Sandler Foundation

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Sandler Foundation is a charitable foundation formed in 1991 with support from Herb Sandler and Marion Sandler. In 2006, the Sandlers made a contribution of $1.3 billion to the foundation, which was the second largest American charitable contribution of 2006.[1] Sandler Foundation is a spend-down foundation, consistent with the Sandlers' commitment to give away their wealth to charity.[2]

Sandler Foundation's mission is to "be a catalyst to strengthen the progressive infrastructure, expose corruption and abuse, advocate for vulnerable and exploited people and environments, and advance scientific research in neglected areas".[3]

A 2008 New York Times article notes that the foundation has provided substantial support to several nonprofit organizations, including ProPublica, the Center for American Progress, the Center for Responsible Lending, Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as other nonprofit organizations that conduct research in parasitic diseases, asthma (the American Asthma Foundation), and basic science (UCSF Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research).[4]

Sandler Foundation also helped establish the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley,[5] the Sandler Asthma Basic Research Center at UCSF,[6] and the Sandler Center for Drug Discovery at UCSF (previously the Sandler Center for Basic Research in Parasitic Diseases).[7]

Sandler Foundation has been identified as a supporter of other charitable work, including:

  • A Johns Hopkins University national effort to reduce central-line associated bloodstream infections [8]
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts' "Safe Credit Cards Project"[9]
  • Public Library of Science (PLoS)[10]
  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities [11]
  • National Center for Youth Law [12]
  • Oceana [13]
  • Earthjustice [14]
  • Free Press [15]
  • PICO National Network [16]
  • Tax Policy Center [17]


In a blog post for charity and philanthropy evaluator GiveWell, Holden Karnofsky wrote that the Sandler Foundation had an impressive track record and differed from traditional foundations in the sense of making opportunitistic grants to get ideas off the ground (such as with proPublica) and not having subject matter experts on its staff. He wrote that in these respects, the Sandler Foundation might be superior to the traditional model. The blog post also listed the Center for American Progress, Center for Responsible Lending, and Washington Center for Equitable Growth as notable recipients of the Sandler Foundation's support.[18]

In an article for Inside Philanthropy, David Callahan reviewed the Sandler Foundation, writing that the foundation's strategy involved backing great leaders and providing long term general support. Callahan listed ProPublica and the Center for American Progress as notable funding successes for the Sandler Foundation.[19]


  1. ^ "The 60 largest American charitable contributions of the year". 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "About Us". Sandler Foundation. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Human Rights Center". 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  6. ^ "Sabre Asthma Basic Research Center". Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "CE article: Are checklists the future of infection prevention?* - © 2013". Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ "About". PLOS. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Donors: National Center for Youth Law". Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  13. ^ "Foundation Donors". Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  14. ^ "Foundations That Support Us". Earthjustice. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "About PICO - PICO National Network". Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  17. ^ "TPC About Us | Funders". Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  18. ^ Karnofksy, Holden (February 24, 2015). "Thoughts on the Sandler Foundation". GiveWell. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  19. ^ Callahan, David (January 27, 2015). "The Sandler Way: Where Big Philanthropy Meets the Art of Common Sense". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 

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