Robert and Kimberly Kravis Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The Robert and Kimberly Kravis Foundation funds cancer research and education more than any other causes. Although the foundation isn't particularly transparent, it is slowly gaining a reputation for being one of the biggest funders in New York City.

IP TAKE: Although cancer research is a priority for the Kravis Foundation, local New York City organizations have the best chances at funding with an education proposal. Local education grants rarely exceed $100,000, but the foundation does consider some of them every year.

PROFILE: There are three different Kravis Foundations in New York, and not surprisingly, they are all related. The Kravis grandparents, Raymond and Bessie, have a foundation. The Kravis parents, Henry and Marie-Josee, have a foundation and the Kravis adult children, Robert and Kimberly, have their own separate foundation too. So who is this Kravis family, and why do they have so much money to spread around the city of New York?

Grandfather Raymond was a successful oil engineer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Father Henry is the cofounder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a private equity firm with more than $62 billion in assets. But today, we're focusing on Henry's adult children, Robert and Kimberly, who are powerful up-and-comers on the New York philanthropy scene.

Although Robert keeps a low profile, Kimberly has made headlines with her luxury real estate career and her marriage to Jonathan Schulhof, heir to the Sony Corporation of America fortune. Before Kimberly started working at the Panache Privee luxury real estate firm, she graduated with an MBA from Harvard and worked in the retail sales development group at Tiffany & Company in New York. She got her philanthropy experience by interning at the Robin Hood Foundation, another major player in the city.

Long story short, the Kravis siblings, Robert and Kimberly, are the fortunate recipients of multi-generational success. A foundation was established in their names in 1998, and most of its grantmaking activity goes toward education. Cancer research also is a huge priority for the foundation. In fact, Kimberly is vice president of New York's Lung Cancer Research Foundation. Past Kravis grants in New York City include $5 million to Columbia University, $2 million to Rockefeller University, $1 million to the Carnegie Hall Society, and $25,000 to the Lung Cancer Research Foundation.

The funder recently claimed over $7.8 in assets but just $130,333 in total giving. 

Pretty much all of Kravis's grants are made for general operating support and payable over one year. Although most of the larger grants go to well-established universities, museums, and research institutes, a few smaller grants are awarded each year to lesser-known local organizations, such as the Episcopal School in the City of New York and New Visions for Public Schools.

Unfortunately, the foundation does not have a website and only contributes to preselected organizations. The siblings don't employ a staff at the foundation, and the daily operations are mostly handled by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which you can reach by phone with general inquiries at 212-750-8300.

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