The Benificus Foundation is a San Carlos, California-based foundation that donates money to environmental- and education-related causes. The foundation is the family foundation of John and Ann Doerr. John, a venture capitalist, is a member of the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Coalition which seeks to invest in clean energy companies. Ann is a board member of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Participation in Charitable Causes
The foundation seeks to fund public causes that are of interest to the Doerrs. It does not directly seek to influence policy or elections. However, it does donate to organizations that do so. According to its most recently available financial information, the foundation has donated $8,701,301 to various causes as the end of 2015.
According to its most recently available Form 990, in 2015 the foundation made three large donations. It donated $2,514,867 to Rice University, $2,388,740 to Khan Academy, and $358,160 to Raphael House.
In 2014, the foundation distributed $125,000, mostly to local homeless charities.
Political and Environmental Affiliations
The foundation was an early supporter of the Alliance for Climate Protection (now the Climate Reality Project), an environmentalist group founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the foundation gave at least $10 million between 2000 to 2012.
In recent years, the Doerrs have given money to the Obama Foundation.They also pledged money towards helping developing countries phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons, a suspected greenhouse gas.