This first-of-its-kind resource showcases a range of funders who are uniquely supporting design for social and environmental impact on the local, national, and global scales. While this is far from a comprehensive list, our hope is that this resource helps to build awareness of the great efforts being made by these trailblazers and their organizations.

Sample Profile

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Icon Key

  • Architecture
  • Economic Development
  • Global Development
  • Scholarship
  • Arts & Culture
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Housing
  • Social Justice
  • Cities
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Health
  • Youth
  • Community Development
  • Placemaking
  • Environment

This resource is dedicated to Jason Schupbach, past director of design and creative placemaking programs at the National Endowment for the Arts, who served as a foremost champion of design within both the federal government and the philanthropic sector for seven prosperous years during the Obama administration.

This first-of-its-kind resource showcases a range of funders who are uniquely supporting design for social and environmental impact on the local, national, and global scales. While this is far from a comprehensive list, our hope is that this resource helps to build awareness of the great efforts being made by these trailblazers and their organizations.

key

  • Architecture
  • Economic Development
  • Global Development
  • Scholarship
  • Arts & Culture
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Housing
  • Social Justice
  • Cities
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Health
  • Youth
  • Community Development
  • Placemaking
  • Environment

This resource is dedicated to Jason Schupbach, past director of design and creative placemaking programs at the National Endowment for the Arts, who served as a foremost champion of design within both the federal government and the philanthropic sector for seven prosperous years during the Obama administration.

sample profile

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profiles

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James D.

McDonough

Executive Director

Chicago, IL

James brings deep experience in law, media, and the nonprofit sector to his leadership of the Alphawood Foundation. The foundation works to preserve and protect Chicago area's architectural legacy, alongside a commitment to domestic violence prevention, LGBTQ+ rights, and the environment.

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Ron

Bogle

President & CEO

Washington, DC

Ron supports better outcomes in city design through engagement with civic and educational leaders. The AAF deploys design to transform the built and natural environment and is dedicated to the vibrant social, economic, and environmental future of cities.

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Scot

Spencer

Associate Director, Advocacy & Influence

Baltimore, MD

Scot works to increase opportunities for children, families, and the places where they live. Deeply committed to its hometown of Baltimore, The Annie E. Casey Foundation is devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social, and health outcomes.

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Jon

Stryker

Board President & Founder

New York, NY

An architect by training, Jon uniquely understands the intersection of design and social justice. The Arcus Foundation is a leader in advancing pressing social justice and conservation issues and dedicated to the idea that people can live in harmony with one another and the natural world.

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Jamie

Bennett

Executive Director

Brooklyn, NY

Jamie cut his teeth as the NEA Chief of Staff under Chairman Rocco Landesman, and has advised an array of foundations and museums. ArtPlace America is dedicated to creative placemaking and using art as a social transformation tool.

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Joe

Speicher

Executive Director

San Francisco, CA

Joe’s work lies at the nexus of design and technology, leveraging the resources of Autodesk, Inc. The Autodesk Foundation works to support and connect designers who use design to create social and environmental impacts.

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James E.

Canales

President & Trustee

Boston, MA

James spent over a decade at the James Irvine Foundation in California before taking the helm of the Barr Foundation. The Barr Foundation works on partnerships to elevate the arts and creative expression, advance solutions for climate change, and expand educational opportunity.

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Jackie

Bezos

Founder
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Mike

Bezos

Founder

Seattle, WA

Jackie and Mike believe that all children deserve an opportunity to achieve their full potential. Together with their children, they founded the Bezos Family Foundation with the aim to elevate the field of education and improve life outcomes for children.

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Jim

Bildner

CEO
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Christy

Remey Chin

Managing Partner

Menlo Park, CA

Jim works with the team to expand and manage the portfolio and pipeline, build the donor and talent base, and develop thought leadership for the foundation. Through the Foundation Jim leads the support of early stage, high impact social enterprises, holding firmly to the belief that with early funding and rigorous support, exceptional leaders, tackling some of society’s most complex problems, can make the world a better place. Christy has devoted her career to advancing social entrepreneurship and championing high-impact philanthropy. She works with the team to expand pipeline, support the portfolio, and steward our donor partners.

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Tracy

Johnson

Program Officer

Seattle, WA

Tracy is a social and cultural anthropologist turned human-centered design thinker, now responsible for creating a vision for how to best apply human-centered design across the Foundation’s vast portfolio of investments.

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Verna

Eggleston

New York, NY

Verna leads the foundation’s research and development as well as grantmaking on the African continent, with a focus on the empowerment of women. Bloomberg Philanthropies works to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. We focus on five key areas for creating lasting change: the arts, education, the environment, public health, and government innovation.

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Pat

Stryker

Founder

Fort Collins, CO

Pat is a businessperson, philanthropist, and political activist. The Bohemian Foundation focuses on music, arts, and the community through its grantmaking, programs, and events.

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Anne-Marie

Lubenau

Director

Cambridge, MA

Anne-Marie is an architect, educator and advocate for excellence in urban design and planning. The Bruner Foundation administers the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Design Excellent, a TK year prize.

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Carol

Coletta

Senior Fellow, Kresge Foundation

5 Pilot Cities

Carol Coletta is a senior fellow with The Kresge Foundation’s American Cities Practice, leading a collaboration of foundations, nonprofits and governments to demonstrate the ways in which a connected set of civic assets.

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Bill

Clinton

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Hillary

Clinton

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Chelsea

Clinton

New York, NY

The Clintons are tireless advocates working to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for girls and women, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change.

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Anne Marie

Burgoyne

Managing Director, Social Innovation

Palo Alto, CA

Anne Marie manages the innovation initiative, identifying new partners and new areas of focus for the portfolio managing the investment process for non-profit and for-profit social entrepreneurs and innovators in education, immigration, social justice and the environment. The Emerson Collective is dedicated to strengthening schools for students, securing human rights for immigrants, and unlocking human potential.

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Katie

Swenson

Vice President of Design & Sustainability

Boston, MA

Katie is a national leader in affordable housing and sustainable design for low-income communities, including the Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute and Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship. Enterprise improves communities and people’s lives by making well-designed homes affordable. We bring together nationwide know-how, partners, policy leadership and investment to multiply the impact of local affordable housing development.

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Darren

Walker

President

New York, NY

Darren is a longtime advocate of the arts with a passion for design, evidenced in his long service as a board member of the Highline. The Ford Foundation has, across eight decades, invested in innovative ideas, visionary individuals, and frontline institutions advancing human dignity around the world, guided by a vision of social justice—where people are free to achieve their full potential.

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Sarah

Herda

Director

Chicago, IL

Sarah focuses on create opportunities for up-and-coming designers who are pushing the boundaries of the field. The Graham Foundation is focused on the exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society.

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Kate

Goodall

CEO

Washington, DC

Kate Goodall is the driving strategic force behind Halcyon’s creative growth. She was instrumental in development of Halcyon’s well-established Halcyon Incubator. Halcyon’s mission is to catalyze emerging creatives across multiple platforms, ideas and artistic media, striving for a better world.

Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation

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Charles

Slaughter

Trustee

New York, NY

Chuck is an architect by training, a businessman, and social entrepreneur, perhaps best known for founding nonprofit Living Goods. Chuck is a trustee of the Goldsmith Foundation, which provides support for cultural programs, including the performing arts and museums; Jewish and Israeli charitable organizations; hospitals and other health care organizations; as well as education, especially higher education.

Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation

External Links

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Dana

Bourland

Vice President, Environment

New York, NY

Dana works at the intersection of issues related to health, poverty, and the environment. The JPB Foundation works To enhance the quality of life in the United States through transformational initiatives that promote the health of our communities by creating opportunities for those living in poverty, enabling pioneering medical research, and enriching and sustaining our environment.

External Links

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Diana

Ives

Fund Advisor

Atlanta, GA

Diane has worked with The Kendeda Fund since 2003, and currently serves as the fund advisor for the People, Place, and Planet program. The Kendeda Fund The Kendeda Fund is dedicated to exploring how human beings can build a more just and equitable world, one in which we use resources wisely and relate to one another more mindfully. A small, scrappy and experimental team, they strive to change the frames that commonly distort important community issues.

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Regina R.

Smith

Managing Director

Troy, MI

Regina leads efforts to identify prospects for national funding opportunities and partnerships in the arts and culture fields. The Kresge Foundation is a private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America's cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit.

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Kenneth W.

Turner

Program Officer

Portland, OR

Kenneth leads projects that incubate science, technology, and invention-based enterprises to improve the lives of the poor in developing countries. The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives, by inspiring and enabling the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises to promote economic growth in the US, and social and economic progress for the poor in developing countries.

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Eric

Muschler

Program Officer

Minneapolis, MN

Eric focuses on regional sustainable development and economically vibrant neighborhoods that serve people. The McKnight Foundation supports regional economic and community development, and a broad range of design activities including Minnesota’s arts and artists, youth development, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods.

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Kevin

Starr

Managing Director

San Francisco, CA

Kevin directs the Foundation and the Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program, both of which are focused on scalable solutions to meet the basic needs of the very poor. The Fellows Program helps social entrepreneurs turn good ideas into lasting change at scale. The Mulago Foundation finds and funds high-performance organizations that tackle the basic needs of the very poor. Their work is to find the organizations best able to create change and give them what they need to do it.

Reis Family Foundation

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Kyle

Reis

Trustee

San Francisco, CA

Kyle Reis is the Senior Director of Global Data Services for TechSoup, a trustee of the Reis Foundation, and keenly interested in design. The Reis Foundation focuses on nonprofit social enterprise building, network weaving, writing and editing, philanthropy, public interest design, civil society organization care and feeding, equivalency determination, project management, organizational capacity building, data visualization, social justice promotion, social media wrangling and artistic appreciation.

Reis Family Foundation

External Links

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Michael

Berkowitz

President, 100 Resilient Cities

New York, NY

Michael is dedicated to helping cities around the world conquer physical, social, and economic challenges. A program of the Rockefeller Foundation, 100 Resilient Cities helps cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

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Kippy

Joseph

Associate Director

New York, NY

Kippy designs, implements and manages an integrated approach of grant-making and internal capability-building. The current strategy focuses on creating enabling environments for innovation in development contexts, including support for methods and infrastructure for social innovation. The Rockefeller Foundation is working on two main goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses.

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Risa

Lavizzo-Mourey

President & CEO

Princeton, NJ

Risa combines the scientific and ethical values she learned as a doctor with an enduring conviction that meaningful philanthropy must achieve lasting social change. Under her leadership, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has researched, evaluated, and implemented transformative programs tackling the nation’s most pressing health issues, with the goal of building a national Culture of Health.

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Jeff

Skoll

Founder
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Sally

Osberg

President & CEO

Palo Alto, CA

As founder and chairman of the Skoll Foundation, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, Participant Media, and the Capricorn Investment Group, Jeff Skoll is bringing life to his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. Sally Osberg has been an entrepreneurial leader and catalyst for social change throughout her career. She propels those around her with her life philosophy and mantra, captured in one word: "Onward!" Under Sally’s leadership, the Foundation has invested in more than 100 ventures led by social entrepreneurs worldwide.

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Jess

Garz

Program Officer

New York, NY

Jess collaborates with colleagues in philanthropy and those on the ground to support artists, architects and designers working towards social justice. The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States -- communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.

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Margot

Fahnestock

Program Officer

Menlo Park, CA

Margot is responsible for grants to reduce unintended pregnancies and ensure reproductive rights in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The grants include a mix of service delivery, research, advocacy, and training strategies. The Hewlett Foundation focuses on education, environment, global development and population, performing arts, and effective philanthropy, as well as support for disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Shawn

McCaney

Interim Executive Director

Philadelphia, PA

Shawn aims to expand philanthropy in the U.S. by sharing the Foundation’s learnings with others focused on similar issues nationwide. He is exploring the role of public space in promoting greater connectivity within and between communities; and increased social interaction and community integration. William Penn Foundation is working to improve education for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creative communities that enhance civic life and advance philanthropy in the Greater Philadelphia region.