Nathan Cummings Foundation

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The Nathan Cummings Foundation
Nathan Cummings Foundation Logo.gif
Founded 1949
Founder Nathan Cummings
Type Non-operating private foundation
(IRS exemption status): 501(c)(3)
Focus diversity, poverty
Method Donations and Grants
Key people Lance E. Lindblom, CEO
Endowment US$415 million

The Nathan Cummings Foundation was endowed by Nathan Cummings (1896–1985), founder of Consolidated Foods, now called Sara Lee Corporation. Cummings was also a prominent art collector and supporter of Jewish causes.

In his lifetime, Cummings made contributions to hospitals, universities, and the arts. His endowment created the Nathan Cummings Arts Center at Stanford University and the Joanne and Nathan Cummings Art Center at Connecticut College in New London. He made major contributions to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and to the Art Institute of Chicago. He established the Nathan Cummings Foundation in 1949. The foundation received most of his estate (then estimated at $200 million) upon his death in 1985.

The foundation′s current President and CEO is Lance E. Lindblom, he will be succeeded in January 2012 by Simon Greer.[1]

Areas of funding[edit]

The Foundation seeks to build a socially and economically just society that values nature and protects the ecological balance for future generations. It promotes humane health care, social justice as a core Jewish value, and fosters arts and culture that enriches communities. It gives solely to organizations in the United States of America and supports some programmatic work in Israel.

The Nathan Cummings Foundation funds the following areas:

Mission statement[edit]

According to the foundation's mission statement, it is "rooted in the Jewish tradition and committed to democratic values and social justice, including fairness, diversity, and community." The foundation "seeks to build a socially and economically just society that values nature and protects the ecological balance for future generations; promotes humane health care; and fosters arts and culture that enriches communities."[2]

The Foundation's approach to grantmaking embodies some basic themes in all of its programs:

  • concern for the poor, disadvantaged, and underserved;
  • respect for diversity;
  • promotion of understanding across cultures;
  • and empowerment of communities in need.

Funded programs[edit]

Some of the projects funded by the Cummings Foundation have been:

April 2004, Government Accountability Project(inc): $100,000, to support corporate whistleblowers.[3]
June 2003, Focus Project,dba OMB Watch(inc): $100,000, to develop an estate tax model.[4]
October 2002, Strategic concepts in organizing and policy education, Los Angeles, CA: $300:000,addressing California's healthcare crisis.[5]
Applied Research Center, Oakland, CA: $250,000 to support research on healthcare for immigrants.[citation needed]


  1. ^ From the President's Letter
  2. ^ Nathan Cummings Foundation, Mission Statement
  3. ^ Corporate Accountability Campaign Proposal
  4. ^ Estate Tax Research and Education Project
  5. ^ Jobs, Healthcare, and Environmental Justice Alliance State Building Project

External links[edit]