets by 2020, reflecting a commitment to identifying lasting solutions for education and the environment sooner, rather than later.

Spelman Fund of New York (1928–1949)

Total Assets (endowment): $10,000,000[1]

Prominent Grants: Provided grants to numerous agencies concerned with public administration, the most important being the Public Administration Clearing House at the University of Chicago and the Public Administration Service also at Chicago[2].

Summary: The Spelman Fund of New York was created in 1929 when the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial was consolidated with the Rockefeller Foundation. The Memorial made a final grant of $10,000,000 to establish the Spelman Fund of New York. The Spelman Fund, an independently incorporated board, administered appropriations in child study, parent education, and interracial education. The Fund’s mission was for "charitable, scientific and educational purposes, including the advancement and diffusion of knowledge concerning child life, the improvement of inter-racial relations, and cooperation with public agencies."

The Fund continued to support some agencies previously supported by the Memorial for the duration of the particular grant, but the Fund's main program was in public administration and intergovernmental relations. Programs were designed to improve technical knowledge, promote exchange of knowledge and experiance, and discover improved methods of organization. Receiving periodic grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Spelman Fund built on the Memorial’s public administration program until 1949, when it was dissolved.

Stern Family Fund (1992–2005)

Total Assets (2005): $806,158

Total Giving (2005): $311,500

Prominent Grants: Among the many recent recipients of Stern Family Fund grants are: the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); the Center for Media and DemocracyDemos: A Network for Ideas and Action; the San Francisco Foundation Community Initiative Funds (for; the Proteus FundPublic Citizen; the Public Justice Foundation; and the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center.

Summary: Philip M. Stern (grandson of Sears, Roebuck & Company Chairman Julius Rosenwald) established the Stern Family Fund -- arranging for it to be endowed immediately upon his death, which occurred in 1992. In the tradition of his grandfather, Stern stipulated that his Foundation should cease operations within a generation after his death, so as to prevent it from someday, under the leadership of his successors, embracing philanthropic priorities inconsistent with his particular values and ideals. In accordance with his wish, the Stern Family Fund closed its doors in 2007. "We inherited this belief from my great-grandfather," says David Stern, son of Philip and current President of the Stern Family Fund. "Foundations [typically] become almost more interested in their own preservation than in doing the social change work they were set up to do."

The Stern Family Fund stated mission was “to [aid] citizens striving to guarantee responsiveness of public and private institutions that wield substantial power over their lives.” The Stern Family Fund oversaw two distinct grant-making programs. One, called Public Interest Pioneers, provided large grants that served as seed money for the creation of new organizations or the development of new projects within existing organizations. The second, called the Strategic Opportunity program, provided smaller grants to aid existing groups that had specific and immediate financial needs.

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.

Stone Ashdown Trust (U.K.) (1968–2010)

Total Giving: £50,000,000[1]

Prominent Grants: Primarily to support Jewish causes, including establishing the London School of Jewish Studies. Also worked on humanitarian causes, such as providing internet connections and satellite phones in Cambodia.

Summary: Sir Joseph Ellis Stone was an officer in the British army and a medical doctor, most notably to Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Upon his death in 1986, the Lord Stone Trust was founded. This was merged with the Lord Ashdown Charitable Settlement to form the Stone Ashdown Trust[2]. The Trust primarily supported Jewish causes, including funding efforts to build partnerships between the Jewish and Muslim communities in Britain. In 2009 the Trust was closed following a structured five-year spend-down period.

Stupski Foundation (1998-projected: 2024)

Total Assets (endowment): $260,000,000[1]

Total Assets (2012): $112,000,000[2]

Summary: The Stupski Foundation was established in 1996 as an operating foundation, providing consulting services designed to improve the way public education systems operated. The Foundation went through a series to strategic shifts, and in 2012 unexpectedly announced it would be closing its doors. In 2014, however, the Foundation re-opened with a new president and a new focus on grant making. The Foundation announced it will be seeking to fund a network of nonprofits focusing on improving children and family outcomes.

The Foundation also announced that it plans to spend down all of its assets over the next decade. Currently, the Foundation is engaged in a strategic planning process and is not yet fully operational as a grant making entity.

Taconic Foundation (1959–projected: 2012)

Total Assets (endowment): $7,000,000[1]

Total Assets (as of 2010 spend-down decision): $10,953,714

Total Giving (as of 2010 spend-down decision): $340,00

Prominent Grants: Established to fund the civil rights movement. Giving primarily in the New York area in later years. Prominent grant recipients include Dr. Martin Luther King, NAACP, and the National Urban League.

Summary: Stephen Currier and Audrey Bruce, granddaughter of Andrew W. Mellon, established the Taconic Foundation. The couple made the decision to donate, while living, the bulk of their wealth to philanthropic causes, especially to promote civil rights. The Foundation supported organizations working in the areas of housing, community development, and equality of opportunity. Since its inception, the Foundation was part of a network of donors funding progressive causes.

The Foundation was one of the earliest funders of Dr. Martin Luther King’s work, joining a group of grant-makers nicknamed “Freedom Funders.” In the late 1980s, the family was tragically killed in a plane crash. Since the Foundation had been primarily funded by annual contributions from the Curriers, not an endowment, the Foundation’s grant-making ability was drastically reduced. Following this tragic and unexpected turn of events, the board chose to focus its limited funding on New York almost exclusively. In 2010, the board made the decision to sunset the foundation as the Curriers intended. All of the final funding was restricted to fellowships with the hope that Taconic funds would once again fund a social equality movement like Dr. King’s[2].

Tubney Charitable Trust (U.K.) (1997–2012)

Total Assets (endowment): £500,000[1]

Total Assets (as of 2001 spend-down decision): £50,000,000

Total Giving: £65,000,000[2]

Prominent Grants: Prominent grant recipients include the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Help the Hospices, and the University of Bristol.

Prominent Reports: Giving Our All: Reflections of a Spend Out Charity

Summary: The Tubney Charitable Trust was established by Miles and Briony Blackwell in 1992. The purpose of the foundation was to support activities that have a long term, sustainable, positive impact on the biodiversity of the UK and on the welfare of farmed animals both in the UK and internationally.

Following the untimely death of its founders in 2001, the Trust received an additional £50 million from their estate. Shortly thereafter, the board made the decision to spend-down on a 10-year timeline. In 2012, the Trustees transferred the Trust’s minimal remaining assets to the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) and The Tubney Charitable Trust’s office closed. The Trust distributed nearly £65 million during its lifetime.

Vincent Astor Foundation (1959–1997)

Total Assets (endowment): $65,000,000[1]

Total Assets (as of 1996 spend-down decision): $25,000,000[2]

Total Giving: $175,000,000

Prominent Grants: Giving primarily limited to New York City. Prominent grant recipients include the New York Public Library, the Astor Home for Children, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Summary: Vincent Astor established the Foundation in New York City in 1959 for the purpose of “alleviating human misery”. Astor, a descendant of the 19th century fur trader and financier; John Jacob Astor, died shortly after the Foundation’s establishment. His wife, Brooke, ran the Foundation during its nearly 40-year lifespan. During the course of its grant-making, the Foundation disbursed some $175 million in financial grants to charitable and non-profit organizations and institutions in New York City including libraries, museums, schools, universities, municipal parks, settlement houses, and civic and community improvement groups. Brooke Astor made the decision in 1996 to spend the remains of the Astor family’s philanthropic fortune and the Vincent Astor Foundation shut its doors.

Vivian B. Allen Foundation (1938–1971)

Prominent Grants: the National Rehabilitation Center at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, the Vivian Beaumont Theater at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Summary: Vivian B. Allen (VBA) Foundation was created in 1938 in New York State by Vivian Beaumont Allen with the stated purpose, "to promote the well-being of mankind in the United States of America and elsewhere in the world, including as a means to that end research, publication, the establishment and maintenance of charitable, benevolent, religious and educational activities, agencies and institutions already established." Upon Mrs. Allen’s death in 1962, VBA Foundation began to liquidate itself and was dissolved in 1971.

Vivian created the foundation with the dream of continuing the work of her father, a pioneer in medical rehabilitation. She specifically sought to advance the well-being of mankind through the support of medical and nursing education (in the form of scholarships for deserving students), the support of religious and social charities (such as the Salvation Army and numerous Settlement Houses in New York City), and the support of the arts (particularly theater and opera). Two major accomplishments of Mrs. Allen are the National Rehabilitation Center at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, which was built in the memory of her father, and the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which houses the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center.

When Mrs. Allen died in 1962, her daughter Josephine Pope took over leadership of the Foundation and helped to tighten the focus on its giving patterns. In order to meet the stipulations set forth in Mrs. Allen’s will, the Foundation began to limit its donations to strictly medical and nursing education, international student assistance, population control and family planning, and a few social charities. This was a very pronounced move away from the highly personalized pattern of giving to which Mrs. Allen had been prone in earlier years.

Whitaker Foundation and Helen F. Whitaker Fund (1975–2006)

Total Assets (endowment): $60,000,000[1]

Total Giving: $800,000,000[2]

Prominent Grants: The Whitaker Foundation funded the establishment of more than 75 biomedical engineering departments at prominent universities nationwide.

Summary: The Whitaker Foundation was created and funded with an initial endowment of $60 million by U.A. Whitaker upon his death in 1975.  His wife, Helen, who shared in his philanthropy during his lifetime, joined him in bequeathing an additional $37 million to the Foundation when she died in 1982. Whitaker asked, but did not require, that the Foundation spend down all of its assets within 40 years. Throughout its history, the Foundation primarily supported interdisciplinary medical research, with a focus on biomedical engineering.  It contributed more than $700 million to universities and medical schools to support faculty research, graduate students, program development, and construction of facilities. Most of its efforts were directed toward the establishment and enhancement of formal educational programs and the support of especially talented students and faculty[3].

After 30 years of support for the development of biomedical engineering in the United States, The Whitaker Foundation felt that it had achieved its primary objective of helping the American biomedical engineering field grow into a legitimate widespread discipline. In 2006, the Foundation ceased operations, and committed its remaining funds to a grant program focused on strengthening international collaborative links between young leaders in BME worldwide. Under the guidance of the a Steering Committee and the Institute of International Education, the Whitaker International Program is designed to bring international experience and insight to the field of biomedical engineering.

Whitman Institute (1985–projected: 2022)

Total Assets (as of 2011 spend-down decision): $12,000,000[1]

Total Assets (2013): $12,546,314

Total Giving: $1,279,000

Prominent Grants: Prominent grant recipients include Active Voice, Mediators Foundation, and the Right Question Project.

Summary: In 1985, at the age of 71, Mr. Whitman founded The Whitman Institute as a small, operating foundation to explore how to help people improve their everyday problem solving and decision-making. His core question was how the interplay of thinking and feeling affects our choices, actions and relationships. His focus was primarily directed by personal experiences and his family history. He hoped that TWI could offer practical information and tools to the public.

In 2005, TWI switched from an operating to a grant-making foundation. The early portfolio was weighted toward organizations working in education, civic engagement, and leadership development. As time went on, focus turned to community organizing, film, and journalism. Most of the grant making was oriented towards social/economic/political equity.

In 2011, TWI made the decision to maximize its impact in the philanthropic world and spend down all of its assets by 2022.

William E. Harmon Foundation (1922–1967)

Prominent Grants: Prominent grant recipients include Hale Woodruff, Langston Hughes, and Palmer Hayden.

Summary: The Harmon Foundation was established in 1922 by William E. Harmon. It served as a large-scale patron of African-American art and helped gain recognition for African-American artists who otherwise would have remained largely unknown. The William E. Harmon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement was created in 1926. It was known as an award for excellence in the visual arts, but was offered for distinguished achievement in many different fields among African-Americans or in the cause of race relations. This helped art education programs grow in many areas. In addition to the awards, the Foundation is also well known for its traveling exhibitions.

When the Foundation closed in the 1960s, it dispersed its considerable art collection among several institutions, including the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and brand new National Portrait Gallery.

William E. Simon Foundation (1967–projected: lifetime of sons of founder)

Total Assets (2012): $92,523,052

Total Giving (2012): $11,315,938

Prominent Grants: Prominent grant recipients include Seton Education Partners, New City Kids, Abraham House, and Educators for Excellence.

Summary: The William E. Simon Foundation was established in 1967 and supports programs that are intended to strengthen the free enterprise system and the moral and spiritual values on which it rests: individual freedom, initiative, thrift, self-discipline, and faith in God. The main charitable purpose of the Foundation is to assist those in need by providing the means through which they may help themselves. In implementing this philosophy, the Foundation’s primary aim is to provide inner-city youth with environments, opportunities and encouragement to develop the personal values and skills that will help them become independent, contributing members of society. The Foundation achieves this goal through the support of direct services and public policy research. In its direct services portfolio, the Foundation primarily focuses on Jersey City, the South Bronx, and Morristown, NJ. Public policy grants are awarded to organizations focusing on K-12 education, faith, and family nationally.

To preserve the founder’s intent, the William E. Simon Foundation will spend down within the lifetime of the founder’s sons, predicted to be by 2029.