The state of California is home to some of the world’s leading colleges and academic institutions. The Golden State has become a hotbed of philanthropic activity for donors in the academic sector, with large donations flowing to institutions across California. Californian business leader, Benjy Grinberg, has established a scholarship to assist students seeking higher educational opportunities in the state. Grinberg is one of several philanthropists who have sought to expand their work into the academic sector of California.
1. The Wonderful Company
Stewart and Lynda Resnick have been expanding their business empire for decades to create The Wonderful Company. In 2019, the founders of The Wonderful Company made a $750 million donation to the California Institute of Technology, the second-largest donation to an academic institution in U.S. history, aimed at making California a hub for research into environmental sustainability. The Wonderful Company believes the fight for sustainability is about more than maintaining environmental balance; it’s about improving people’s lives. To that end, the Company undertakes a wide range of education and health & wellness efforts every year to positively impact the day-to-day lives of its employees, their families, and the communities they serve. In California’s Central Valley, the Company is transforming education to enable a lifetime of career opportunities for its large population of employees who live and work there. Here is more CNN.
2. The Benjy Grinberg Scholarship
Benjy Grinberg established his scholarship to give back to students who are looking to further their education. Benjy understands the problems facing business leaders and startups, which is why he created a scholarship given annually to worthy students. The entrepreneur and philanthropist provide financial support to college and high school students who want to continue their education in California.
3. Hewlett Packard
The technology giant, Hewlett Packard, was founded in Palo Alto in 1939. In 2001, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation decided to donate $400 million to Stanford Unversity in honor of the founder of the company, William Hewlett. The foundation decided to give $400 million to the school when that size of gift was uncommon. William Packard was a dedicated alumnus of Stanford and had given his time and funds to help the school achieve its goals. After his death, the foundation decided to address the problems in budget facing the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University reports. At the time of the donation, it was estimated this was the largest in history.
Technology companies have played a role in the development of the philanthropic sector of academia. The Intel founder, Gordon Moore, and his wife, Betty used their foundation to donate $600 million to the Technical Institute of California. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation pledged $600 million to CalTech in 2001, with $300 million being provided upfront and the other half of the gift paid over five years. The decision to donate to Stanford came after Moore graduated from the school in 1954. Moore would go on to find the Intel company and create close links with his alma mater. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation retains close links to Silicon Valley, with the group based in San Francisco.
5. Prometheus Real Estate
Sanford Diller established the Prometheus Real Estate brand in the 1950s and remained dedicated to philanthropy throughout his life. After the death of the Prometheus Real Estate founder, the management of his philanthropic foundation was undertaken by his widow, Helen Diller. The Prometheus Real Estate billionaire has made it her goal to provide funding for the University of California-San Francisco medical center. The funding provided through her philanthropic donations has focused on cancer research at the medical center. Helen Diller and Prometheus Real Estate have provided over $150 million in funding over several years to the UCSF medical facility to make it one of the most important in the world.
The online retailer allows its customers to provide donations for their favorite charities. However, the ex-wife of the founder, Jeff Bezos, Mackenzie Scott has expanded her philanthropic giving. Scott was born in San Francisco and stunned the philanthropic sector with her gifts totaling over $4 billion to over 300 colleges. The Amazon shareholder believes giving back to the world is her responsibility and has expanded her giving to the academic institutions that catch her eye. An example of the philanthropy of Mackenzie Scott is her $12 million gifts to Los Angeles-based Whittier College. The small college hit the headlines in 2020 when a student battled to have the school recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
7. James Irvine Foundation
James Irvine may not be a household name, but the foundation created in his memory is one of the most successful in California. The Irvine family has remained at the top of the Californian real estate industry in the Golden State and beyond. The James Irvine Foundation is the charitable arm of The Irvine Company and takes its name from the rancher who started moving the company to business success. The main goal of the James Irvine Foundation is to create equality for low-income families in California and the U.S. In the midst of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the James Irvine Foundation donated $15 million to create racial equality in the city of Fresno. The DRIVE program in Fresno is vital to the fight against poverty in California.