Published in the New York Times | October 31, 2015
Major Foundations, Eager for Big Change, Aim High
By David Gelles
Climate change, inequality and a broken criminal justice system are the issues du jour, commanding headlines and emerging as major talking points in the presidential campaign, at least for Democrats. They are also, increasingly, the focus of some of the nation’s largest philanthropies.
The Ford Foundation, with its $10 billion endowment, said this year that it would direct all its giving — about $500 million annually — to combating inequality.
The Rockefeller Foundation, with an endowment of more than $4 billion, is focusing on the theme of resilience, in the hope that its grants will make cities and communities more sustainable.
And the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, with its $6.3 billion endowment, is shaping its giving around “big bets,” including combating climate change and reforming the criminal justice system.