John and Marree Townsend

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Goldman Sachs; Tiger Management

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Religious, Environment & Historical, Health & Human Services

OVERVIEW: John Townsend and his wife Marree move their philanthropy through the Townsend Family Foundation, which has given $700,000 to $800,000 annually in recent years. The couple supports a range of causes, including education, the arts, and environment. They also support religious organizations. Apart from the Northeast (the Townsends are based in Greenwich), North Carolina is also a site of giving.

BACKGROUND:  North Carolina native John L. Townsend III graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA and an MBA. Townsend joined Goldman Sachs in 1987 and was a general partner from 1992 to 1999 and a managing director from 1999 to 2002. He went on to serve as managing partner and COO of Tiger Management.


EDUCATION & YOUTH: The Townsends are particularly supportive of their mutual alma mater, University of North Carolina. The couple’s daughters also attended the school making them third-generation UNC graduates. The couple gave $1.3 million each to support the Faculty Fellows Program. They’ve supported the school in other ways, including creating the Robert A. Shore Cystic Fibrosis Research Fund in the medical school in honor of Marree’s nephew.

Via the Townsend Family Foundation, the couple has supported places like Teach for America, Madeira School, REACH Prep, and Episcopal High School (Townsend is a trustee emeritus).

ARTS & CULTURE: Grantees have included The Frick Collection, Second Stage Theatre, and the Ackland Art Museum at UNC where Townsend sits on the board.

RELIGIOUS: The Townsends also earmark funds for religious institutions. Recent large sums have gone to St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greenwich, Connecticut. Other grantees include Episcopal Charities and First Baptist Church.

ENVIRONMENT & HISTORICAL: Townsend sits on the board of Grand Teton National Park Foundation, which the couple supports. He’s an avid outdoorsman and the couple spends time out west. Other grantees have included Greenwich Historical Society, Greenwich Tree Conservancy, and Central Park Conservancy. 

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Grantees have included Breast Cancer Alliance, Meals on Wheels, Greenwich Hospital, and Greenwich United Way.

LOOKING FORWARD: The Townsends have pretty diverse philanthropic interests, but it’s unclear if more money will move out in coming years.


The Townsend Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below are address and phone:

The Townsend Family Foundation
321 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 640-5000