F.B. Heron Foundation



New Haven, CT

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2019):

Revenue: $12,544,247
Expenses: $12,759,247
Assets: $332,400,184


Private Foundation

Acting President:

Mary Jo Mullen

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $28,288,660
Expenses: $15,613,585
Assets: $412,823,233

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The F. B. Heron Foundation is a left-of-center private grantmaking foundation located in New Haven, Connecticut, that funds a variety of left-of-center organizations and ostensibly focuses on poverty-related causes. The organization operates over $400 million in assets.

In addition to providing grants to dozens of organizations annually, the Heron Foundation touts its “impact-based investing” model, which focuses on directing the organization’s assets toward companies and investment funds that promote the goals of the foundation. 1 2 The organization funds left-of-center organizations such as California Forward, Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Haymarket People’s Fund. 3


The Heron Foundation was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut. The foundation states that in 1996, the foundation’s board made the decision to move beyond simply distributing 5% of the foundation’s assets annually and directed a plan to incorporate the foundation’s asset investments into the mission of the organization so as to fund private companies and investment funds aligned with the foundation’s mission. In the late 1990s, the organization moved 40% of its assets to such investments. Following a 2012 strategic review, the foundation decided to move 100% of its assets to mission-related investing, which was completed in 2016. 4


The Heron Foundation invests its assets into “social impact funds” focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) as well as funds that focus on low-income housing and environmentalism. Such funds and private equity groups include SJF Ventures, Greenline Ventures, Breckinridge, Sustainable Finance-Related Economies (SFRE), Bridges Ventures, Aperio Group, Pacific Community Ventures, Community Reinvestment Fund, California Smart Growth Initiative, DBL Bay Area Equity Fund, the Southern Appalachian Fund, and Penn Ventures Partners. 5

In 2020, the foundation decided to bring $30 million of its fixed-income portfolio in-house to be managed by a portfolio manager internally at the foundation. Samples of the purchases that were made after bringing the portfolio in-house included “Affordable housing and down payment assistance for low-income buyers (in some instances, supporting organizations with whom Heron has a long history); and Loans made by the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” 6


Nonprofits receiving grants from the Heron Foundation include the World Wildlife Fund, the SASB Foundation, California Harvesters, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce, Social Progress Imperative, Uplift America, Alex C Dove Foundation, Allied Media Projects, Amalgamated Charitable Foundation, Appalachian Community Fund, Connecticut Community Foundation, Borealis Philanthropy, Common Counsel Foundation, Friends of Brooklyn Collaborative Studies, Hawai’i Peoples Fund, Haymarket People’s Fund, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, Hope Autism Foundation, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Pesticide Action Network North America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Points of Light Foundation, Project Zero, Rippel Foundation, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, Rochester Area Community Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Sea Change Foundation, Sierra Club Foundation, Social Justice Fund NW, Social Venture Circle, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, Southface Energy Institute, Southside Community Land Trust, Spirit in Action, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, and the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Fund. 7 8


  1. “About Us.” Heron Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2023.
  2. “Enterprise.” Heron Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2023.
  3. “IRS Form 990.” Heron Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2023.
  4. “Enterprise.” Heron Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2023.
  5. “Investments List.” Heron Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2023.
  6. “Optimizing our Fixed Income Portfolio.” Heron Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2023.
  7. “IRS Form 990.” Heron Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2023.
  8. “Investments List.” Heron Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 1992

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form PF $12,544,247 $12,759,247 $332,400,184 $1,864,493 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form PF $9,650,582 $11,858,129 $273,658,696 $966,726 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $31,473,988 $14,766,543 $288,711,960 $1,311,106 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $20,586,619 $10,091,047 $291,570,556 $1,650,438 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $15,706,226 $9,343,194 $260,548,040 $2,691,591 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $-1,566,409 $9,595,623 $240,497,151 $1,661,282 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    F.B. Heron Foundation

    PO BOX 9438
    New Haven, CT 06534-0438