John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

MacArthur Foundation logo, current as of March 2013 (link)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $537,302,289
Expenses: $303,541,809
Assets: $8,209,542,030


1970 in Chicago, IL

Board Chair:

Marjorie Scardino


John Palfrey

Vice President and Chief Investment Officer:

Susan Manske

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (also known as the MacArthur Foundation) was the twelfth largest foundation in the United States in 2014 with total assets over $6 billion.1 From 2000 to 2017 MacArthur granted an average of just over $200 million each year to programs in support of higher education, the arts, mental health, and a large number of left-of-center causes including human rights, international affairs, disarmament, environmentalist policy, population control, abortion rights, economic development, affordable housing, and juvenile justice reform.2

Many left-of-center grantees have received more than $5 million in MacArthur grants since 1987, among them Planned Parenthood, the Population Council, the Carter Center, ProPublica, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Defense Fund, ClimateWorks, and International Crisis Group.3

Since 2015, the foundation has focused its grantmaking on what it calls “Big Bets” — program areas that include climate change, criminal justice reform, and nuclear nonproliferation.4

The MacArthur Foundation also funds a Fellows Program, popularly known as “Genius Grants.” Fellowships are five-year, unrestricted “stipends” to individuals “who show exceptional merit and promise of continued creative work.” In 2017, the stipend was $625,000.56 Most fellows are not noticeably political, but a sizeable minority, however, are recognized because of their left-wing political activism. Grantees have included a number of environmentalists and community organizers,78as well as at least one drag performer.9 The left-wing weekly Chicago Reader wrote in 2015  “There could hardly be a more liberal grant than the MacArthur Fellowship.”10

Since 2019, former Harvard professor, director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and Phillips Academy Andover Head of School John Palfrey has led the MacArthur Foundation.11

While the MacArthur Foundation leans strongly to the left, the man whose vast wealth launched the foundation was a rags-to-riches capitalist and is typically described as conservative. John D. MacArthur, a banker and insurance salesman who was one of two billionaires alive at the time of his death, created the MacArthur Foundation and staffed its board with a number of conservatives and Republicans, including two Bankers executives, radio commentator Paul Harvey, and former Nixon administration Treasury Secretary William Simon. MacArthur’s son J. Roderick MacArthur, however, was a proud liberal and appointed more liberals to the board. By 1981, the conservatives on the board had all resigned except for Paul Harvey. The Foundation has been solidly liberal ever since.


John D. MacArthur was the sole owner of Bankers Life and Casualty, which he bought in 1935 for $2,500 and grew to be the largest privately held insurance company in the United States.12 He reinvested much of his profits in real estate, which included thousands of acres in and around Palm Beach, Florida and 19 office buildings and 6,000 apartments in New York City. At the time of his death in 1978, Bankers had more than $1 billion in assets and MacArthur was one of only two billionaires in America.13

Lewis Beman has written in Fortune that MacArthur was a “staunch conservative with political views to suit his nineteenth-century personality.” Concurring, New York Daily News reporter Kiki Levathes described MacArthur as an “arch conservative” who complained, “The liberals have destroyed what makes this country great.”14

Early Political Division

When the MacArthur Foundation was created in 1970, it had six board members: William Kirby, two executives from Bankers Life and Casualty, radio commentator Paul Harvey, MacArthur’s wife Catherine, and MacArthur’s son Roderick. “I made the money,” MacArthur told the board, “you guys will have to figure out what to do with it.”15 In a 1976 interview with the Chicago Tribune, MacArthur said, “I’ve seen too many people, including Henry Ford, try to administer their estates from the grave. You have changing times. Besides, you lay down rules and people don’t follow them. So, I’ll trust in the Almighty that my trustees will do more good for the country than I would.”16 Bankers Life president Robert Ewing, who served as the foundation’s first chairman of the board, said, “We’re mostly a bunch of Midwestern businessmen devoted to free enterprise and opposed to more government controls. That’s the way we operate our businesses, and that’s the way we will run this foundation.”17

Ewing’s plans never came to fruition. When MacArthur died of cancer on January 6, 1978, the foundation assumed his assets. Roderick MacArthur began to angle for control, and the foundation made its first two grants of $50,000 each to Amnesty International and the California League of Cities.18 Unlike his father, Roderick MacArthur was a proud liberal. “Rod MacArthur was the kind of guy who harangued total strangers in restaurants about PCB levels in whitefish,” MacArthur Foundation Fellow program director Kenneth Hope told the New York Times Magazine.19 Alleging conflicts of interest and misuse of the foundation’s assets by two board members who were top executives of Bankers Life, Roderick threatened lawsuits. As a compromise, the board agreed to expand. The Bankers Life executives appointed two new members, former Nixon White House Treasury Secretary William Simon and former University of Illinois president John Corbally. Rod MacArthur appointed two solidly liberal members, scientist Jonas Salk and physicist Murray Gell-Mann. Three other members with no ties to either Rod MacArthur or Bankers Life were appointed, Ford administration Attorney General Edward Levi, former M.I.T. president Jerome Wiesner, and former First National Bank of Chicago board chairman Gaylord Freeman.2021

As a result of this political divide, the board quarreled over the direction of the foundation. Roderick and Simon “fought openly,” wrote Brenda Shapiro in Chicago magazine. “Board members, unable to work together, established separate fiefdoms not only for grant-making decisions but for the complex affair of getting Bankers ready for sale.” By 1981, all the conservatives except for Harvey had resigned from the board, and Roderick began to move the foundation leftward.22

Liberal Takeover and Creation of the Genius Awards

One of Roderick’s earliest initiatives was the MacArthur Fellows Program, nicknamed “Genius Grants” by the media. With the first grants in 1981, the program was ridiculed by detractors on both the left and the right. They argued that too many of the grantees, which included scientists, writers, academics, artists, and musicians, were already at the peaks of their careers. Liberal commentator Michael Kinsley complained, “Not one of the first MacArthur Fellows is suffering from lack of recognition for his or her talents… not one really faces financial obstacles to exercising his or her creativity.”23

Conservative critics pointed out that many of the grantees were well-known for their liberal and left-wing political activism: the ACLU’s Morton Halperin, Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, global population control advocate John Holdren, leader of the unilateral nuclear freeze movement Randall Forsberg, and founders of the socialist periodical Dissent Irving Howe and Meyer Schapiro.2425 Additional fellows included advocates for a variety of left-of-center causes including homelessness, environmentalism, abolishing the death penalty, prisoners’ rights, and the peace movement. Writing in U.S. News & World Report, John Leo described MacArthur fellows as “gender ideologues” and “low-luster laborers in the traditional vineyards of the left.”26 Sam Worley, Deputy Editor of the leftist “alternative” weekly Chicago Reader, exclaimed, “There could hardly be a more liberal grant than the MacArthur Fellowship.”27

Another initiative spearheaded by Roderick in 1980 was the foundation’s $19 million bailout of failing Harper’s Magazine. A few years later, the foundation turned the magazine over to a new Harper’s Magazine Foundation, and Roderick’s son Rick was named publisher. With Rick MacArthur at the helm, Harper’s Magazine took a sharp turn leftward.28

The foundation’s first president, John Corbally, supported Roderick’ MacArthur’s left-of-center agenda and launched initiatives in support of public radio, peace and security, mental health, and the environment.29

Adele Simmons Era

Adele Simmons became president in 1989 after twelve years as president of Hampshire College, an experimental alternative school providing “individualized” learning, no strict curriculum requirements, and “narrative evaluations” rather than traditional grades.30 Simmons launched the foundation’s Population Program, paving the way for tens of millions of dollars in grants to abortion providers or advocates including Planned Parenthood, the Population Council, and the Population Reference Bureau.31

During Simmons’s tenure, the foundation awarded $100,000 to a juvenile justice reform program led by former Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn. In the 1960s, Dohrn had celebrated as a “revolutionary” act the murder of Sharon Tate by the Charles Manson “family,” and her Underground had at one point “declared war” on the United States.32

Expansion of Liberal Grantmaking

MacArthur’s third president Jonathan Fanton (1999-2009), oversaw grants to organizations that opposed the death penalty, advocated for increased environmental regulation, supported public housing programs, and funded the International Criminal Court.33 34  Fanton’s successor, Robert Gallucci (2009-2014) launched the Democracy project, which provided over $30 million to leftist organizations focused on voting rights.35

Present Activities

Under the leadership of Julia Stasch, president since 2014, the foundation has focused its grantmaking on what it calls “Big Bets.”  These programs include Climate Solutions, Criminal Justice, Impact Investments, and Nuclear Challenges.36 In 2014, the foundation categorized its grantmaking in the U.S. as follows: $20.5 million for Juvenile Justice, $25 million for Digital Media & Learning, $15 million for Community & Economic Development, and $9.5 million for Housing. Internationally, the foundation granted $20.5 million to Conservation & Sustainable Development, $17.6 million to Human Rights & International Justice, $11.3 million to Population and Reproductive Health, and $15.5 million to International Peace & Security.37

Climate Change

MacArthur advocates for placing “a price on carbon,” curbing methane emissions, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, increasing the use of renewable sources, and securing international climate agreements.38 A primary mechanism for pursuing these goals has been the foundation’s participation in the Energy Foundation, a collaborative “pass-through” effort launched in 1991 with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Rockefeller Foundation.39 The Energy Foundation bundles donations in order to make big grants to radical environmentalist and other left-wing causes, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, U.S. Climate Action Network, and Center For American Progress.40 Between 1991 and 2018, the MacArthur Foundation provided more than $84 million to the Energy Foundation.”41

Additionally, between 2015 and 2018, MacArthur Foundation gave $13.5 million to the environmentalist “pass-through” bundler ClimateWorks and tens of millions of dollars more to left-of-center groups like Earthworks, Natural Resources Defense Council, Climate Group, Environmental Defense Fund, New Venture Fund, World Resources Institute, Climate Central, ecoAmerica, and Sierra Club.42

Criminal Justice

A primary mechanism for pursuing its criminal justice goals is MacArthur’s Safety and Justice Challenge, which funds projects throughout the U.S. that develop plans for “creating fairer, more effective local justice systems using innovative, collaborative, and evidence-based solutions.”43 Among the 2017 applications funded is Mayors for Smart on Crime, an initiative of the liberal Center for American Progress founded by Democratic Party operative John Podesta. Led by 10 liberal Democratic mayors, including New York City’s Bill de Blasio, the initiative rejects “outdated tough on crime approaches” because they are “short-sighted, ineffective, and disproportionate in their effect on black and Latino communities.”44 Instead, Mayors for Smart on Crime calls for “fair laws,” “just and proportional responses,” and “comprehensive approaches outside of the justice system—in public and behavioral health, education, jobs, and housing.”45 Participating mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, the Democratic mayor of Gary, Indiana,  said, “If we continue to use law enforcement centered solutions, we will get the same mixed results and we will continue to lose valuable human potential.”46

Another example of the MacArthur Foundation’s preference for left-wing approaches to criminal justice is its support for the Brennan Center for Justice report, “Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Jails: Recommendations for Local Practice.” The report alleged that disparities in arrest and incarceration rates were related to the controversial concept of “implicit racial bias” and proposed numerous methods to reduce this supposed bias.47

MacArthur also funds an effort to produce journalists sympathetic to its approach to criminal justice reform. In 2017, the foundation gave $200,000 to the left-leaning Poynter Institute “to design and convene a series of regional workshops for reporters… aimed at providing them with the practical skills, technical assistance, and access to sources they need in order to report effectively on local criminal justice systems and jail overuse.” MacArthur’s hope is that these workshops will help reporters produce stories on their local criminal justice systems, increasing public hostility to current incarceration levels.48

Nuclear Challenges

While MacArthur Foundation does provide some grants to centrist organizations like the Center for Strategic and International Studies and center-right organizations like the Hudson Institute to study nuclear non-proliferation, most of the foundation’s grants go to left-leaning organizations like the Brookings Institution, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for Public Integrity, Federation of American Scientists, Fund for Constitutional Government, Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Ploughshares Fund, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

American Democracy

MacArthur launched an American Democracy project from 2012-2016, granting more than $30 million to mostly left-leaning advocacy organizations focused on voting rights. Grantees included the American Civil Liberties Union, American Democracy Program, Advancement Project, Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Voting Rights Institute, and Justice at Stake.49 Recipients of American Democracy grants have advocated for automatic voter registration, elimination of photo identification requirements, minimum early voting periods, restoring voting rights to criminals with felony convictions, public financing of presidential and congressional elections, and government funding of political campaigns.50 51 52

Voter Registration Grants

According to its 2021 990 tax form, the MacArthur Foundation donated a $1 million grant to left-of-center voting and redistricting organization New Georgia Project. According to the form, the grant was listed as being granted to the organization, “in support of general operations.” 53 In addition the 2021 tax form listed a large number of grants donated towards activity within Nigeria including local election-related initiatives within the country. 54

Safety and Justice Challange

The Safety and Justice Challange is a collaborative project of the MacArthur Foundation that advocates for reforming local criminal justice systems by, “reducing jail incarceration and increasing equity for all.” 55 According to its website, the Challange builds a network of funding local cities and jurisdictions for the purpose of reforming their criminal justice policy by, “reducing jail populations and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities.” 56 According to the MacArthur Foundation’s 2021 990 tax form, many grants were granted to nonprofit organizations and projects for the purpose of the Safety and Justice Challenge. Such examples include the Urban Institute in Washington D.C, the Vera Institute for Justice in Brooklyn, New York City; and Shelby County, Tennessee. 57

Lever for Change & Yield Giving Open Call

Lever for Change is an affiliate of the MacArthur Foundation created in 2019 to raise $1 billion in funds towards philanthropic endeavors by 2023 to address issues such as racial and gender inequality, inability to access economic opportunities, and climate change. 58 Yield Giving Open Call is a $250 million initiative started in March 2023 by Lever for Change and MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. The initiative was created so that nonprofits could apply for donations to be used to improve their communities in areas including healthcare, economic development, education, and housing. Scott has admitted to using the initiative as a means of donating her wealth towards nonprofits that register in order to create a, “new pathway to support…organizations making positive change in their communities.” 59 60

Biden Community Violence Intervention Collaborative

In June 2021, the Biden administration announced a program to combat rising gun violence and violent crime using a collaborative composed of government and nonprofit organizations funding community violence intervention (CVI) measures. The MacArthur Foundation was reported to be a funder of the collaborative, along with California Endowment, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Kellogg Foundation. Other foundations funding the initiative include the Kresge Foundation, Arnold Ventures, the Emerson Collective, the Heising-Simons Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. CVI strategies “act as an alternative to heavy-handed policing” by focusing its efforts on the minority of citizens who are perpetrators or targets of violent crime. CVI treats violence as a communicable disease rather than a violent crime and attempts to stop the “spread” of violence. 62 In 2013, Scardino was made a board director of Twitter. Scardino was a practicing lawyer from 1976 to 1985, publisher of the Georgia Gazette from 1978 to 1985, and President of North American operations and then CEO of The Economist Group Limited between 1985 to 1996.63

President John Palfrey

In 2019, MacArthur Foundation announced that former Harvard professor, former executive director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and then-Head of School for the northeastern preparatory boarding school Phillips Academy Andover, would take over as president of the foundation.64

Former President Julia Stasch

Julia Stasch joined the MacArthur Foundation in 2001 as vice president for U.S. programs where she was responsible for programs focused on justice, housing, education, community and economic development, and social and economic policy. Prior to joining the foundation, she served as Department of Housing Commissioner for the City of Chicago and Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley (D). During President Bill Clinton’s first term, Stasch served as Deputy Administrator of the General Services Administration.65


  1. “Foundation Stats: Guide to the Foundation Center’s Research Database.” Foundation Center. Accessed February 8, 2018.
  2. The MacArthur Foundation Annual Reports, 2005-2014. Accessed April 7, 2018.
  3. Wooster, Martin Morse. “The MacArthur Foundation: A donor without a cause spawns a foundation with an agenda.” Foundation Watch, Capital Research Center. September 6, 2005.
  4. “About our Big Bets.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed March 31, 2018.
  5. “MacArthur Fellows Program.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed April 7, 2018.
  6. “About MacArthur Fellows Program.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed April 7, 2018.
  7. Wooster, Martin Morse. How Great Philanthropists Failed and You Can Succeed at Protecting Your Legacy. Capital Research Center. Washington, DC. 2017. P. 68
  8. Muravchik, Joshua. “MacArthur’s Millions.” The American Spectator. January 1992. P. 37
  9. “Taylor Mac.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed April 07, 2018.
  10. Worley, Sam. “Can the MacArthur Foundation Find Its Mojo?” Chicago. Published August 17, 2015. Accessed March 25, 2018.
  11. “John Palfrey Named New MacArthur President.” MacArthur Foundation, March 5, 2019.
  12. “About John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 08, 2018.
  13. Wooster, Martin Morse. How Great Philanthropists Failed and You Can Succeed at Protecting Your Legacy. Capital Research Center. Washington, DC. 2017. P. 61
  14. Wooster, Martin Morse. How Great Philanthropists Failed and You Can Succeed at Protecting Your Legacy. Capital Research Center. Washington, DC. 2017. P. 61
  15. “Our History.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed March 24, 2018.
  16. Wooster, Martin Morse. How Great Philanthropists Failed and You Can Succeed at Protecting Your Legacy. Capital Research Center. Washington, DC. 2017. P.67
  17. Muravchik, Joshua. “MacArthur’s Millions.” The American Spectator. January 1992. P. 36
  18. “Our History.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed March 24, 2018.
  19. Wooster, Martin Morse. How Great Philanthropists Failed and You Can Succeed at Protecting Your Legacy. Capital Research Center. Washington, DC. 2017. P. 63
  20. Wooster, Martin Morse. How Great Philanthropists Failed and You Can Succeed at Protecting Your Legacy. Capital Research Center. Washington, DC. 2017. P. 67
  21. Muravchik, Joshua. “MacArthur’s Millions.” The American Spectator. January 1992. P. 36
  22. Wooster, Martin Morse. How Great Philanthropists Failed and You Can Succeed at Protecting Your Legacy. Capital Research Center. Washington, DC. 2017. PP. 67-68
  23. Kinsley, Michael. “What’s So Great About Excellence?” The New Republic. June 6, 1981.
  24. Wooster, Martin Morse. How Great Philanthropists Failed and You Can Succeed at Protecting Your Legacy. Capital Research Center. Washington, DC. 2017. P. 68
  25. Muravchik, Joshua. “MacArthur’s Millions.” The American Spectator. January 1992. P. 37
  26. Scott, Janny. “MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grants Get Some Heat and a New Head.” The New York Times. Published December 9, 1997. Accessed March 25, 2018.
  27. Worley, Sam. “Can the MacArthur Foundation Find Its Mojo?” Chicago. Published August 7, 2015. Accessed March 25, 2018.
  28. Muravchik, Joshua. “MacArthur’s Millions.” The American Spectator. January 1992. P. 38
  29. “Our History.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed March 24, 2018.
  30. “Hampshire College.” Forbes. Accessed April 5, 2018.
  31. “Our History.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed April 11, 2018.
  32. Muravchik, Joshua. “MacArthur’s Millions.” The American Spectator. January 1992. P. 41
  33. Wooster, Martin Morse. How Great Philanthropists Failed and You Can Succeed at Protecting Your Legacy. Capital Research Center. Washington, DC. 2017. P. 71
  34. Fanton, Jonathan F. “Sign Treaty For An International Criminal Court.” Chicago Tribune. December 27, 2000. Accessed April 11, 2018.
  35. “Our History.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed April 11, 2018.
  36. “About our Big Bets.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed March 31, 2018.
  37. Program Budgets MacArthur Foundation Annual Report, 2014. Accessed March 31, 2018.
  38. “Climate Solutions.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 12, 2018.
  39. “About Us.” Energy Foundation. Accessed February 8, 2018.
  40. “Grants Database.” Energy Foundation. Accessed February 08, 2018.
  41. “Energy Foundation.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 8, 2018.
  42. “Grant Search.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 08, 2018.
  43. “Criminal Justice Grantmaking Guidelines.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 13, 2018.
  44. “RELEASE: The Center for American Progress and Mayors From 10 Cities Launch New ‘Mayors for Smart on Crime’ Initiative as Movement Against Outdated Public Safety Approaches Grows.” Center for American Progress. Accessed February 13, 2018.
  45. “An Equitable Approach to Justice That Works.” Smart on Crime. Accessed February 13, 2018.
  46. “Birmingham mayor joins national Smart on Crime initiative.” Date Published February 2, 2018. Accessed February 13, 2018.
  47. Eaglin, Jessica, and Solomon Danyelle. Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Jails: Recommendations for Local Practice. Brennan Center for Justice. New York University School of Law. New York City. 2015. PP. 32-40.
  48. “Poynter Institute.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 12, 2018.
  49. “American Democracy.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 2, 2018.
  50. “Voting Reform Agenda.” Brennan Center for Justice. Published February 10, 2018. Accessed March 11, 2018.
  51. “About.” Voting Rights Institute. Accessed March 11, 2018.
  52. “Small Political Donors Need a Voice in Campaigns.” The New York Times. Published August 22, 2012. Accessed March 11, 2018.
  53. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 2021. Part XIV. Line 3a.
  54. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 2021. Part XIV. Line 3a.
  55. Safety and Justice Challange, Accessed February 22, 2023.
  56. “Our Network.” Safety and Justice Challange, Accessed February 22, 2023.
  57. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 2021. Part XIV. Line 3a.
  58. “Lever for Change.” MacArthur Foundation, Accessed March 31, 2023.,and%20provided%20support%20to%20more%20than%20145%20organizations.
  59. Gamboa, Glenn. “MacKenzie Scott Sets New ‘Open Call’ to Donate $250 Million.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy, March 21, 2023.
  60. “Yield Giving Open Call.” Lever for Change, Accessed March 31, 2023.
  61. Rojc, Philip. “Backing Up Biden: Grantmakers Get Behind a New Federal Anti-Violence Collaborative.” Inside Philanthropy. Inside Philanthropy, July 6, 2021.


    Board Chair Marjorie Scardino

    Born in the United States, Marjorie Scardino was president of the U.K.-based publisher Pearson which owned the Financial Times and book publisher Penguin Group, from 1997 to 2012. She was the first woman to become chief executive of an FTSE 100 company.61Rushton, Katherine. “Marjorie Scardino: the softly-spoken American who rose to the top of Pearson.” The Telegraph. Published October 06, 2012. Accessed March 31, 2018.

  62. “Stocks.” Accessed March 31, 2018.
  63. “John Palfrey Named New MacArthur President.” MacArthur Foundation, March 5, 2019.
  64. “President Julia Stasch.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed March 31, 2018.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Ernesto Cortes, Jr.
    MacArthur Fellow, 1984
  2. Ai-jen Poo
    2014 MacArthur Fellow
  3. Scott Nielsen
    Former Employee
  4. Joel Rogers
    Former Fellow, 1995
  5. Sara Horowitz
    MacArthur Fellow, 1999
  6. Robert Greenstein
    MacArthur Fellow, 1996
  7. John Holdren
    Informal Advisor, "Genius Grant" Recipient

Donation Recipients

  1. 1Sky (Non-profit)
  2. 2020 Census Project (Non-profit)
  3. A Better Chicago (Non-profit)
  4. ABA Fund for Justice and Education (Non-profit)
  5. Advancement Project (Non-profit)
  6. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (Non-profit)
  7. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation (Non-profit)
  8. American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (Non-profit)
  9. American Documentary (Non-profit)
  10. Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) (Non-profit)
  11. Anti-Defamation League Foundation (ADLF) (Non-profit)
  12. Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) (Non-profit)
  13. Bolder Advocacy (Non-profit)
  14. Brookings Institution (Non-profit)
  15. Campaign Legal Center (Non-profit)
  16. Capital Institute (Non-profit)
  17. (Non-profit)
  18. Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) (Non-profit)
  19. Citizen Engagement Lab (CEL) Education Fund (Non-profit)
  20. Center for Civic Design (Non-profit)
  21. Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) (Non-profit)
  22. Center for Digital Democracy (Non-profit)
  23. Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) (Non-profit)
  24. Truman Center for National Policy (CNP) (Non-profit)
  25. Center for Public Integrity (Non-profit)
  26. Center for Responsive Politics (Open Secrets) (Non-profit)
  27. Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (Non-profit)
  28. Century Foundation (Non-profit)
  29. Changelab Solutions (Non-profit)
  30. Chicken & Egg Pictures (Non-profit)
  31. Citizens Climate Education Corporation (Non-profit)
  32. Climate Jobs National Resource Center (Non-profit)
  33. Common Cause (Non-profit)
  34. Common Cause Education Fund (Non-profit)
  35. Conservative Energy Network (Non-profit)
  36. Corporation for Public Broadcasting (Non-profit)
  37. (Non-profit)
  38. Data for Black Lives (Non-profit)
  39. Data & Society (Non-profit)
  40. Democracy Works (Non-profit)
  41. Demos (Non-profit)
  42. EarthRights International (ERI) (Non-profit)
  43. Electronic Privacy Information Center (Non-profit)
  44. Energy Foundation (Non-profit)
  45. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) (Non-profit)
  46. Every Voice Center (Non-profit)
  47. FairVote (Non-profit)
  48. Federation of American Scientists (FAS) (Non-profit)
  49. Firelight Media (Non-profit)
  50. Foundation for National Progress (Non-profit)
  51. Fractured Atlas Productions (Non-profit)
  52. Free Press (Non-profit)
  53. Freedom From Religion Foundation (Non-profit)
  54. FSG (Non-profit)
  55. Fund for Constitutional Government (Non-profit)
  56. Fund for the City of New York (Non-profit)
  57. Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (Non-profit)
  58. Global Greengrants Fund (Non-profit)
  59. Global Impact Investing Network (Non-profit)
  60. Global Partnerships for Oceans (Other Group)
  61. Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (Other Group)
  62. Gynuity Health Projects (Gynuity Institute) (Non-profit)
  63. Harper’s Magazine Foundation (Non-profit)
  64. Institute for Nonprofit News (Non-profit)
  65. Justice at Stake (Non-profit)
  66. Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) (Non-profit)
  67. League of Women Voters (LWV) (Non-profit)
  68. League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) (Non-profit)
  69. MapLight (Non-profit)
  70. Mayors for Smart on Crime (Non-profit)
  71. Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) (Non-profit)
  72. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  73. National Consumer Law Center (Non-profit)
  74. National Housing Conference (Non-profit)
  75. National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE) (Non-profit)
  76. National Women’s Law Center (Non-profit)
  77. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (Non-profit)
  78. NEO Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  79. New America (New America Foundation) (Non-profit)
  80. Pathfinder International (Non-profit)
  81. PBS Foundation (Non-profit)
  82. Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG) (Non-profit)
  83. Pew Charitable Trusts (Non-profit)
  84. Philanthropy Roundtable (Non-profit)
  85. Ploughshares Fund (Non-profit)
  86. Poynter Institute for Media Studies (Non-profit)
  87. Public Knowledge (Non-profit)
  88. Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (Non-profit)
  89. R Street Institute (Non-profit)
  90. Report for America (Non-profit)
  91. Resources for the Future (RFF) (Non-profit)
  92. Rock the Vote (Non-profit)
  93. Roosevelt Institute (Non-profit)
  94. Shelby Response Fund (Non-profit)
  95. Success Academy Charter Schools (SA) (Non-profit)
  96. Sundance Institute (Non-profit)
  97. The GroundTruth Project (Non-profit)
  98. The Prison Fellowship (Non-profit)
  99. Thousand Currents (Non-profit)
  100. Tides Center (Non-profit)
  101. Tobin Project (Non-profit)
  102. Toniic Institute (Non-profit)
  103. Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI) (Non-profit)
  104. U.S. Impact Investing Alliance (Non-profit)
  105. UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) (Non-profit)
  106. Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) (Non-profit)
  107. Violence Policy Center (VPC) (Non-profit)
  108. William J. Brennan Center for Justice (Non-profit)
  109. Windward Fund (Non-profit)
  110. YouthBuild USA (Non-profit)

Supported Movements

  1. 1619 Project
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1971

  • 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
    2020 Dec Form PF $537,302,289 $303,541,809 $8,209,542,030 $609,784,672 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2019 Dec Form PF $595,397,688 $282,345,153 $7,208,352,632 $554,838,356 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form PF $284,907,209 $388,881,036 $6,196,280,734 $391,533,222 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2014 Dec Form PF $575,393,355 $264,344,006 $6,469,167,430 $327,364,389 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $430,126,421 $286,012,311 $6,323,307,217 $347,952,532 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $454,513,951 $297,907,247 $5,987,438,524 $340,721,339 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $246,602,511 $256,118,992 $5,703,076,554 $309,524,627 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

    140 S DEARBORN ST STE 1200
    CHICAGO, IL 60603-5285