Non-profit

George Gund Foundation

Website:

gundfoundation.org

Location:

Cleveland, OH

Tax ID:

34-6519769

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $63,667,036
Expenses: $35,385,381
Assets: $388,568,458

Formation:

1952

Founder:

George Gund Jr.

The George Gund Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation that financially supports organizations in the areas of education, human services, economic development, the arts, and the environment, primarily in the Cleveland, Ohio metropolitan area. The organization uses its grants to fuel a left-of-center political activism agenda. [1]

Geoffrey Gund, son of businessman George Gund, has been the president of the foundation’s board of trustees and a member of the board for 43 years. He retired in November 2019, with his niece, Catherine Gund, taking over as board president. [2] Catherine founded and leads Aubin Pictures, a nonprofit documentary film company that focuses on left-of-center social policy issues.

Areas of Focus

Education

In 2017, the foundation awarded 21 grants focused on education. [3] Grants included start-up support for new high schools in the Cleveland area, as well as charter schools. [4]

The foundation’s largest single grant was for $10 million to Say Yes to Education Cleveland. Geoffrey and his wife contributed $4 million in a personal commitment, as well. [5]

Human Services

In 2017, the foundation awarded 83 grants to organizations focused on human services. [6] It gave money to the Ohio Transformation Fund in an effort to “propel a statewide justice system reform ballot issue for the November 2018 ballot in Ohio.” [7] Marcia Egbert, senior program officer at the George Gund Foundation, sits as an advisory board member of the Ohio Transformation Fund. [8]

In honor of Geoffrey’s retirement from the George Gund Foundation, $2 million has been allocated to the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland to launch the Geoffrey Gund Fund for Families and Children. Geoffrey worked at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland in the late 1960s. [9]

In October 2019, Governor Mike DeWine (R) of Ohio, held the first meeting of his Lead Advisory Committee. Six members of the committee represent the Greater Cleveland area, with one of the members, Marcia Egbert, senior program officer at the George Gund Foundation, sitting on the committee. [10]

Economic Development

In 2017, the foundation allocated 25 grants to organizations focused on economic development. One specific organization was the Fund for Our Economic Future, to which the George Gund Foundation gave $750,000 to assemble land for a business park. [11] Two employees from the George Gund Foundation are executive committee members for the Fund for Our Economic Future, executive director David Abbott and associate director Robert Jaquay. [12]

Performing and Visual Arts

In its 2017 annual report, the George Gund Foundation suggested that art is a form of political activism. [13] The foundation awarded 66 grants to organizations focused on the arts, including areas of education, film and media, performing arts, special programs, and visual arts. [14]  It gave National Public Radio $100,000 over a two-year period. [15]

Three left-leaning public radio stations across Ohio are planning to start at statewide radio and digital news collaborative in 2020. The George Gund Foundation provided a $70,000 grant to start the process with a feasibility study by Ideastream. [16]

Environment

The George Gund Foundation allocates money to various environmental initiatives, by providing grants, for example, to Ohio City Incorporated for the final completion of Irishtown Bend Park[17] and the Alliance for the Great Lakes, an advocacy group dedicated to protecting the Great Lakes. [18] It awarded 31 grants in 2017 to organizations focused on the environment. [19]

Political Activism

The George Gund Foundation is a left-leaning organization that publicly voices its stance on political issues. The foundation continues to award grants to organizations that work to increase voter participation on the state and local levels. [20]

In the foundation’s 2017 annual report, the organization denounced President Donald Trump’s criminal justice reform policies and boasted about how the Foundation is an “active funder of reform efforts.” [21] David Abbott, executive director, said, “We are a bellwether, older industrial area. By taking advantage of Ohio’s role in national politics and policy, we can have an outsize influence. Those challenges helped to give rise to the terribly divisive state of affairs that afflicts out country.” [22]

In an open letter to the 2020 presidential candidates, a group of ultra-wealthy left-leaning Americans, including members of the Gund Family (specifically Agnes and Catherine) expressed their support for the constitutionally suspect “wealth tax.” [23]

Family History

George Gund Jr. founded the George Gund Foundation in 1952. After World War I, Gund purchased Sanka, which produced decaffeinated coffee; in 1927, he sold the company to Kellogg’s for millions of dollars in Kellogg’s stock. He served as a board member of about 30 major corporations and as the president of the Cleveland Trust Company for 25 years. [24] After his death in 1966, he left most of his $600 million estate to the George Gund Foundation. [25]

The Gunds are considered one of America’s richest families. One son, Gordon, runs the Gund Investment Corporation out of Princeton, New Jersey and serves on the board of glassmaker Corning. Both he and his brother, George III, bought and sold three professional sports teams. [26]

Their sister, Agnes Gund, is a philanthropist and president of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. [27] Agnes has created the Art for Justice Fund, a group that turns art into political action to reform the criminal justice system. [28]

The George Gund Foundation has eight board members and one trustee candidate. Of those nine members, five are members of the Gund family. Zachary Gund, treasurer of the George Gund Foundation, is the co-founder and managing partner of Coppermine Capital, a private investment firm in Massachusetts, along with his brother, Grant Gund. Grant sits on the board of directors of Convergent Dental, a privately-owned dental equipment and technology company. [29]

Geoffrey Gund, the former president of the George Gund Foundation, is the brother of Gordon Gund. Gordon has been blind since 1970 and has since founded the Foundation Fighting Blindness. [30] In 2017, the George Gund Foundation contributed $2,505,000 to the Foundation Fighting Blindness. The George Gund Foundation also allocated $3 million for future payment to the Foundation Fighting Blindness. [31]

Investments

As of December 31, 2018, 72% of the foundation’s income was attributed to ownership of Kellogg Company stock. [32]

In 2015, during which Geoffrey (uncle to Grant and Gordon) was the president of the George Gund Foundation, the foundation’s endowment arm invested in growth capital for Convergent Dental. [33] There was a direct investment in Convergent Dental in 2013 and 2016. [34] Between 2002 and 2010, the foundation had investment commitments in six different venture capital and private equity funds, considered a fund of funds commitment.

Funding

The George Gund Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax except private foundation. The foundation reported $36,168,272 in expenditures in its 2017 fiscal year. [35] The organization reported five employees receiving over $50,000 in compensation, with compensation ranging from $124,681 to $190,098 and additional payments to employee benefit plans or deferred compensation ranging from $39,994 to $51,204. [36] The executive director of the foundation, David Abbott, received $340,906 in compensation in 2017, with an additional $57,012 in contributions to his employee benefit plan or deferred compensation. [37] The Foundation paid Goldman Sachs $2,784,078 for providing investment management services. [38]

The organization made contributions to left-of-center aligned groups including Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Naral Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation, National Public Radio (NPR), the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Greater Ohio, and American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation. Total grants amounted to $26,688,218. [39]

References

  1. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  2. Suttell, Scott. “The George Gund Foundation Announces Change at the Top of its Board of Trustees.” Crain’s Cleveland Business. November 13, 2019. Accessed November 24, 2019. ^
  3. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  4. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  5. Washington, Roxanne. “Geoffrey Gund to Retire from the George Gund Foundation After 43 Years.” Cleveland.com. November 19, 2019. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.cleveland.com/business/2019/11/geoffrey-gund-to-retire-from-the-george-gund-foundation-after-43-years.html ^
  6. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  7. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  8. About Us. Board and Staff. Ohio Transformation Fund. Accessed December 18, 2019. https://www.ohtransformationfund.org/board–staff.html ^
  9. Washington, Roxanne. “Geoffrey Gund to Retire from the George Gund Foundation After 43 Years.” Cleveland.com. November 19, 2019. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.cleveland.com/business/2019/11/geoffrey-gund-to-retire-from-the-george-gund-foundation-after-43-years.html ^
  10. Dissell, Rachel. “Gov. Mike DeWine’s Lead Advisory Committee Holds First Meeting in Cleveland.” October 22, 2019. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.cleveland.com/news/2019/10/gov-mike-dewines-lead-advisory-committee-holds-first-meeting-in-cleveland.html ^
  11. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  12. About Us. Leadership. Fund for Our Economic Future. Accessed December 18, 2019. https://www.thefundneo.org/about-us/leadership ^
  13. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  14. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  15. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  16. Falk, Tyler. “Public Radio Stations in Ohio Explore Launch of Statewide News Collaborative.” Current. July 24, 2019. Accessed December 1, 2019. https://current.org/2019/07/public-radio-stations-in-ohio-explore-launch-of-statewide-news-collaborative/ ^
  17. “The George Gund Foundation Awards $7,271,790 at Winter Meeting.” The George Gund Foundation. March 7, 2019. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/the-george-gund-foundation-awards-7271790-at-winter-meeting/ ^
  18. “The George Gund Foundation Awards $7,271,790 at Winter Meeting.” The George Gund Foundation. March 7, 2019. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/the-george-gund-foundation-awards-7271790-at-winter-meeting/ ^
  19. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  20. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  21. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  22. “Pride of Place: The George Gund Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.” National Center for Family Philanthropy. 2019. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.ncfp.org/knowledge/pride-of-place-the-george-gund-foundation/ ^
  23. Rogers, Taylor Nicole. “Billionaires from George Soros to Abigail Disney are Begging to be Taxed More.” Business Insider. June 24, 2019. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.businessinsider.com/wealth-tax-ultra-rich-americans-sign-letter-presidential-candidates-2019-6?_ga=2.193903853.1936585580.1575232579-114702085.1575232576 ^
  24. “Agnes Gund.” Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.medalofphilanthropy.org/agnes-gund/ ^
  25. Larkin, Brent. “Gund Foundation Still a Family Effort, Still Focused on Cleveland: Brent Larkin.” Cleveland.com. Updated January 12, 2019. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.cleveland.com/opinion/2014/08/gund_foundation_is_still_a_fam.html ^
  26. “#80 Gund Family.” Forbes. July 1, 2015. https://www.forbes.com/profile/gund/#515a9e0a31a3 ^
  27. Bernstein, Jacob. “Is Agnes Gund the Last Good Rich Person?” The New York Times. November 3, 2018. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/03/style/agnes-gund-philanthropy.html ^
  28. “2017 Annual Report. Arts as Political Activism.” The George Gund Foundation. 2017. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/annualreport/2017/pdf/GundAR17.pdf ^
  29. George Gund Foundation. Pitchbook Financial Database. Accessed December 17, 2019. https://my.pitchbook.com/profile/53156-71/limited-partner/profile ^
  30. Gordon Gund Artist Bio. Gordon Gund Sculpture. Accessed December 18, 2019. http://www.gordongund.com/artistbio.html ^
  31. The George Gund Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV Section 3a and 3b. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/346519769/201803189349100020/IRS990PF ^
  32. 2018 Financial Statements. The George Gund Foundation. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://gundfoundation.org/financials/2018-financial-statements/ ^
  33. “Convergent Dental Secures $9 Million in Growth Capital.” Convergent Capital. March 31, 2019. Accessed December 14, 2019. http://www.convergentdental.com/press/convergent-dental-secures-9-million-in-growth-capital/ ^
  34. George Gund Foundation. Pitchbook Financial Database. Accessed December 17, 2019. https://my.pitchbook.com/profile/53156-71/limited-partner/profile ^
  35. The George Gund Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part I Line 26. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/346519769/201803189349100020/IRS990PF ^
  36. The George Gund Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part VIII Sections 1 and 2. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/346519769/201803189349100020/IRS990PF ^
  37. The George Gund Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part VIII Section 1. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/346519769/201803189349100020/IRS990PF ^
  38. The George Gund Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV Section 3. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/346519769/201803189349100020/IRS990PF ^
  39. The George Gund Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part VIII Section 3. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/346519769/201803189349100020/IRS990PF ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1953

  • 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
    2015 Dec Form PF $63,667,036 $35,385,381 $388,568,458 $472 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $55,790,688 $34,394,731 $360,286,772 $441 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $52,318,092 $30,695,188 $338,890,890 $516 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $43,573,059 $28,632,663 $317,267,911 $441 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $34,543,181 $28,723,453 $301,577,515 $441 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    George Gund Foundation


    Cleveland, OH