Goldman Fund Spends Down and Gets Ready to Close up Shop

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November 10, 2011; Source: San Francisco Business TimesNPQ is an interested observer of philanthropy which is designed to spend down the entirety of its assets during the lifetime of the donor. Today we acknowledge the parting love note sent from Richard and Rhoda Goldman to the causes they admired. Richard Goldman died a year ago at age 90.

Having contributed more than $700 million in the past 6 decades the Goldman Fund of San Francisco has announced that it has made its last regular set of grants totaling $4.5 million and a number of “legacy grants” totaling $25 million. These last were awarded to organizations which were dear to the Richard and Rhoda Goldman including: Congregation Emanu-El, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s Lands End project, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and Stern Grove Festival.

And the last round of regular Goldman Fund grants include:

  • $400,000 to the National Abortion Federation to ensure safe access to reproductive health clinics
  • $300,000 to Corporate Accountability International to reduce the use of bottled water and strengthen municipal tap water systems
  • $175,000 to UpStart Bay Area to provide support and raise visibility for Jewish social entrepreneurs
  • $160,000 to five Israeli nonprofits to support pluralism and freedom from religious coercion in Jerusalem
  • $125,000 in holiday grants to 25 San Francisco nonprofits that serve the homeless, immigrants, domestic abuse victims, at-risk youth and other vulnerable populations

The Business Times article doesn’t mention that the remaining assets of the Goldman Foundation will be divided into thirds and distributed to the foundations of the three Goldman children—John Goldman, Douglas Goldman, and Susan Gelman –and the well known Goldman Environmental Prize (with assets of $50 million) will continue, having been established as an independent organization. Will the three Goldman children’s foundations commit to spending down like their dad’s did?-–Ruth McCambridge.