Non-profit

Heising-Simons Foundation

Website:

www.hsfoundation.org/

Location:

LOS ALTOS, CA, United States

Tax ID:

26-0799587

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $51,311,089
Expenses: $46,413,346
Assets: $370,095,113

Co-Founders:

Mark Heising

Liz Simons

The Heising-Simons Foundation is a California-based private family foundation led by liberal philanthropists and major Democratic Party donors Liz Simons and her husband Mark Heising.

The Heising-Simons Foundation primarily funds organizations that work on environmentalist policy, climate change, scientific research, education, and human rights issues. [1] Since its founding in 2007, the foundation has donated more than $618 million to these causes. In 2019 alone, the Foundation awarded over $113 million in grants. [2]

Simons Family

Liz Simons is the chair of the board of directors of the Heising-Simons Foundation. [3] Simons is the daughter of billionaire hedge fund manager and liberal philanthropist James Simons. James Simons is the founder of Renaissance Technologies, a prominent hedge fund that pioneered the use of quantitative models and statistical analysis in financial investing during the 1980s. In the 1990s, James Simons founded the Simons Foundation to fund left-of-center causes and provide research grants for the study of life sciences, physical sciences, and mathematics. The Simons Foundation is one of the wealthiest foundations in the country. [4]

In 2017, left-wing British newspaper The Guardian published a story alleging that James Simons had hidden $8 billion in Bermuda, possibly to avoid taxes in the United States. The “Paradise Papers” leak showed that Simons had established sub-trusts in the country for himself and each of his children. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filings from 2011-2012 show that Liz Simons transferred $54 million from her Bermuda sub-trust to the Heising-Simons Foundation. [5]

Liz Simons sits on the board of the Learning Policy Institute,[6] a left-leaning education policy research organization. She also sits on the board of the Foundation for a Just Society, a private foundation founded by her half-sister, Audrey Cappell, that funds left-of-center organizations to advance LGBT interests internationally. [7] Simons’s brother, Nathaniel Simons, is the founder of the Sea Change Foundation, a left-of-center private foundation that funds climate change and clean energy causes.

Mark Heising is a vice chair of the board of directors of the Heising-Simons Foundation. Heising sits on the board of directors of Renaissance Technologies. [8] He is also the chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund,[9] a nonprofit environmentalist group known for its left-of-center political agenda and advocacy surrounding global warming. Heising also sits on the board of the Bipartisan Policy Center, a center-left think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. [10]

Heising and Simons have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party. In 2020 alone, Heising gave more than $500,000 to the Democratic National Committee, $70,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $70,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and over $350,000 to Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign. [11] That same year, Simons gave $300,000 to the House Majority PAC, an unlimited-expenditure “Super PAC” associated with Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives. [12]

In 2016, Simons and Heising signed the Warren Buffett and Bill Gates “Giving Pledge” to donate at least 50% of their net worth to charity during their lifetimes or at death. [13]

Simons and Heising’s daughter, Caitlin Simons, is a vice chair of the board of directors of the Heising-Simons Foundation. Caitlin Simons also sits on the board of directors of Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Caitlin Simons is also on the advisory council of the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice, a United Kingdom-based criminal justice advocacy organization. [14]

Staff

Danna Gomby is the president and chief executive officer of the Heising-Simons Foundation. Gomby previously worked for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a private foundation that supports left-of-center environmental causes and population control programs. [15]

Jeff Malloy is the chief operating officer of the Heising-Simons Foundation. Malloy previously worked for the James Irvine Foundation, a donor organization that has given to various left-of-center labor union activist organizations, anti-energy organizations, and immigration advocacy groups. [16]

Kelly Hayashi is the director of grants management at the Heising-Simons Foundation. Hayashi previously worked at the Stuart Foundation, a left-leaning grantmaking foundation that focuses on education in the state of California. [17]

Cynthia Atherton is the director of the science program at the Heising-Simons Foundation. Atherton previously worked for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a grantmaking foundation that funds left-of-center environmentalist organizations. [18]

Barbara Chow is the director of the education program at the Heising-Simons Foundation. Chow previously worked for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation,[19] the sixth wealthiest foundation in the country. Chow also previously worked in the Clinton administration as Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council and Special Assistant to the President for the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Before working in the executive branch, Chow worked for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. [20]

Coalitions Membership

The Heising-Simons Foundation is a member of We Are Still In, a left-of-center coalition that supports the Paris Climate Accords, an environmentalist agreement negotiated by the Obama administration from which the Trump administration pulled out of in 2017. [21]

The Heising-Simons Foundation is a member of the Fund for a Safer Future, a gun control advocacy organization and coalition run by the New Venture Fund. [22] The foundation is also a member of the Hope and Heal Fund, another gun control organization run by the New Venture Fund. [23]

Grantmaking

The Heising-Simons Foundations funds a number of left-of-center organizations. In 2018, the foundation gave to a number of prominent left-leaning donor groups including the New Venture Fund; the Tides Foundation; Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation; the Environmental Grantmakers Association; NEO Philanthropy; the Groundswell Fund; and Borealis Philanthropy. [24]

Also in 2018, the foundation gave to a number of left-of-center think tanks and advocacy groups, including the Center for American Progress, the Urban Institute, the New America Foundation, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Environmental Defense Fund. [25]

References

  1. “Programs.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/programs/ ^
  2. “About.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/about/ ^
  3. “Liz Simons.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/liz-simons/ ^
  4. “Liz Simons.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/liz-simons/ ^
  5. Swaine, Jon, and Hilary Osborne. “Democratic Donor Built Up Vast $8bn Private Wealth Fund in Bermuda.” The Guardian. November 07, 2017. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/07/democratic-donor-james-simons-private-wealth-fund-tax-haven-paradise-papers ^
  6. “Liz Simons.” Learning Policy Institute. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/person/liz-simons ^
  7. “Liz Simons.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/liz-simons/ ^
  8. “Mark Heising.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/mark-heising/ ^
  9. “Mark Heising to Become New Chair of Environmental Defense Fund.” Heising-Simons Foundation. February 4, 2020. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/mark-heising-to-become-new-chair-of-environmental-defense-fund/ ^
  10. “Mark W. Heising.” Bipartisan Policy Center. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://bipartisanpolicy.org/person/mark-w-heising/ ^
  11. Federal Election Commission. “Individual Contributions: Mark Heising.” Accessed October 18, 2020 https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=mark+heising&contributor_employer=Medley+Partners&min_date=01%2F01%2F2020&max_date=08%2F18%2F2020 ^
  12. Federal Election Commission. “Individual Contributions: Elizabeth Simons.” Accessed October 18, 2020 https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=elizabeth+simons&contributor_employer=Heising-Simons+Foundation&min_date=01%2F01%2F2020&max_date=08%2F18%2F2020 ^
  13. “Liz Simons and Mark Heising.” The Giving Pledge. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://givingpledge.org/Pledger.aspx?id=289 ^
  14. “Caitlin Heising.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/caitlin-heising/ ^
  15. “Deanna Gomby.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/deanna-gomby/ ^
  16. “Jeff Malloy.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/jeff-malloy/ ^
  17. “Kelly Hayashi.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/kelly-hayashi/ ^
  18. “Cyndi Atherton.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/cyndi-atherton/ ^
  19. “Barbara Chow.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/barbara-chow/ ^
  20. “Barbara Chow.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/person/barbara-chow/ ^
  21. “Foundation Joins ‘We Are Still In’ Coalition in Support of Paris Agreement.” Heising-Simons Foundation. July 7, 2017. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/foundation-joins-still-coalition-support-paris-agreement/ ^
  22. “Search Our Grants.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/grants/search-our-grants/ ^
  23. “Search Our Grants.” Heising-Simons Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2020. https://www.hsfoundation.org/grants/search-our-grants/ ^
  24. Internal Revenue Service. Form 990. Heising-Simons Foundation. 2018. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/260/799/2018-260799587-17040220-F.pdf?_ga=2.172021347.1717283725.1602968262-658054072.1598817496 ^
  25. Internal Revenue Service. Form 990. Heising-Simons Foundation. 2018. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/260/799/2018-260799587-17040220-F.pdf?_ga=2.172021347.1717283725.1602968262-658054072.1598817496 ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Mark Heising
    Co-Founder and Board Member
  2. Liz Simons
    Co-Founder and Board Chair

Donation Recipients

  1. ACLU of Northern California (Non-profit)
  2. Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI) (Non-profit)
  3. Advancement Project (Non-profit)
  4. Alliance for Climate Education (Non-profit)
  5. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (Non-profit)
  6. Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) (Non-profit)
  7. Aspen Global Climate Institute (Non-profit)
  8. Aspen Institute (Non-profit)
  9. Bipartisan Policy Center (Non-profit)
  10. Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) (Non-profit)
  11. Brookings Institution (Non-profit)
  12. Center for American Progress (CAP) (Non-profit)
  13. Center for Community Change (CCC) (Non-profit)
  14. Center for Investigative Reporting (Non-profit)
  15. Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) (Non-profit)
  16. Civil Rights Corps (Non-profit)
  17. Clean Air Task Force (Non-profit)
  18. Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund (Non-profit)
  19. Climate Central (Non-profit)
  20. Climate Group (Non-profit)
  21. Common Sense Media (Non-profit)
  22. Communications Consortium Media Center (Non-profit)
  23. Community Initiatives (Non-profit)
  24. Consultative Group on Biological Diversity (Non-profit)
  25. Council for a Strong America (Non-profit)
  26. Council on Foundations (Non-profit)
  27. Define American (Non-profit)
  28. Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (Non-profit)
  29. Energy Foundation (Non-profit)
  30. Environment Northeast (Acadia Center) (Non-profit)
  31. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) (Non-profit)
  32. Equal Justice Initiative (Non-profit)
  33. Fund for Global Human Rights (Non-profit)
  34. Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) (Non-profit)
  35. Greenlining Institute (Non-profit)
  36. Groundswell Fund (Non-profit)
  37. Human Rights First (Non-profit)
  38. Human Rights Watch (Non-profit)
  39. Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) (Non-profit)
  40. International Rescue Committee (Non-profit)
  41. JustLeadershipUSA (Non-profit)
  42. Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Non-profit)
  43. Migration Policy Institute (Non-profit)
  44. MomsRising Education Fund (Non-profit)
  45. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (Non-profit)
  46. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  47. National Consumer Law Center (Non-profit)
  48. National Immigration Law Center (Non-profit)
  49. National Women’s Law Center (Non-profit)
  50. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (Non-profit)
  51. NEO Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  52. New America (New America Foundation) (Non-profit)
  53. New Venture Fund (NVF) (Non-profit)
  54. Opportunity Institute (Non-profit)
  55. Oregon Environmental Council (Non-profit)
  56. PEN America (Non-profit)
  57. Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (Non-profit)
  58. Project South (Non-profit)
  59. ProPublica (Non-profit)
  60. Public Policy Institute of California (Non-profit)
  61. Puente Human Rights Movement (Non-profit)
  62. Report for America (Non-profit)
  63. Resources for the Future (RFF) (Non-profit)
  64. Robin Hood Foundation (Non-profit)
  65. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (Non-profit)
  66. Rocky Mountain Institute (Non-profit)
  67. Silicon Valley Community Foundation (Non-profit)
  68. Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (Non-profit)
  69. Solutions Project (Non-profit)
  70. Southern Center for Human Rights (Non-profit)
  71. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) (Non-profit)
  72. Southerners on New Ground (Non-profit)
  73. The GroundTruth Project (Non-profit)
  74. TYPE Media Center (Non-profit)
  75. TSNE MissionWorks (Non-profit)
  76. Tides Center (Non-profit)
  77. Tides Foundation (Non-profit)
  78. Trust for Public Land (Non-profit)
  79. Urban Institute (Non-profit)
  80. Vera Institute of Justice (VIJ) (Non-profit)
  81. Western Resource Advocates (Non-profit)
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 2007

  • 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 $51,311,089 $46,413,346 $370,095,113 $32,353,962 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $38,849,895 $41,250,733 $301,712,855 $27,213,720 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $45,165,891 $25,302,480 $268,703,766 $17,884,965 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $102,655,416 $24,452,978 $234,508,426 $21,153,406 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $44,229,865 $11,728,252 $174,825,022 $8,597,169 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Heising-Simons Foundation

    400 MAIN ST STE 200
    LOS ALTOS, CA 94022-2840
    United States