NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: eBay
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth
OVERVIEW: Gary Bengier, his wife Cynthia, and family do their grantmaking through the Bengier Foundation, which helps less-advantaged kids find success. The foundation has an accessible website and can be contacted via email.
BACKGROUND: Gary F. Bengier received a B.B.A. in computer science and operations research from Kent State University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an M.A. in philosophy from San Francisco State University. Bengier was a corporate controller at Compass Design Automation. He held senior financial positions at Qume Corporation and Bio-Rad Laboratories and went on to serve as eBay’s CFO from 1997 to 2001.
THE BENGIER FOUNDATION The foundation seeks to give “bright, hard-working young people the chance to be successful.”
Cynthia Bengier explains that she and Bengier “grew up in small towns and were fortunate to meet people who encouraged us to stretch beyond what was expected and to set our expectations higher. It made such a difference in our lives. Everyone who has the ability should have the opportunity to reach his or her potential."
The family began by supporting scholarships but eventually expanded its mission. They’re heavily involved with Summer Search, a nonprofit which “inspires resilient low-income high school students to become leaders by providing year-round mentoring, life-changing summer experiences, college advising, and a lasting support network.” Cynthia sits on both the San Francisco and National boards of the organization.
The Bengiers prioritize STEM education and have funded The Exploratorium Teacher Institute. Bengier sits on the board of The Exploratorium. Other projects have included The Bay School of San Francisco, Colgate University diversity scholarships, and The GUTS program (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically), which supports science education through New Mexico schools and the Santa Fe Institute (Bengier sits on the board).
LOOKING FORWARD: Grant seekers can expect the Bengier family to continue to prioritize education via their foundation.