- Assets: $79,006,134 (2011)
- Grants Received: $125,000 (2011)
- Grants Awarded: $0 (2011)
The Iowa-based Stanley Foundation (SF) was created in 1956 by the engineer C. Maxwell Stanley and his wife Elizabeth, as a result of what the Foundation describes as the couple's “deep concerns about global security in an increasingly interdependent world.” SF's initial board of directors consisted only of the two founders and their children, and its programming began on a small scale. The Foundation's policy dialogue work started in 1960 with a “Strategy for Peace” conference, and its first “United Nations of the Next Decade” gathering was held five years later. SF's first paid staff member came on board in 1967. Four years after that, Project Enrichment, the Foundation's initial community-education program, was instituted in the schools of Muscatine, Iowa.
C. Maxwell Stanley served as president of SF until his death in 1984, at which time his son, Richard Stanley, succeeded him in that position. A professional engineer like his father, Richard remains president of the Foundation to this day. The SF website depicts him as a “world citizen,” in the mold of the father.
In 1989, SF established a two-tier governance structure to facilitate greater involvement by members of the extended Stanley family. Today, many third-generation family members are engaged in the Foundation's work.
Stating that its mission is to promote “public understanding, constructive dialogue, and cooperative action on critical international issues,” SF is a member organization of the Peace and Security Funders Group. The Foundation invariably advocates efforts to achieve what it calls “principled multilateralism in addressing international issues,” so that “the causes of conflict are addressed and disputes are resolved without recourse to violence.”
Following is a brief overview of SF's five major initiatives.
* The Global Leadership program calls for an expansion of the agendas of the G-8 and G-20 summits, as well as “focused diplomacy to bridge differences, follow through on policy initiatives, and complement relationships with the United Nations and other multilateral institutions.” These reforms, says SF, will help the summits “contribute to more effective global governance and tap the international community’s capacity.”
* The UNSCR 1540 program uses policy dialogues and regional workshops to “engag[e] policymakers, diplomats, and civil society within the United States, at UN Headquarters, and in foreign capitals on the importance of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by nonstate actors.”
* The Nuclear Material Security program calls for “U.S. leadership and international cooperation (including full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540) to effectively secure the global supply of nuclear-weapon usable material,” a measure that would “eliminat[e] the threat” of nuclear war.
* The Preventing Genocide initiative aims to "prevent the next mass atrocity" by exhorting UN officials, diplomats, and policymakers to "support full implementation of the Responsibility to Protect—particularly as a preventive framework." To encourage public discussion on this topic, the Foundation has produced Before the Killing Begins: The Politics of Mass Violence, an “event-in-a-box” tool kit that “considers how early preventive strategies by governments and the international community should build much-needed capacities within countries, and make it harder for leaders to resort to violence.”
* The Community Partnerships program promotes “global education” on a variety of topics with local significance but far-reaching implications. For example, SF partners with a number of Iowa schools to provide resources and learning opportunities for teachers and students. As an expression of this partnership, some Foundation staffers participate in SF's Earth Awareness Portable Classroom, whereby they give in-school presentations designed to “offer students the chance to experience geography in a new way, focusing on physical aspects of each continent as well as including general math skills.” Further, local educators are offered an opportunity to study and travel internationally through SF's Catherine Miller Explorer Awards. The Foundation also “partners with community organizations to provide [additional] educational opportunities.”
To view a list of the Stanley Foundation's past major initiatives, click here.
For additional information on the Stanley Foundation, click here.
(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)