Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation does most of its giving in New York and had around $34.5 million in assets and gave more than $6.3 million in a recent yera. 

FUNDING AREAS: Music, performing arts, botanical gardens, environment  

IP TAKE: The foundation is still quite young and has no website, but has shown a commitment to funding cultural, educational and environmental organizations and institutions in the city. The foundation's president, Ann Ziff, has a particular interest in music and opera.

PROFILE: Publishing giant William B. Ziff Jr. passed away in 2006 and left behind not only his three sons— Dirk, Robert and Daniel—but his second wife, Tamsen Ann Ziff. The following year, the Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation was established in William's name. Ann Ziff serves as the president and director of the foundation which has been a consistent funder in the New York City area.

The foundation has a deep interest in music, fueled by Ann Ziff who serves as chairman of the board directors at the Metropolitan Opera, and whose mother was a famous opera singer. Ann Ziff's mother Harriet got her start in the United States singing at the Metropolitan Opera. 

The Mettropolitan Opera has received quite a bit of money from the foundation over the years. The biggest gift was a $30 million unrestricted gift back in 2010, but the money has been coming in long before and has continued since. The foundation also supports other Met Opera related organizations such as the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the Metropolitan Opera Association. The latter received $100,000 in a recent year.

Apart from the opera, the foundation has also supported Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic. Ann Ziff sits on many boards and that often directs the foundation's grantmaking, as in the case with Carnegie Hall which received a five-year, $2 million pledge from the foundation.  The nonprofit music outreach program Sing For Hope received a $500,000, five-year pledge. Sing for Hope was founded by two opera sopranos who have performed at the Metropolitan Opera. Ann Ziff has served on the board for Sing for Hope as well.

Over the years the foundation has also given to the Brooklyn Academy of Music and contributed $2 million to the Bravo Campaign at the Lincoln Center of Performing Arts over a 4-year period. The Bravo Campaign has helped renovate Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard School.

Apart from music, the foundation has also been a supporter of museums such as the American Museum of Natural History, which received $150,000 in a recent year. Ann Ziff sits on the board for that museum as well. The foundation has also been a steady funder of the Science Festival Foundation, which runs a multi-borough science festival in New York City every year. In a recent year, the foundation gave the Science Festival $100,000 and doled out $200,000 in each of the prior two years. 

A few years ago, the foundation also started to make grants to various local poverty organizations such as Surgery for the Poor, Citymeals on Wheels and the New York Restoration Project. These gifts have generally been under the $75,000 mark. The Ziff brothers have made larger gifts to the Robin Hood Foundation in the past. Perhaps that's where the Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation is headed as well. 

Finally, the Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation has shown some interest in conservation. A lot of these grants have been made in Aspen, where the Ziff family holds property and in Southern Florida, but local New York City environmental organizations such as Central Park Conservancy and the Rainforest Alliance have been given money as well. Assets have been around $28 million lately.

PEOPLE:

  • Ann Ziff, President & Director
  • Steven C. Feinman, Vice President 

CONTACT:

The Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation

350 Park Ave., 4th Fl. 

New York, NY United States 10022