NET WORTH: $1 billion, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Steel Partners Holdings
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Aspen Community
OVERVIEW: Warren Lichtenstein created Steel Partners Foundation as a way to support philanthropic causes that are close to his heart, with an emphasis on causes related to children, education, and sports. Recent grantmaking through the foundation has been modest.
BACKGROUND: Warren G. Lichtenstein attended Tulane University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his degree in economics. Lichtenstein started his career as an analyst at Para Partners, L.P., and worked as an acquisition analyst at Ballantrae Partners, L.P. He founded Steel Partners in 1990 at the age of 24.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Lichtenstein co-founded Our Kids First Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness and stimulate conversation about the issues and challenges of childhood including ADD and ADHD. Lichtenstein is an executive producer of the 2014 film Sister, about children with ADHD.
Steel Partners Foundation has recently funded initiatives to raise awareness of parental alienation. The foundation and the charity Stand Up For Gus, founded by actor Jason Patric, co-hosted a Think Tank on Parental Alienation in the Los Angeles area. The foundation recently sponsored South Bay Opioid Awareness week, in partnership with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation.
Lichtenstein has supported his alma maters, Tulane and UPenn. Lichtenstein, through Steel Partners Foundation, donated challenge funding to the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts & Sciences to help establish 19 new student scholarships. SPF recently contributed to the capital campaign to build a new classroom building for Chadwick School.
Lichtenstein is interested in youth sports and has supported Positive Coaching Alliance, a national nonprofit developing “Better Athletes, Better People” by working to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience. Other grantees include Challenged Athletes Foundation and Aspen Junior Hockey.
ASPEN COMMUNITY: Steel Partners Foundation made an early commitment to the development of a Chabad Jewish Community Center in Aspen Valley, Colorado. Support has gone to Aspen Art Museum and Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.
OTHER: Lichtenstein has supported Federal Law Enforcement Foundation (FLEF) since 2007, as well as Friends of Israeli Defense Forces and Global Lyme Alliance.
LOOKING FORWARD: Lichtenstein is very much engaged in business, but should be watched for greater giving in coming years. He splits time between Aspen and Los Angeles, two important regions of giving going forward.