Samberg Family Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The Samberg Family Foundation's mission is to support “healthy and productive living for children and youth, families and communities” through its three main areas of giving: education, health, and Jewish life. Many of the foundation's grantees are in the New York City area, where the family resides. 

IP TAKE: The majority of Samberg's grants are multi-year, and the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. This will make it tough for newcomers to get into the door. 

PROFILE: The Samberg Family Foundation was established by Rebecca and Arthur Samberg in 1995. Arthur Samberg earned his wealth as founder and CEO of the hedge fund Pequot Capital Management. The foundation's mission is to support “healthy and productive living for children and youth, families and communities” through its three main areas of giving: Education, health, and Jewish life.

Samberg's education grantmaking supports initiatives that help children and youth from low-income backgrounds thrive at the various stages and places in their lives. Grantmaking includes support of literacy programming for early readers, extended learning and enrichment time for middle school students, and initiatives for high schoolers to help them prepare for college and beyond. 

New York education grantees include 100Kin10, whose goal is to produce 100,000 excellent STEM teachers; Harlem RBI; and Harlem Children's Zone, where the couple's daughter Laura sits on the board of trustees. Harlem Children's Zone has received several million from the family through the years.

Arthur Samberg has also been a strong supporter of his alma mater Columbia Business School, where he gave a $25 million gift toward the school’s new Manhattanville facilities. He also gave at least $35 million to the school last decade, and a $10 million gift created the Arthur J. Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence in his honor.

The Samberg Family Foundation's health grantmaking, meanwhile, links health with poverty and includes support of areas like maternal and child health, mental health, and health education. New York City health grantees include Nurse Family Partnership and NiteStar, a peer education program, which addresses behaviors related to adolescent emotional and physical health.

Samberg and Rebecca, a few years ago, gave $25 million to NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital to create the Samberg Scholars in Children's Health. Samberg has served on the board of trustees of New York-Presbyterian since 2004. 

The Sambergs, via their foundation, also support Jewish causes in New York City. A big winner here has been UJA Federation of New York, where Samberg served as senior chair of the Wall Street and Financial Services Division of UJA. The Sambergs and their foundation have also given at least $2.5 million to Birthright Israel Foundation.

Grants from this foundation are pretty substantial, ranging from around $15,000 to $1 million. However, the majority fall in the $25,000 to $200,000 range. 


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