- Assets: $65,044,949 (2013)
- Grants Received: $0 (2013)
- Grants Awarded: $3,444,223 (2013)
The Prospect Hill Foundation (PHF) is a private foundation established in New York in 1960 by Elizabeth G. Beinecke and William S. Beinecke, who was then President of the Sperry and Hutchinson Company (best known as the originator of S&H green stamps). In 1983, the Prospect Hill Foundation merged with the Frederick W. Beinecke Fund, which had been established by the will of William S. Beinecke’s father and was later augmented by the will of Carrie Sperry Beinecke, his mother. (Frederick W. Beinecke earned his fortune with the Sperry and Hutchinson Company, which he co-founded, and which, at its peak, employed 17,000 people.)The Prospect Hill Foundation’s current Director and President is William S. Beinecke’s son John, who also is the Vice President and a Director of Antaeus Enterprises, Inc., a private investment company based in New York. In addition, John Beinecke serves as Chairman of the Lincoln Center Theater, and as a Director of the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association and the Sperry Fund. Beinecke, who received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University, gave $2,000 to the John Kerry presidential campaign in 2004.
Most of the Prospect Hill Foundation’s grants support activities in the United States. While many of these activities are national in scope, the Foundation focuses its philanthropy disproportionately on regional issues in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. It also gives some limited funding to environmental conservation and reproductive health projects in the Mayan region of Latin America. The Prospect Hill Foundation’s stated mission is “to advance the human experience while ensuring the well-being of the earth,” an objective it pursues by making grants in three program sectors:
1) Environmental Conservation: Priorities in this program area are intended “to support conservation strategies that protect natural systems, and to improve air quality for the benefit of human and ecological health.” In PHF’s calculus, the best way to promote such ideals is to fund organizations committed to the anti-capitalist agendas of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is “not clean air and clean water, [but] rather . . . the demolition of technological/industrial civilization.”
The Prospect Hill Foundation’s top recent grantees in the environmental realm are the Natural Resources Defense Council (to which the Foundation gave $831,000 from 1988 to 2001); the Rainforest Alliance ($135,000 from 1990 to 2001); the Sierra Club ($10,000 in 1993); the Tides Foundation and Tides Center ($45,000 from 1992 to 1999); the Union of Concerned Scientists ($20,000 from 2000-01); the Wilderness Society ($60,000 from 1993-2001); and the World Resources Institute ($72,000 from 1995 to 2001).
2) Nuclear Weapons Control: This program’s chief priority is “to limit the spread of nuclear weapons by providing reliable information to U.S. policy makers, the media and the public.” Toward this end, the Prospect Hill Foundation has become a member organization of the Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG).
In 2004-2005, the Prospect Hill Foundation’s “Nuclear Weapons Control” grant recipients included: the Arms Control Association ($50,000); the National Security Archive ($35,000); the Natural Resources Defense Council ($50,000 was earmarked for this organization’s Nuclear Weapons and Waste program); and the Ploughshares Fund ($5,000 was funneled by this organization directly to PSFG).
3) Reproductive Health: This program’s priority is “to support the right of men and women to be informed of, and have access to, safe, effective, affordable, and acceptable methods of fertility regulation of their choice.” In 2004-2005, the Prospect Hill Foundation’s “Reproductive Health” grant recipients included: Catholics for a Free Choice ($20,000); the Center for Reproductive Rights ($25,000); Planned Parenthood of New York City ($50,000); and Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island ($7,500). Each of these organizations supports the right to unrestricted taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand for all pregnant women.
All told, from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005, the Prospect Hill Foundation awarded grants totaling $2.9 million to 95 separate organizations. In addition, a matching-contributions program awarded $245,000 to 203 groups. As of June 30, 2006, the endowment market value of the Prospect Hill Foundation was $68 million.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Prospect Hill Foundation, click here.