Steven and Roberta Denning

NET WORTH: Unknown  

SOURCE OF WEALTH: General Atlantic

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Policy, Social Entrepreneurship & Global Causes,  Environment, Health 

OVERVIEW: Steven Denning and his wife Roberta move their philanthropy through the Sage Foundation, which gave away around $13.5 million in a recent year. The couple strongly supports their mutual alma mater, Stanford University. Denning also supports his school Georgia Tech. Other interests through the foundation include policy, the arts, and social entrepreneurship. 

BACKGROUND: Steven A. Denning was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He applied for a Navy ROTC scholarship and attended Georgia Tech, graduating with a B.S. in 1970. He served in the Navy and received an M.S. from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an MBA from Stanford University in 1978. Denning worked for McKinsey in its New York and San Francisco offices. Two years later, he became the second professional investment employee at General Atlantic Corp., which he currently chairs. 


EDUCATION & YOUTH: Denning served on Stanford's board of trustees for more than a decade and was its chairman from 2012 to 2017. Roberta is also a Stanford alum, graduating from the university with a B.A. and an MBA. The Dennings are also Stanford parents. The family has directed millions to the university, home to the Roberta Bowman Denning Fund for Humanities and Technology, Roberta Bowman Denning Professorship, and the Denning Global Fellows Fund. Denning chairs the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Council at Stanford. 

Denning strongly supports his undergraduate alma mater, Georgia Tech, home to the Steven A. Denning Technology & Management Program, where a select group of undergraduate students from the colleges of Management, Engineering, Science and Computing aim to unlock interdisciplinary solutions to real-world problems. Dennings is a trustee emeritus of Georgia Tech Foundation.

The Dennings, via Sage Foundation, have also supported Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, Classroom Inc., American Federation of Children, MIT, College Summit, Teach for America, Juilliard, and University of the People. 

ARTS & CULTURE: The Dennings recently gave San Francisco Museum of Modern Art a seven-figure gift via their foundation. Other grantees include American Museum of Natural History (Denning is an honorary trustee), Asia Society, Asian Art Museum, Exploratorium, San Francisco Symphony, and Fractured Atlas. 

POLICY: The family steadily supports Brookings Institution, where Denning is an honorary trustee, and Council on Foreign Relations, the recent recipient of a seven-figure gift. Denning is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. They've supported Institute for Middle East Understanding. They appear to be interested in civic space issues and have supported San Francisco Bay Area Planning & Urban Research Association. The Dennings' daughter Carrie  is currently the Chief of Staff at Sidewalk Labs, which seeks to "improve urban infrastructure through technological solutions, and tackle issues such as cost of living, efficient transportation and energy usage."

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP & GLOBAL CAUSES: Grantees include Echoing Green, a "global nonprofit organization that provides fellowships, seed-stage funding, and strategic support to social entrepreneurs globally"; Global Lyme Alliance; and Accordia Global Health Foundation.

ENVIRONMENT: The Dennings have supported National Park Foundation (Denning is on the board), Jackson Hole Land Trust, North Shore Land Alliance, and Nature Conservancy (Denning once co-chaired the board), among others.

HEALTH: Grantees include Greenwich Hospital, Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center, Calvary Hospital, Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 

LOOKING FORWARD:  Expect the Denning family's robust and steady giving to continue. The couple's children should also be watched as their philanthropic interests emerge. Perhaps civic space issues will become even more of an interest here, for instance. Apart from the East Coast and the Bay Area, the Dennings also have ties to Wyoming. 


The Sage Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

Sage Foundation Inc.
16 Khakum Dr.
Greenwich, CT 06831
(203) 629-8600