OVERVIEW: The Carl C. Icahn Foundation is one of several charitable outfits directed by billionaire Carl Icahn and his wife, Gail. The foundation does much of its grantmaking in New York City.
IP TAKE: Much of Icahn's philanthropy has stayed close to home, going to build charter schools and homeless shelters in his native New York City and providing significant support to major hospitals and medical schools. As a signatory of the Giving Pledge, a lot more money is likely to go out the door.
FUNDING AREAS: Education, health care, community development, and arts and culture
PROFILE: Icahn grew up in New York City and went to Princeton, earning a bachelor’s in philosophy. He joined the Army, and then returned to New York to begin a career on Wall Street. He started his own brokerage firm a few years later, and slowly worked his way up through the ranks. Now one of the richest people in the U.S., he owns controlling interest in many major corporations and is chairman of his own firm, Icahn Enterprises.
Money coming out of the Carl C. Icahn Foundation in recent years has generally been under $1 million annually, but this isn't the only Icahn philanthropic vehicle. A recent year saw $730,500 in total giving. Regardless, Icahn's hometown is a high-priority funding area.
In education, the Icahns are strong supporters of the charter school movement. Through their Foundation for a Greater Opportunity, a separate philanthropic entity, they founded Icahn Charter Schools, a collection of seven charter schools in the Bronx. Icahn has also recently funded the outfit Prep for Prep which "provides leadership skills for promising students of color." Of his education strategy, Icahn has said that he "takes the same approach to education as I do to corporate boards." His approach appears to be motivating teachers and principals with bonuses for good performance, reducing waste while increasing accountability, and not micromanaging.
Some of the couple's largest sums have gone to health. In a past year, they funded New York City health outfits such as Mt. Sinai Adolescent Center, and Mt. Sinai Children's Center. In the past several years, Icahn has donated more than $200 million to Mount Sinai Hospital and School of Medicine and the school has been renamed Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. That school also houses the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology.
Yeshiva University Albert Einstein School of Medicine has received around $1 million per year over the course of a couple years. Modest sums have also gone to Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to "transforming mental health care for the world's children to enable them to reach their full potential."
Apart from education and health, the Icahns have supported a wide variety of other outfits including the New York Police League Foundation, Bowery Mission, and Citymeals on Wheels. Through another Icahn outfit called the Children's Rescue Fund, the Ichans established the 65-unit Icahn House in the Bronx, which assists with the transition of homeless single women and their families, and the Icahn House East and Icahn House West, which are homeless shelters in New York City.
The Carl C. Icahn Foundation has no web presence and no available guidelines for grantseekers.
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Carl C. Icahn Foundation
767 5th Avenue, Ste. 4700
New York, NY 10153