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 Inequality, Climate
Method Donations and Grants
Key people
Ernest Tollerson, Interim President & CEO
Endowment US$415 million

The Nathan Cummings Foundation was endowed by Nathan Cummings (1896–1985), founder of Consolidated Foods, later renamed Sara Lee. 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 Interim President and CEO is Ernest Tollerson.[1]

Areas of funding[edit]

The Nathan Cummings Foundation supports innovative organizations that share our vision of a society that measures its success by how it treats those who have the least, and that works to close the gap between America’s promise and its imperfect practice. Specifically, the foundation seeks to make progress on two pressing and interconnected problems that must be resolved if its vision is to be realized: inequality and climate change.[2]

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."[3]

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.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Nathan Cummings Foundation, Mission Statement

External links[edit]