OVERVIEW: The Leeds Family Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of investor Laurence Leeds and his wife Dalia. This New York City couple's philanthropy involves education, health, arts, and more. The couple helped bankroll the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning at the New York Junior Tennis & Learning Center in honor of their late son.
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Arts & Culture, NYC Community, Health, Jewish Causes,
IP TAKE: This foundation flies under the radar with a minimal web presence, and no clear guidelines for grantseekers.
PROFILE: Lawrence C. Leeds Jr., received his B.A. from Yale in 1950, and his MBA from Wharton in 1952. Leeds served as chairman and CEO of the Manhattan Shirt Company. He entered the investment industry in 1988 as an analyst for The Buckingham Research Group and currently serves as chairman of Buckingham Capital Management. Leeds serves on such boards as Prep For Prep, the FIT Foundation, Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, and NYU Langone Medical Center all in New York.
Leeds and his wife, Dalia, have a charitable vehicle, the Leeds Family Foundation, through which the couple bankrolls a range of New York City outfits. In education, the couple has supported outfits such as Literacy Partners, which "empowers parents through education," Prep For Prep, whose aim is to develop "leaders of color through access to superior education and life-changing opportunities," and FIT Foundation, which received a grant of some $101,000 in a recent fiscal year. The FIT Foundation supports the Fashion Institute of Technology. The couple through their foundation also gave a $200,000 grant to NYU.
The Leeds couple has been heavily involved with New York Junior Tennis & Learning Center (NYJTL), a "tennis-themed nonprofit offering comprehensive school- and community-based out-of-school time programs to youth 6-18 years of age throughout New York City." Leeds chaired the campaign to build the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning at NYJTL which opened in June of 2015. The forces here are personal, as the couple's son, Cary, passed away. Cary was a star on Yale’s varsity tennis team in the 1970s, and went on to become a world-ranked player, and a Wimbledon mixed doubles semifinalist. He also coached gifted youth. The Leeds family through their foundation have also bankrolled Figure Skating in Harlem, New York Landmarks Conservancy, and City Parks Foundation.
The couple also earmarks sums for health and human services in New York City. Past grantees include Alzheimers Drug Discovery , NYU Langone Medical Center, 92nd Street Y, and Henry Street Settlement, a "social service agency in the Lower East Side neighborhood."
Leeds and Dalia have also supported New York City arts outfits such as Carnegie Hall Society, Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Met, MoMa, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. They've also funded Jewish outfits such as UJA Federation of New York, and American Friends of Israel Museum. At the end of a recent year, the funder reported nearly $21 million in assets and over $1.4 million in total giving.
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The Leeds Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue to get in touch with the couple but below is an address:
Leeds Family Foundation
120 W. 45th St., 7th Fl.
New York City, NY 10036