Ron and Cheryl Howard

NET WORTH: $160 million, estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Director, Actor

FUNDING AREAS: Arts & Culture, Environment & Animals, Health, Human Services, Other

OVERVIEW: Ron Howard does his grantmaking through the Ron and Cheryl Howard Family Foundation, which he runs with his wife Cheryl. In recent years, the foundation has given modestly. Quite a number of grants are under $1,000 and amounts rarely exceed $50,000. The couple's funding interests include the environment, global development work, arts (film), and supporting the local Connecticut community.

BACKGROUND: Ron Howard was born in 1954 in Oklahoma to a theatrical family; his mother was an actress and his father was an actor and director. Howard appeared in his first movie when he was just 18 months old and made his stage debut at age two. The child actor eventually caught the eye of a producer of The Andy Griffith Show. Howard's Hollywood career progressed and he later starred in Happy Days. Howard soon also found his way behind the camera. Over the years, Howard has directed such movies as Apollo 13, which was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won two, and A Beautiful Mind, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director.


ARTS & CULTURE: The couple via their Ron and Cheryl Howard Family Foundation have supported NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Tribeca Film Institute, Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) in Westchester County, New York. JBFC is a nonprofit with “a dual mission of independent film exhibition and 21st century education.” Howard has been a member of the organization since it opened in 2001, and he has served on the board since 2011. Other grantees include NPR and PEN America Center.

ENVIRONMENT & ANIMALS: Grantees include Outer Bank Conservationists, ASPCA, and NRDC. 

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT, HEALTH AND POVERTY: The couple also supports organizations that work on a global level like Finca, a "global nonprofit microfinance institution serving low-income entrepreneurs in developing countries" ; V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls; Happy Books Zimbabwe; Doctors Without Borders; and the Fistula Foundation, which funds obstetric fistula treatment in Africa and Asia.

OTHER: Grantees also include Armed Forces Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation, which honors "veterans, first responders, their families and those in need." The couple have also supported Sandy Hook School Support Fund and other Connecticut outfits. Some of the foundation's larger amounts support the NYC antipoverty giant, Robin Hood Foundation.

LOOKING FORWARD: The couple supports several different interest areas, but it is unclear if more money will go out of the door in the coming years.


The Ron and Cheryl Howard Family Foundation doesn't have a clear avenue for contacting the couple, but an address is below:

Ron & Cheryl Howard Family Foundation
1700 E. Putnam Ave., No. 408
Old Greenwich, CT 06870