Donald and Paula Smith

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: President of Donald Smith & Co., Inc.

FUNDING AREAS: Policy, Human Services, Justice

OVERVIEW: Donald Smith and his wife Paula conduct their philanthropy through the Donald and Paula Smith Foundation. Smith is libertarian, and sits on the board of the Cato Institute, which the couple has steadily supported. Other policy outfits such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute, and the Ayn Rand Institute have received support. On the other hand, Paula is politically left-leaning, and in the past, the foundation has bankrolled bipartisan debates.

BACKGROUND: Donald Smith received a B.S. in finance and accounting from the University of Illinois, an M.B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from UCLA Law School. Smith began his career as an analyst with Capital Research Company and later became director, vice president and portfolio manager of Capital Guardian Trust Co. In 1980, Smith became CIO of Home Insurance Company, and president of Home Portfolio Advisors, Inc., which he purchased in 1983, changing the name to Donald Smith & Co., Inc. 


POLICY: According to Philanthropy Roundtable, Smith is a libertarian, but Paula is liberal. As a result, Smith and Paula decided to fund a series of public debates in New York City with speakers who would represent the full spectrum of political opinion on important topics. Apart from that past effort, Smith, who sits on the board of the Cato Institute, is a steady funder of policy shops such as the Manhattan Institute, America's Future Foundation, Young Americans for Liberty, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Ayn Rand Institute. Some of the foundation's largest gifts in recent years have gone to the Independent Women's Forum, which describes itself as a research and educational institution whose mission is to "improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty." 

HUMAN SERVICES: The Smiths have given modestly to outfits such as the Bowery Mission, Drug Policy Alliance, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and City Harvest, a nonprofit that operates in New York City through food rescue and distribution, and education.

JUSTICE: A component of the couple's philanthropy also involves justice issues, and recent support has gone to Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and the Institute for Justice, which describes itself as a libertarian public interest law firm. Support has also gone to the New York County Bar Foundation, likely the result of Smith's law background.

OTHER: The Smiths appear to have some interest in education, and have supported Success Charter Network. Smith is also a trustee at Central Park Conservancy, which the couple has supported. Money has also gone to New York City outfits such as the Metropolitan Opera.

LOOKING FORWARD: It is worth noting that in recent years, the foundation's largest gifts have gone toward a donor-advised fund at Vanguard Charitable Endowment. The nature of donor-advised funds makes it tough to get a handle on the full scope of Smith's philanthropy. And while the foundation used to have a website, it no longer appears to be active.


The Donald and Paula Smith Family Foundation no longer appears to have a website, and doesn't have a clear avenue for grantseekers to get in touch. An address, however, is listed below:

Donald & Paula Smith Family Foundation
152 West 57th Street, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10019