Barbara and Donald Tober Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The Barbara and Donald Tober Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Sugar Foods Corporation Chairman Donald Tober and his Barbara. The couple's philanthropy has a New York focus, and is particularly interested in arts and culture. The couple has also supports health, human services, and more.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts & Culture, Health, Human Services, NYC Community, Youth & Education

IP TAKE: The couple's charitable vehicle flies under the radar, with no clear guidelines for grantseekers, or avenues for getting in touch.

PROFILE: Donald G. Tober is chairman of Sugar Foods Corporation, a food manufacturing and marketing company. He and his wife Barbara, who is very active in the arts, have a charity called the Barbara and Donald Tober Foundation, through which they support a number of outfits in New York City. One area of interest is arts and culture, and the forces here are strong. Tober is the president of Acronym Inc., a firm which invests in art related projects. Barbara spent more than forty years advertising and magazine publishing, including at Conde Nast, where she served as editor-in-chief of Brides magazine.

The couple through their foundation has supported Alliance of Resident Theatres, Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Ballet Theatre Foundation, Chashama (a nonprofit group of theaters, gallery spaces, and studios), Jazz at Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Opera, the Met, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Museum of Arts and Design, which received a $365,000 grant in the most recent fiscal year available. Barbara has long been involved with the Museum of Arts and Design, and is currently chair emerita. 

The Tobers also earmark sums for human services in New York City. Tober is a cofounder of the City Meals-on-Wheels program in New York City, which the couple bankrolled. Past grantees also include ACE New York, which "provides homeless services and accepts charitable donations to help and rehabilitate the homeless, and Henry Street Settlement, a social services agency located on the Lower East Side.

In health, the couple has given strong support to New York Presbyterian Fund, which received some $540,000 in recent years. The Tobers have also bankrolled Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Hospital for Special Surgery Fund, Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, and Lighthouse Guild, which "provides a full spectrum of integrated vision and healthcare services helping people who are blind or visually impaired," among other outfits.

Supporting education and youth has also been part of the Tobers' philanthropy in New York City. Past grantees include Harlem School of the Arts, Hunter College Foundation, Juilliard School, New York School of Interior Design, Pratt Institute, and Weill Cornell Medical College. They've also funded Girl Scouts of Greater New York.

The couple has also funded Central Park Conservancy, Friends of the High Line, New York Landmarks Conservancy, and Battery Conservancy, revealing that the couple has an interest in civic space and the environment, too. The foundation has had around $1.5 million in assets lately and given out nearly $1 million in grants.


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The Barbara and Donald Tober Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple, but below is an address:

Barbara and Donald Tober Foundation

950 3rd Ave.

New York City, NY 10022