Pershing Square Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Pershing Square Foundation (PSF), funded by hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, is based in New York and supports innovative development approaches with the potential to be both transformative and sustainable. 

IP TAKE: Pershing Square seeks potentially catalytic grantees that are lead by dynamic, passionate leaders who can sustainably scale their organization’s work.   

PROFILE: The Pershing Square Foundation was founded in 2006 by Bill Ackman, the cofounder of Gotham partners and Pershing Square Capital Management, and his wife Karen. The foundation has since grown rapidly and has added a small staff. The PSF seeks to "support exceptional leaders and innovative organizations that tackle important social issues and deliver scalable and sustainable impact across the globe." It focuses on arts & urban development, economic opportunity & development, education, health & life sciences, and social justice.

PSF makes most of its global development grants through its economic opportunity & development program and health program. While PSF is an active New York City grantmaker, it has also been active in the area of global development. PSF has a history of funding organizations like the One Acre Fund, the Grameen Foundation, Root Capital, and Kickstart International. The common thread between these organizations is their goal to empower the agricultural regions of Africa, and to a lesser extent South America. Another thread reveals a tendency to foster self-sustaining, healthy, and prosperous communities. 

The foundation seeks to make catalytic and transformative investments. PSF seeks to support organizations at "an inflection point, when targeted investment will be instrumental to their ability to scale and accelerate impact.” Pershing Square participates in both traditional grantmaking and impact investments to achieve those ends.

Related: Inside the Pershing Square Foundation: A “Catalytic” Funder on the Fast Track

PSF does not accept unsolicited proposals. Grantseekers should examine the foundation’s Who We Fund page to get a concrete idea of the non-profit and for-profit organizations that have received, or are currently receiving PSF support.

PEOPLE: 

  • Olivia Tournay Flatto, President
  • Georgia Levenson Keohane, Executive Director
  • Christian Koury, Program Analyst

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