Education Funding

Philanthropy

January 12, 2000 2 min read

New Philanthropy: A prominent investment-banking and securities firm has announced the launch of a new foundation to benefit education worldwide and pledged to award $10 million in grants during the 1999-2000 school year.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s foundation, announced last month, will support projects from prekindergarten through college, as well as adult education endeavors, Stephanie Bell-Rose, the president of the foundation, said in an interview.

“The objective of the Goldman Sachs Foundation is to make a lasting, positive impact on young people around the world at an important point in their lives,” John C. Whitehead, the chairman of the foundation’s Board of Directors, said in a statement.

“We will work closely with educators and leaders from all sectors to identify and develop meaningful educational programs,"Mr. Whitehead added.

During the first year of grantmaking, the foundation will focus on projects that improve achievement for middle and high school students, Ms. Bell-Rose said.

“We are very interested in supporting strategies to increase the number and preparation of high-achieving students from all backgrounds who are in the pipeline to selective colleges,” she said.

The foundation kicks off with $200 million in its coffers from funds set aside from a public stock offering made last May, said Leigh Pierce, a spokeswoman for the philanthropy.

“For a corporation, that is a very, very substantial endowment,” said Stephen Lawrence, the director of research for the Foundation Center in New York City, where Goldman Sachs is also based. Such an endowment means that grantmaking “will be less susceptible to market fluctuations,” he said.

The foundation ranks 50th out of 2,000 corporate foundations in the amount of assets held, based on 1997 figures, the most recent numbers available, Mr. Lawrence said.

The foundation’s board of directors includes Thomas W. Payzant, the superintendent of the Boston public schools, and John L. Thornton, the president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs.

Before becoming the president of the new foundation, Ms. Bell-Rose worked as foundation counsel and program officer for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Goldman Sachs will continue to participate in other philanthropic activities, including efforts to aid educational institutions and civic, human services, arts, and health-care organizations, Ms. Pierce said.

—Julie Blair jblair@epe.org

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A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2000 edition of Education Week

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