Overbrook Foundation

In Brief

NYC; $174m endowment; environment, human rights


(1948, New York; overbrook.org).

A family foundation that supports organizations advancing human rights and conserving the natural environment. Human rights programs focus on the domestic human rights movement, women’s and LGBT rights, supporting human rights defenders in Latin America, and media as a central component of a functioning democracy. Its environment program targets support for conservation of biodiversity in Latin America and sustainable consumption practices, especially conservation of energy, in the US. Most recently, the Foundation has taken on initiatives to support progressive movement building and efforts to combat the undue influence of moneyed interests in the US.  In Latin America, its geographic focus includes Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico. Criteria applied to potential projects include: potential impact, level of innovation, the opportunity represented in the funded group, and leadership to accomplish the work proposed.

The Environment Program seeks out efforts that support innovative ideas in sustainability, particularly around production and consumption of materials. For example, the Environmental Paper Network received a $25K grant to address the “impact of the pulp and paper industry on our most pressing environmental challenges, including deforestation, loss of biodiversity and ecologically sensitive habitat, air and water quality, and solid waste.” The Human Rights Program supports organizations within the US “challenging entrenched notions of U.S. exceptionalism.” It also makes grants to organizations strengthening gender rights and justice in the US. Gender rights include the reproductive justice movement and marriage equality for same-sex couples. Total assets: ~$175M. President and CEO: Stephen A. Foster.  7 staff.  [Note: “The Overbrook Foundation will not accept unsolicited requests for new projects or operating support from organizations not currently funded.”  MS]

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