Foundation Partners

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Foundation Partners

Co-trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Warren Buffett once said about philanthropy: “Don’t just go for safe projects. Take on the really tough problems.”

To do this, The Gates Foundation teams up with partners around the world to take on some of the world’s toughest problems: extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries and the failures of America’s education system. By focusing on a few issues, The Gates Foundation hopes to increase its impact, in particular focusing on issues it believes are the biggest barriers that prevent people from making the most of their lives.

For each issue The Gates Foundation seeks to fund innovative ideas that could help remove these barriers: new techniques to help farmers in developing countries grow more food and earn more money; new tools to prevent and treat deadly diseases; new methods to help students and teachers in the classroom. While The Foundation recognizes that some of the projects will fail, it accepts and expects it — working under the belief that an essential role of philanthropy is to make bets on promising solutions that governments and businesses can’t afford to make.

As The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation learns which bets pay off, it adjusts its strategy, and shares the results so everyone can benefit.

The Ford Foundation was established on Jan. 15, 1936, with an initial gift of $25,000 from Edsel Ford. Today, The Ford Foundation is on the frontline of social change around the world, working with visionary leaders and organizations to change social structures and institutions. Its belief is that all people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, contribute to society, and have their voice heard in the decisions that affect them.The Ford Foundation believes the best way to achieve these goals is to encourage initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located; to promote collaboration among the nonprofit, government and business sectors; and to ensure participation by men and women from diverse communities and all levels of society.It is The Ford Foundation’s philosophy that such activities help build common understanding, enhance excellence, enable people to improve their lives and reinforce their commitment to society.

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. We seek to dismantle the structural barriers that limit opportunity for many, helping to create communities that are prosperous, culturally enriching, and sustainable. In particular, the Sustainable Environments Program is working to overhaul our country’s outdated and crumbling infrastructure with a new approach that will foster healthier, sustainable, and just communities. We believe in the potential of what we call “next generation infrastructure” to improve transit systems, make buildings more energy efficient, better manage our water systems and rebuild regional food systems.


For more than 45 years, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has worked with partners around the world to improve the lives of children, families, and communities — and to restore and protect our planet.

The Packard Foundation is a family foundation, guided by the enduring business philosophy and personal values of Lucile and David, whose innovative approach to management helped transform a small electronics shop in their garage into one of the world’s leading technology companies. David and Lucile’s approach to business and community participation guides The Foundation’s philanthropy; to invest in leaders and institutions, to collaborate with them to identify the most effective solutions, and to give them freedom and support to best reach their goals.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation works on the issues its founders cared about most: improving the lives of children, enabling the creative pursuit of science, advancing reproductive health, and conserving and restoring the earth’s natural systems.

Founded in 1953 and endowed by William and Maude McKnight, The McKnight Foundation fulfills a dual role as a responsive grantmaker supporting grassroots action, and a strategic grantmaker encouraging system and policy reform.

The McKnight Foundation assists nonprofit organizations and public agencies to improve the quality of life for all people through grant-making, coalition-building, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. The Foundation’s aim is to build and maintain vibrant communities; enrich people's lives through the arts; encourage protection of the natural environment; and promote research in selected fields.

The McKnight Foundation continues to explore innovative ideas to respond to community needs, help stakeholders to collaborate, and attempt to change systems and public policy.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measureable and timely change. For nearly 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

The Walton Family Foundation follows the philanthropic mission established by Sam and Helen Walton, whose philosophy of giving is based on life-long experiences in small town Northwest Arkansas, where the values of personal engagement and involvement, the power of education in society, and making philanthropic investments was believed to make an appreciable difference in communities.

Sam and Helen Walton’s Foundation today seeks to honor those basic principles and values. The Foundation is committed to addressing K-12 education reform, conservation of sensitive marine and freshwater environments, and economic development in the Delta Region of Arkansas and Mississippi. This work results in the constant and thorough evaluation and re-evaluation of strategic philanthropic investments that can deliver measurable, meaningful benefits.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer W.K. Kellogg, works to support children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Its goal is to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation reaches out on many fronts to stand up for children, with the belief that good intentions and financial resources alone don’t bring about social change, and that improving the prospects for vulnerable children must be a collaborative effort.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation believes real change begins with individuals and communities; bringing people together — whether it’s local and national organizations with shared interests, or legislative bodies — to advance the greater good. The Foundation holds that real change requires learning from the past, leveraging strengths and working with a common purpose.

About Us

AGree Staff

Executive Director
Research Director
Senior Partner, Meridian Institute
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