Atlantic Philanthropies

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The Atlantic Philanthropies
Atlantic Philanthropies logo.png
Founded 1982
Founder Chuck Feeney
Focus Ageing, youth, human rights, poverty, progressive advocacy[1]
Method Grantmaking
Key people
Christopher Oechsli, Martin O'Brien
Endowment $1.4 billion (2012)[2]
Website www.atlanticphilanthropies.org

The Atlantic Philanthropies (AP) is a private foundation created in 1982 by Irish-American businessman Chuck Feeney. The Atlantic Philanthropies focuses its giving on health, social, and politically liberal public policy causes in Australia, Bermuda, Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Vietnam.[3] It is among the largest foreign charitable donors in each of the countries in which it operates,[4] and is the single largest funder of programs that encourage the civic engagement of older people and of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.[5][6] With the single largest advocacy grant ever made by a foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies committed $27 million to win passage of the Affordable Care Act in the United States. About half of the Atlantic Philanthropies' grants have been made in donations that allow lobbying.[3]

The Atlantic Philanthropies commenced a spend-down process in 2012, and its entire portfolio will be liquid by the end of 2016. It plans to fully shutter its doors in 2020.[2][7]

History[edit]

Irish-American businessman Chuck Feeney established the Atlantic Philanthropies in Bermuda in 1982.[8] The organization made its first grant of $7 million that same year to Cornell University.[9]

Feeney, who co-founded Duty Free Shoppers (DFS), transferred all of his assets and his entire 38.75% ownership stake in DFS to what became the Atlantic Philanthropies in 1984.[8] For the first fifteen years of Atlantic's existence, donations were made anonymously, and organizations receiving grants were required to sign contracts agreeing to not reveal the source of their donations.[10][8]

Atlantic's charitable giving remained anonymous until 1997, when a business dispute Feeney was involved in forced him to disclose the funding for Atlantic.[11]

Since its founding in 1982, the Atlantic Philanthropies has given out about $7.5 billion. The Atlantic Philanthropies is a limited-life foundation which will close its doors in 2020.[12]

The President and CEO of the Atlantic Philanthropies is Christopher Oechsli.[13] He was appointed in 2011, succeeding Gara LaMarche. Martin O'Brien was appointed Senior Vice President of Programmes shortly thereafter.

Activities[edit]

AP concentrates its donations in the areas of aging, children and youth, population and health, and reconciliation and human rights.[14] As of 2013, the Atlantic Philanthropies had distributed $6.5 billion.[15]

Australia[edit]

In Australia, AP has donated more than $AUD500 million, including $AUD250 million in Queensland. These donations have been directed toward the building or expansion of 20 research facilities in Australia.[16]

Northern Ireland[edit]

In Northern Ireland, AP has controversially supported the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in its work to develop and promote proposals for a Bill of Rights for the region. It has also funded a coalition of civil society groups, the Bill of Rights Consortium.[17]

Republic of Ireland[edit]

AP has invested over $1 billion in third-level education on the island of Ireland, funding research facilities at the University of Limerick and Dublin City University as well as a library and sports facility at Trinity College Dublin.[18] AP's grants in Ireland have been credited by some for stimulating the Irish economy in the 1990s.[19]

In 2009, AP indicated that it would grant €80 million in Ireland in 2009 to children, elderly and human rights projects.[20] In 2011, AP awarded a €1.2 million grant to Barnados, one of Ireland's best-known children charities.[21]

In 2004–13, AP provided $11.5m and political advice to the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network and three other Irish gay-rights groups.[22][23][24] Prior to the 2015 same-sex marriage referendum, Catholic commentator Breda O'Brien characterised this as "American money buy[ing] an Irish referendum".[24]

As of 2014, a total of $226 million in Atlantic grants have leveraged $1.3 billion of government money to the Irish university system.[25]

United States[edit]

In March 2009, AP pledged $125 million to the University of California, San Francisco to fund a medical center at the Mission Bay campus. At the time, it was the single largest grant the Atlantic Philanthropies had given.[26] The project broke ground in October 2010.[27]

From 2008-10, AP donated $27 million to Health Care for America Now (HCAN) to support their efforts to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[28] It was the single largest advocacy grant ever made by a foundation.[29]

In 2011, AP gave $350 million to Cornell University to help build a new graduate school campus on New York City's Roosevelt Island. At the time, the gift was the largest donation in the university's history.[30]

Culminating grants[edit]

In 2014, the Atlantic Philanthropies announced that it was making a series of major culminating grants, including one to foster peace and human rights in Northern Ireland, another to help fund a national dementia strategy in Ireland, and a third to expand the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C.-based liberal think tank.[31]

Recipients of 2016 culminating grants include the London School of Economics, for support of the International Inequalities Institute, and the Rhodes Trust, to fund the newly established Atlantic Institute.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Preston, Caroline (June 30, 2011). "Atlantic Philanthropies Sends Positive Signal to Advocacy Groups". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "The Long Goodbye: Atlantic Philanthropies Approaching The End". The Nonprofit Times. July 29, 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Preston, Julia (November 14, 2014). "The Big Money Behind the Push for an Immigration Overhaul". New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Eskin, Jim (December 23, 2007). "Giving while living makes sense". Dallas Business Journal. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Anft, Michael (November 4, 2005). "Getting on Board With Boomers". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Preston, Caroline (April 25, 2010). "Bring Odd Bedfellows Together to Promote Social Change, Foundations Urged". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Cullen, Paul (July 10, 2012). "Chuck Feeney winding up charitable operations". Irish Times. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Bertoni, Steven (September 18, 2012). "Chuck Feeney: The Billionaire Who Is Trying To Go Broke". Forbes. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Final grant from Atlantic supports The Cornell Tradition | Cornell Chronicle". news.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  10. ^ Strom, Stephanie (2011-02-22). "Long After Giving His Money Away, a Donor Takes the Pledge". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ Dwyer, Jim (2017-01-05). "'James Bond of Philanthropy' Gives Away the Last of His Fortune". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  12. ^ Grayce West, Melanie (May 31, 2016). "Atlantic Philanthropies Announces $200 Million in Two Gifts". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Preston, Caroline (September 28, 2011). "Atlantic Philanthropies Appoints New President". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Sullivan, Paul (October 31, 2014). "A Billion Still to Spend, and Only Two Years to Do It". New York Times. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "About Us". Atlantic Philanthropies. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Grube, Kathy (August 28, 2011). "The Atlantic Philanthropies leads USA delegation to QLD". University of Queensland Australia. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "BBC Northern Ireland". BBC News. 23 August 2010.  BBC report on McWilliams' early departure, and Atlantic Philanthropies funding
  18. ^ The Examiner April 2008
  19. ^ CBS interview (video)
  20. ^ Sunday Tribune May 3 2009
  21. ^ Deegan, Gordon (2011-03-01). "Barnardos raises €8.5m funding - The Irish Times - Tue, Mar 01, 2011". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  22. ^ Cook, Barbary; Rebecca Subar (2014). "Catalysing LGBT Equality and Visibility in Ireland" (PDF). Atlantic Philanthropies. p. 2. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  23. ^ O'Dowd, Niall (October 1, 2014). "Will Ireland vote for gay marriage? Historic vote coming up". Irish Central. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  24. ^ a b O’Brien, Breda (9 May 2015). "Asking questions about funding for referendum campaign". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "THE ATLANTIC PHILANTHROPIES IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (1987-2014)" (PDF). Atlantic Philanthropies. July 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  26. ^ Synapse - the UCSF Student Newspaper
  27. ^ San Francisco Business Times - by Ron Leuty (2010-10-26). "UCSF starts $1.5B hospital complex | San Francisco Business Times". Bizjournals.com. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  28. ^ "A Big Bet on Advocacy Helps to Make History on Health Care". Atlantic Philanthropies. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  29. ^ LaMarche, Gara (October 30, 2014). "Is Philanthropy Bad for Democracy?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  30. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (19 December 2011). "Cornell Alumnus Is Behind $350 Million Gift to Build Science School in City". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  31. ^ Callahan, David. "A Closer Look at Atlantic's End Game—And Where It's Putting the Biggest Money". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  32. ^ West, Melanie Grayce. "Atlantic Philanthropies Announces $200 Million in Two Gifts". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2016. 

External links[edit]