The Carson Family Charitable Trust is a private grantmaking foundation started by private equity advisor Russell L. Carson, a founding partner at Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe.  The 501(c)(3) foundation was established by Carson in 1991, and he remains one of its four trustees. The Trust focuses on issues of education, poverty, healthcare, and culture.  The Trust provides funding to mostly left-of-center organizations, most notably the Robin Hood Foundation and several organizations of which Carson serves as Chairman.
The Carson Family Charitable Trust distributed $43,048,439 in grants in 2017.  Grants were provided to a variety of organizations, ranging from Planned Parenthood of New York to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Nearly half of all funding goes to educational organizations and institutions, with 43 percent of all grants being directed towards education in 2017.  Three organizations in particular were the recipients of 40 percent of all 2017 grant funding: the New York Genome Center, the Rockefeller University, and the Robin Hood Foundation. 
The New York Genome Center received more funding from the Carson Family Charitable Trust than any other organization, with $7.1 million in grants received during 2017 alone.  The New York Genome Center focuses on genome research to address neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, while participating in numerous stem cell research programs.  Carson also serves as the co-chairman of the Center. 
The Rockefeller University received the second largest sum of grants from the Trust, with $5.7 million received in 2017.  Carson served as the chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2005 until 2018 and has been a member of the Board since 1994. 
The Robin Hood Foundation received the third largest sum of grant funding, with $4.75 million given to the Foundation in 2017.  Backed by left-of-center Open Society Foundations and Soros Fund Charitable Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation brands itself as “New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization.”  The organization provides financial and management support to predominately left-of-center nonprofit organizations.
The Robin Hood Foundation faced controversy in 2007, when members of Congress such as Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) began to question the organization’s ethics.  In 2007, it was discovered that almost half of the organization’s “rainy day fund” (over $140 million) was invested in hedge funds which were run by Robin Hood donors or board members.  The members nonetheless charged their normal fees, profiting from the Robin Hood Foundation money invested in their funds. 
Funding and Leadership
The funding for the Carson Family Charitable Trust is generated primarily by Russell L. Carson himself, who contributed $68.6 million to the fund on December 31, 2017.  There are three other trustees: Carson’s wife, Judith, and his two children, Edward and Cecily.  Cecily currently serves as president of the Carson Family Charitable Trust and is also a board member at the Robin Hood Foundation. 
Russell L. Carson generated his wealth as one of the Co-Founding Partners at Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a private equity firm that has invested approximately $20 billion in technology and medicine since 1978.  Carson has served on the boards of numerous educational and non-profit organizations, many of which have received funding from the Carson Family Charitable Trust. Recently, Carson’s positions have included chairman of the Rockefeller University, vice chairman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, director at the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, and director of the Coalition for Opportunity in Education.  In the past, Carson has also served as chairman of Columbia Business School and as a trustee of Dartmouth College, his two alma maters.