NET WORTH: $100 million
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Time Warner; Citigroup
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Human Services, Health
OVERVIEW: Richard Parsons, his wife Laura and family do their grantmaking through the Parsons Family Foundation, an under the radar organization that does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals. The family's philanthropy prioritizes New York City and the northeast, with education and the arts receiving high priority. Parsons chairs the board of directors of Apollo Theater in Harlem.
BACKGROUND: Richard D. Parsons was born in Brooklyn in 1948. He attended University of Hawaii and Albany Law School. Parsons began his professional career as counsel to New York governor and later U.S. vice president Nelson Rockefeller. He also worked at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. Parsons later became president and then chairman and CEO of Dime Bancorp. In 1995 he joined Time Warner, becoming chairman and CEO. In 2009, he served as chairman of Citigroup until stepping down from that position in 2012. In 2018, he became the interim chairman of CBS’ board of directors after Les Moonves stepped down after accusations of sexual harassment.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Richard Parsons, his wife, Laura, and family via their foundation support education and youth organizations. Many of these are in the New York City area, such as Teach for America, New Visions for Public Schools, and NYU. Harlem organizations such as Harlem Children's Zone, Harlem Village Academies, Harlem RBI, and more also receive support. They also support De La Salle Academy.
ARTS & CULTURE: The family have been strong supporters of Apollo Theater in Harlem, where Parsons chairs the board of directors. Other arts grantees include Jazz Foundation of America, Neue Galerie, and the Modern Museum of Art.
HUMAN SERVICES & HEALTH: Past grantees include VIP Community Services, which offers addiction treatment; Harlem YMCA; and the New York STEM Cell Foundation.
OTHER: The Parsons have also made grants to environmental organizations, as well as towards organizations that work on a global level. Via Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, they have contributed to an ebola survival fund. They have also supported justice organizations like Vera Institute of Justice, The Bronx Defenders, and NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this family's philanthropy to stay focused on the east coast, though L.A. could emerge as another area of focus. Parsons currently serves as CEO of the L.A. Clippers.
The Parsons Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the family but below is an address:
The Parsons Family Foundation
c/o Tag Assoc. 810 Seventh Ave, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10019