Wyncote Foundation




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $40,932,007
Expenses: $31,148,968
Assets: $494,204,226


Private Grantmaking Foundation




John C. Hass

Managing Director:

Kristin Ross

Board of Directors:

Leonard Haas

David Haas

Duncan Haas

Frederick Haas

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Wyncote Foundation is a left-of-center private grantmaking foundation run by the heirs to the Otto Haas family estate. The foundation is primarily focused on supporting environmentalist advocacy groups and non-profits promoting public journalism and broadcasting, while also supporting the arts, conservationists, and health service organizations. 1

The foundation received its endowment in 2009 from the Otto and Phoebe Haas Charitable Trust, more commonly associated with the $2.2 billion grant-making William Penn Foundation. The Trust was created in 1945 by Otto Haas, who with Otto Rohm co-founded the massive “Rohm and Haas” chemical manufacturing company. The organization was acquired by competitor Dow Chemical Company for $15 billion in 2009,2 the same year the Otto and Phoebe Haas Charitable Trust created the Wyncote Foundation. 3

The Wyncote Foundation was created at the direction John C. Haas, Otto Haas’s son. Today Leonard, David, Duncan, and Fredrick Haas serve on the organization’s board of directors. 4


German-born businessman Otto Haas co-founded “Rohm and Haas” in 1907, and soon after moved the business to Philadelphia. The chemical company experienced exponential growth during both World Wars, eventually joining the Fortune 500 before being purchased by chemical giant and competitor Dow Chemicals in 2009. 5 The Wyncote Foundation was founded the same year with funds from the Otto and Phoebe Haas Charitable Trusts, perhaps the largest grant-making trust in Philadelphia after the Pew Charitable Trust . 6 Similar to its larger sister organization, the William Penn Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation’s mission is no longer based on Otto Haas’s directive to support fatherless children as his son John C. Haas expanded the trust’s focus to include environmentalist policies and the arts. 7

Wyncote Foundation Northwest

Headquartered out of Seattle, Wyncote Foundation Northwest is an offshoot of the Wyncote Foundation and is focused on environmental, low-income housing, and health & human services policies. 8

Organizations supported by the Wyncote Foundation include:9

  • Rails to Trails Conservancy.
  • Real Change Homelessness Project.
  • Town Hall Association.
  • Washington Environmental Council.
  • Low Income Housing Institute.
  • Northwest Harvest.
  • Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development.

Income and Expenditures

The Wyncote Foundation classifies its grants under six programs: Arts and Culture, Education, Environment, Health and Human Services, Preservation, and Public Media & Journalism10.

The Environmental Program supports organizations such as the National Audubon Society, the Natural Lands Trust, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and the Rodale Institute. 11

The Public Media and Journalism Program supports public broadcasting, funding left-of-center organizations such as World Channel and Current and the Lenfest Institution, a massive non-profit organization created by news magnate H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. 12

In 2017, the Wyncote Foundation generated $27,013,993 in net-profit from interest on cash holdings and securities. The Wyncote Foundation in turn spent $35,096,013 on expenses and grants13. That year, the Foundation gave $10,126,000 to non-profits supporting arts and culture, $4,492,002 to public media and journalism organizations, and $1,604,760 to environmentalist organizations14.


In 2014, the Rohm and Haas chemical corporation reached an undisclosed settlement agreement with 33 plaintiffs who alleged that decades of dumping highly toxic materials, including trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride15, into the soil and ground-water of McCullum Lake, Illinois was the source of a highly clustered and rare form of brain cancer that afflicted their community. Litigating began in 2006 when the organization was still under the direct control of the Haas family. 16


  1. “Home” Wyncote Foundation.
  2. “Dow Chemical buys Rohm and Haas” Bloomberg. April 1, 2009. Accessed July 27, 2019.
  3. “History and Heritage” William Penn Foundation.
  4. “About” Wyncote Foundation.
  5. “Rohm and Haas Company Snapshot” Bloomberg.
  6. Fernandez, Bob “Charity Giants -The Haas trusts have grown. But will Phila. area nonprofits gain from the growth?” The Philadelphia Inquirer. April 26, 2009. Accessed July 27, 2019.
  7. “History and Heritage” William Penn Foundation.
  8. “Northwest” Wyncote Foundation.
  9. “Northwest” Wyncote Foundation.
  10. “Home” Wyncote Foundation.
  11. “Grant Making Areas – Environment”
  12. Mathis, Joel. “Gerry Lenfest is Tom Corbett’s Second-Biggest Donor.” Philadelphia Magazine. February 3, 2014. Accessed July 27, 2019.
  13. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” Accessed July 27, 2019, Part 1, Lines 1-26.
  14. “About – FY 2017 Financial Highlights” Wyncote Foundation.
  15. Reish, Marc S. “Brain Cancer Case Settled” Chemical & Engineering News. January 12, 2015.  Accessed July 27, 2019.
  16. Eldeib, Duaa “Woman who fought chemical company over Chicago-area cancer cluster dies” The Chicago Tribune. June 21, 2016. Accessed July 27, 2019.
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 2009

  • 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 $40,932,007 $31,148,968 $494,204,226 $35,071,382 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $60,636,902 $44,005,682 $532,953,484 $50,681,903 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $14,326,954 $37,824,422 $536,775,681 $41,205,499 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $16,348,089 $32,765,238 $516,012,211 $36,742,546 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $21,303,514 $44,281,209 $495,973,420 $39,601,359 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Wyncote Foundation

    1717 ARCH ST 14TH FLOOR
    PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103-2740