Not Just A Regional Funder: A Look At This Wall Streeter's Philanthropy

Robert Niehaus, chairman and founder of GCP Capital and chairman of Greenhill Capital Partners, moves his philanthropy through the Robert and Kate Niehaus Foundation, which he runs with his wife. The foundation was established in 1998, and has slowly raised its annual giving, with numbers approaching nearly $3 million of late. CGP Capital is headquartered in New York, so perhaps it's no surprise that the couple's philanthropy mostly focuses on New York and the Northeast. But the couple's philanthropy includes other components, including some international development interests.

Before we get into all that, though, I should mention that the Robert and Kate Niehaus Foundation doesn't have much of a web presence, or a clear way for grantseekers to get in touch. But here are a few must-knows: 

1. The Niehauses are Interested in Education

Princeton University, Niehaus' alma mater, is home to the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Niehaus is also part of Princeton University Investment Company (‘PRINCO”), which oversees Princeton’s endowment. Sums have also gone to Harvard Business School, where Niehaus received his MBA in the early 1980s.

At the K-12 level, money has gone to Student Sponsor Partners, which addresses the "high school dropout crisis in New York City by providing low-income students with a high school education." Niehaus is vice chair of the board of Student Sponsor Partners. Money has also gone to Teach for America and Classroom Inc.

2. Some of the Couple's Health Philanthropy is Personal

The couple has steadily supported Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, with grants of $500,000 each in 2013 and 2012 alone. Kate Niehaus has been a patient advisor and a member of the hospital Ethics and Quality Assessment Committees. The motivations here are also personal, as Kate had breast cancer and melanoma. A $400,000 grant also went to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 2013; the Niehaus' gave millions to the outfit last decade.

3. Niehaus Has An Interest in Global Development

Niehaus chairs the board of Acumen, a "nonprofit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty." Acumen is concerned with regions in Latin America, West and East Africa, and Pakistan. The foundation has steadily funded Acumen of late. The outfit received $1 million in 2013, and grants of $500,000 each in 2012, 2011 and 2010. Grantmaking in this area has also included support of Touch Foundation, a "secular, nonprofit organization committed to improving the health of the Tanzanian population by strengthening the health system across the different levels of care."

It's unclear exactly where the couple's interest in global philanthropy came from, though Niehaus did graduate from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has been involved in issues of globalization at his alma mater, and is a trustee of Asia Society. Niehaus is still very much engaged in business, but between the foundation's uptick in giving, and Niehaus' involvement with Acumen, this is a funder worth keeping an eye on.

Related: Robert H. Niehaus