Other Group

The Illumination Fund

Website:

thelmtif.org/

Location:

New York, NY

Founded:

2007

Executive Director:

Rick Luftglass

The Illumination Fund is a grantmaking organization founded in 2007 by philanthropist Laurie Tisch. [1] The Illumination Fund supports various social and civic causes in New York City [2] and surpassed $100 million in donations to various causes by the end of 2018. [3]

About

Tisch admitted that when she created the Illumination Fund, the organization’s mission was confounded and did not focus on one specific goal. After conferring with Melissa Berman, president of the left-of-center Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Tisch realized that “working toward a level playing field for all” was at the heart of the issues that interested her and became the foundation for the Illumination Fund’s pursuits. [4]

The Fund supports various art, art education, health, and civic engagement opportunities in New York City. [5] The Fund not only awards grants, but also develops its own initiatives to address various community needs. [6] The Fund has worked with city agencies including the Department of Education and Department of Public Health on various public-private partnerships. [7]

Programs

Current programming includes the Arts in Health program that addresses issues such as aging-related diseases and combating mental health stigmas, a Jewish Program that fosters “cross-cultural communication” and community engagement, as well as “Access to the Arts” and civic engagement programs. [8]

The Fund has engaged in a handful of short-term initiatives including the Healthy Food and Community Change initiative, a $15 million, five-year commitment that built on the NYC Green Cart program—a program that used mobile vending to increase access to fresh produce in various New York City neighborhoods. [9]

Leadership

Laurie Tisch, a philanthropist, is the president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. She is a trustee of the Aspen Institute, the Jewish Communal Fund and the Juilliard School and sits on the board of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. [10] She is the daughter of Preston Robert Tisch, a businessman who began by building a small hotel company that morphed into the Loews Corporation. Later, he owned a 50 percent interest in the New York Giants and served as Postmaster General of the United States from 1986 until 1988. [11] Following in the footsteps of her late father, Tisch is a co-owner of the New York Giants. [12]

Rick Luftglass is the executive director of the Illumination Fund. Before working at the Illumination Fund, Luftglass worked at the Pfizer Foundation as its executive director. He participated in former President Barack Obama’s neighborhood revitalization strategy by working as a grant reviewer for the Promise Neighborhoods initiatives, a project of the Department of Education. Luftglass sat on the board of Philanthropy New York and received an MBA at Stanford University. [13]

The organization’s program officer is Michelle Bae who has worked with the Illumination Fund since 2014. Prior to working at the Illumination Fund, Bae worked at the left-wing Nathan Cummings Foundation. She attended Creighton University and earned a bachelor’s in history. [14]

Emily Arias is the organization’s office and grants manger and previously worked in development for the U.S. Sciences Po Foundation. Arias attended Baruch College for her undergraduate degree in marketing and attended The New School for her master’s in international affairs. [15]

References

  1. Jason Dean / December 28, 2018. “Laurie M. Tisch: Perfecting the Art of Philanthropy: CSQ: C-Suite Quarterly.” CSQ, April 20, 2021. https://csq.com/2018/12/laurie-m-tisch-perfecting-the-art-of-philanthropy/#.Ygb9eO7ML0s. ^
  2. “Home.” Illumination Fund, January 11, 2022. https://thelmtif.org/. ^
  3. Jason Dean / December 28, 2018. “Laurie M. Tisch: Perfecting the Art of Philanthropy: CSQ: C-Suite Quarterly.” CSQ, April 20, 2021. https://csq.com/2018/12/laurie-m-tisch-perfecting-the-art-of-philanthropy/#.Ygb9eO7ML0s. ^
  4. Jason Dean / December 28, 2018. “Laurie M. Tisch: Perfecting the Art of Philanthropy: CSQ: C-Suite Quarterly.” CSQ, April 20, 2021. https://csq.com/2018/12/laurie-m-tisch-perfecting-the-art-of-philanthropy/#.Ygb9eO7ML0s. ^
  5. “Home.” Illumination Fund, January 11, 2022. https://thelmtif.org/. ^
  6. “About Us.” Illumination Fund, July 8, 2021. https://thelmtif.org/about-us/#Mission. ^
  7. Jason Dean / December 28, 2018. “Laurie M. Tisch: Perfecting the Art of Philanthropy: CSQ: C-Suite Quarterly.” CSQ, April 20, 2021. https://csq.com/2018/12/laurie-m-tisch-perfecting-the-art-of-philanthropy/#.Ygb9eO7ML0s. ^
  8. “Our Programs.” Illumination Fund, January 11, 2022. https://thelmtif.org/our-programs/. ^
  9. “Our Programs.” Illumination Fund, January 11, 2022. https://thelmtif.org/our-programs/. ^
  10. “Our Founder.” Illumination Fund, January 11, 2022. https://thelmtif.org/about-us/our-founder/. ^
  11.  “Our Name.” The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, November 14, 2019. https://tischbraintumorcenter.duke.edu/our-name. ^
  12. “Our Founder.” Illumination Fund, January 11, 2022. https://thelmtif.org/about-us/our-founder/. ^
  13. “Our Staff.” Illumination Fund, December 9, 2020. https://thelmtif.org/about-us/our-staff/. ^
  14. “Our Staff.” Illumination Fund, December 9, 2020. https://thelmtif.org/about-us/our-staff/. ^
  15. “Our Staff.” Illumination Fund, December 9, 2020. https://thelmtif.org/about-us/our-staff/. ^
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