Robertson Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Robertson Foundation supports a wide range of global health and development projects rather than concentrating on specific topic areas.

IP TAKE: This foundation makes “large, transformative grants,” and takes a business-like approach to grantmaking. It expects  measurable, concrete results in both the intermediate and long term.

PROFILE: In the 1980s and 1990s, Julian Robertson was considered one of the most successful hedge fund investors of the time. He and his late wife Josie established the Robertson Foundation in 1996. The foundation has "a proactive, disciplined grant-making approach to measurably affect significant social change." The foundation prioritizes education, environment and medical research in its grantmaking.

The foundation’s Other Grants program support development efforts taking place around the world. Despite its name, Robertson’s grants through this program are often substantial.

The Robertson Foundation does not state specific global development objectives or priorities, only that it supports efforts that range “from global health and international poverty eradication to leadership and community development.”

Related grants are awarded to both large international organizations and grassroots outfits. Large NGOs typically receive grants ranging from $250,000 to $500,000; the foundation also awards the occasional multi-million-dollar grant. Grassroots groups are funded on a much smaller scale and generally receive grants in the range of $5,000 to $10,000.

The Robertson Foundation does not accept unsolicited application or proposals.

PEOPLE: 

  • Julia Bator, Executive Director
  • Nina Bershadker, Senior Program Officer
  • Sara Brennan, Senior Program Officer 
  • Frederica Hill, Program Associate

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