NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Cofounder of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Health, NYC Community
OVERVIEW: The Carson Family Charitable Trust was founded in 1990 and Carson, his wife Judy, and their children serve as trustees. The Carsons' daughter, Cecily, is also president of the foundation. Carson sits on a number of boards. He chairs the board of trustees of Rockefeller University, and is on the board of overseers of Columbia Business School. Millions have gone to Carson's alma mater, Dartmouth, as well as to Rockefeller University. Carson also has an interest in education reform, and cofounded the Endowment Fund for Inner-City Education, now known as the Partnership for Inner-City Education. Carson's philanthropy focuses on New York City.
BACKGROUND: Russell L. Carson attended public high school in Toledo, Ohio before going on to Dartmouth College where he received an economics degree in 1965. In 1967, he graduated with an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. Carson served as chairman and chief executive officer of Citicorp Venture Capital before going on to co-found Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) in 1979 with Patrick Welsh, and Bruce Anderson.
HIGHER EDUCATION: Carson's education philanthropy happens both at the higher education level and in K-12. Dartmouth College is a big winner, having received somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million last decade alone. It's worth noting that Cecily Carson also went to Dartmouth like her father. Large sums have also gone to Carson's graduate school alma mater, Columbia Business School. Judy Carson, meanwhile, is an alumna of Marymount Manhattan College, which received at least $7 million last decade. It's not just Carson's alma maters that have been big winners. Rockefeller University, where Carson chairs the board of trustees, has also received millions. Assorted sums have also gone to Harvard, the Relay School of Education, and Cornell recently. Support has recently gone to Student Sponsor Partnership, which supports MBA students from underrepresented groups.
K-12 EDUCATION: Carson has said that he believes in the charter school model. Carson cofounded the Endowment for Inner-City Education in 1997. It's now called the Partnership for Inner-City Education, a school management organization for a network of six inner-city Catholic elementary schools in Harlem and the South Bronx. Around $1 million has gone to that organization annually of late. Quite a long trail of other groups have been supported in this space as well, including KIPP New York, Teach for America, Achievement First, the National Foundation for Teaching, Classroom Inc., Educators for Excellence, Friends of Bronx Charter School, and Math for America, among others. It's worth mentioning that Judy Carson is a founder of “Learning to Look,” a program that teaches art appreciation to inner-city children of the Archdiocese of New York.
HEALTH: Carson sits on the board of trustees of New York Presbyterian Hospital, which received at least $1 million in 2012, and a similar amount in 2011. Support has also gone to Peer Health Exchange, a health education program for youth, the New York Stem Cell Foundation, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the New York Genome Center (at least $1 million in 2013), among others. A component of Carson's philanthropy also involves rehabilitation, with recent support going to Hazelden Foundation, which operates addiction treatment centers for alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.
NYC COMMUNITY: Carson has a history of community development and anti-poverty philanthropy. Cecily Carson sits on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, which received at least $1.5 million in 2012, and at least $1.25 million in 2011 alone. Other work in this area has included helping children and youth, with support going to the Harlem Children's Zone (at least $1 million in 2013 and in 2012), and to the Red Hook Initiative in Brooklyn, which runs programs in areas such as education and health for youth. Apart from this work, Carson has been a funder of New York arts and culture, with money going to the Philharmonic-Symphony Society, the Met, the Museum of Art and Design, New York Public Library, and the American Museum of Natural History.
OTHER: Carson has given to conservative policy groups such as the Manhattan Institute and the American Enterprise Institute. He's also recently given to the International Rescue Committee.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Carson Family Charitable Trust gives to tens of organizations a year. With around $20 million going out of the door annually in the last few years, Carson is a strong New York-based philanthropist. It's unclear how much the family is worth but with Cecily's heavy involvement in the family's philanthropy, she'll need to be watched down the line, too.
The Carson Family Charitable Trust provides no clear avenue to get in touch with the Carson Family, but address, as well as Cecily's linkedin profile, is listed below
The Carson Family Charitable Trust
114 W. 47th Street
New York, NY 10036