NET WORTH: $50 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Actress, film.
FUNDING AREAS: Women's Rights & Civil Liberties, Human Services & Youth, Environment, Global.
OVERVIEW: Susan Sarandon does her grantmaking through the Susan Sarandon Charitable Foundation, established in 2002. The foundation has made a little over $200,000 in grants annually in recent years. Sarandon is an outspoken progressive and this is reflected in her philanthropy. She has supported organizations working in areas such as women's rights, civil liberties, human services and more.
BACKGROUND: Susan Sarandon was born in 1946 in New York City. She graduated from the Catholic University of America in 1968 and soon after, made her film debut in the 1970 film Joe. In 1975, she landed a role in the cult classic film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Sarandon has starred in many hit films, including The Witches of Eastwick, Lorenzo's Oil, Thelma and Louise, and Dead Man Walking, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
WOMEN'S RIGHTS & CIVIL LIBERTIES: Sarandon, through her foundation, has recently supported organizations such as MADRE, "an international women's human rights organization that uses human rights to advance social justice," the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the Joyful Heart Foundation, and Women Make Movies, a "national nonprofit feminist media arts organization whose multicultural programs provide resources for both users and producers of media by women." She has also funded civil liberties organizations such as the Texas Defender Service, which describes itself as a "team of experienced death penalty attorneys who combat the systemic flaws facing the Texas death penalty." She has funded the NYCLU Foundation, "a comprehensive resource for civil liberties issues," and the Rosenberg Foundation for Children, which "makes grants to aid children in the U.S. whose parents are targeted, progressive activists."
HUMAN SERVICES & YOUTH: She has recently given funds to City Harvest, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, Bowery Mission, Coalition for the Homeless, and Ohio Valley Opportunities (OVO), which "develops programs to meet the needs of the elderly, disabled and families with children in three Indiana counties." She has also given to organizations that work with youth such as Reading is Fundamental which "provides free books and literacy resources to economically disadvantaged communities in the United States."
ENVIRONMENT: Sarandon has given environmental support to American Farmland Trust, which works to "stop the loss of productive farmland and promote healthier farming practices in the U.S," Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Amazon Conservation Team, and New York Restoration Project, founded by fellow actress Bette Midler, which "works to create and restore parks and community gardens."
GLOBAL: Sarandon's global grantmaking supports Heifer International, "a charity organization working to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling communities," Doctors Without Borders, Water for our World, Grassroots International, SOS Children's Villages, which provides "care, education and health services," Mirembe Project, which "advances human rights and social justice, especially in the global south," and Artists for Peace and Justice, which supports communities in Haiti through programs in education, healthcare, and dignity through the arts." Other recent grants support the now-closed Somaly Mam Foundation, which combated sex trafficking in Cambodia, and the Carter Center, "which fights disease, hunger, poverty, conflict and oppression around the world."
OTHER: Sarandon funds health organizations such as Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and arts organizations such as Chicago's Still Point Theatre and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
LOOKING FORWARD: Sarandon has been clear about her interests, so expect her philanthropy to continue in these areas. What is unclear is if larger streams of money will go to these causes down the line—or just how much money may ultimately be available for philanthropy.
The Susan Sarandon Charitable Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is an address:
The Susan Sarandon Charitable Foundation
160 N. Pointe Blvd, Suite 200
Lancaster, PA 17601