If you read Inside Philanthropy, you won't be a stranger to Pritzker giving. This complicated and powerful family—with at least eleven billionaires—has a lot of pull in Chicago and does loads of giving in that city, but remember that Pritzker family members live elsewhere in the country, too. Which means you'll also find some interesting Pritzker giving in other places. The Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund is a prime example of this.
The Lisa and John Pritzker Foundation keeps most of its giving in the Bay Area and supports an occasional cause in Israel too. John is the founding partner of Geolo Capital, and he was also a founding board member of TicketMaster. Thus far, most of this funder’s attention has been focused on education, health, children and youth, social services, and Jewish causes.
In the Bay Area, Jewish organizations have received a significant portion of this funder’s attention. John and Lisa Pritzker are also connected to other Jewish funders in the Bay Area as well. For example, their foundation’s former executive director, Barry Finestone, recently transitioned over to the Jim Joseph Foundation to become its president and CEO.
The LJPF’s current executive director, Amy Rabbino, worked for 14 years with the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation and is an evaluator for Slingshot: A Resource Guide for Jewish Innovation. Current Jewish life grantees include Jewish Community Center of San Francisco for a Pritzker Family lecture series and the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund’s Jewish Teen Foundations.
The Lisa and John Pritzker Fund is also deep into health and hospital grants on the local level. A representative grantee is the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital at Mission Bay, which received a grant for a pilot program involving pediatric emergency room alongside Children’s Hospital Oakland. This particular pilot program takes a holistic approach to childhood wellness by trying to identify psychological and social risk factors that may contribute to emergency room visits.
Other current local health grantees include San Francisco General Hospital Child Trauma Center and the San Francisco Child Advocacy Center. The foundation’s grants administrator/executive assistant, Michele Perlmutter, is the only other staff member and has a background in promoting the health of low-income children and families in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Through all of its areas of giving, this funder is interested in helping vulnerable populations. Learn more about the founding couple’s connection to local Jewish causes and health here.
For the foreseeable future, we expect to see this foundation’s giving focused on Jewish life and health in and around San Francisco. Arts and culture groups in the Bay Area have seen some of Pritzker’s support but to a much lesser extent. Unfortunately for grantseekers, this Pritzker foundation does not accept unsolicited grant requests, but that’s not uncommon among the other Pritzker funders, too.