- Assets: $2,432,582,536 (2009)
- Grants Awarded: $112,195,444 (2009)
Andrew Carnegie, the famous Scottish steel baron from Pittsburgh, established his Foundation in 1911 primarily to promote the "advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." He believed that the wealthy had a moral obligation to give away their fortunes for projects that would benefit society at large, keeping for themselves only what was needed to support their own families. During his lifetime, he donated some $56 million to build 2,509 libraries in the English-speaking world. All told, he personally gave away over $350 million.
During the past few decades, the political leanings of the Carnegie Corporation (CC) have shifted leftward. Today CC believes that its mission is to serve as a catalyst for social change of a leftist nature. One notable individual who served on the Carnegie Board of Directors until recently was Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of Senator John Kerry.
The Carnegie Corporation has four main program areas:
1) The Education program focuses on reforming urban schools and improving the literacy of immigrants. Among its chief financial backers is George Soros' Open Society Institute.
2) The International Peace and Security program focuses on reducing the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons; and on attempting to ban America's development of defensive space-based weaponry such as an anti-missile system. The major contributors to this program include the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
3) The International Development (ID) program focuses mainly on the continent of Africa. In a joint venture with the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, this program is currently attempting to use educational outreach to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS that is ravaging Africa. The ID program also works aggressively to bring to Africa both feminism and affirmative action programs whose beneficiaries are women.
4) The Strengthening U.S. Democracy program aims to “address both the structural and attitudinal barriers” that allegedly prevent young adults and immigrants (the citizenship status of the latter is not specified) from participating more fully in the electoral process. This program also condemns American national security measures such as the Patriot Act, which it says has "provoked fear and confusion in immigrant communities … disproportionately affecting those who are Muslim, Sikh and/or of Middle Eastern descent, including those who are U.S. citizens."
The Carnegie Corporation’s Chairman of the Board is Helene Kaplan, who served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa from 1985-1987. A Carnegie Corporation representative also sits on the steering committee of the Peace and Security Funders Group.
Among the many recent recipients of Carnegie Corporation grants are the American Bar Association; the Alliance for Justice; the American Civil Liberties Union; the Aspen Institute; the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center; the Brookings Institution; the Center for Community Change; Citizen Action; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; the Cornell University Peace Studies Program; Democracy Matters Institute; Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action; Duke University; the Earth Day Network; the Economic Policy Institute; the Gates Foundation Funds; Human Rights Watch; the Immigrant Workers Citizenship Project; the Interfaith Education Fund; the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the League of Women Voters Education Fund; the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense & Education Fund; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; National Council of La Raza; National Public Radio; National Urban League; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Neighborhood Funders Group; the Paul Robeson Foundation; People for the American Way; the Ploughshares Fund; Project Vote; the Proteus Fund; the Public Broadcasting System; Public Citizen; the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund; Rock the Vote Education Fund; the Rockefeller Family Fund; Rutgers University; State Voices; the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center; the Union of Concerned Scientists; the Urban Institute; the U.S. Public Interest Research Group; and the William J. Brennan Jr. Center for Justice.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, click here.
(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)