What We Fund

The Nathan Cummings Foundation

 

The Foundation's Programs

WHAT WE FUND       

Rooted in the Jewish tradition of social justice, the Nathan Cummings Foundation is committed to creating a more just, vibrant, sustainable and democratic society. 

We focus on finding solutions to the two most challenging problems of our time – the climate crisis and growing inequality – and aim to transform the systems and mindsets that hinder progress toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all people, particularly women and people of color. 

Climate Change: From the Pope to the Paris climate agreement, the world has declared the climate crisis one of the greatest challenges in mankind’s history. It will take all of our ingenuity and resolve to build an inclusive clean economy that lifts people out of poverty and moves everyone, especially those on the front lines, out of the devastating path we now face. We will address the climate crisis from an equity perspective and hold accountable the entrenched interests that have left our nation’s infrastructure and communities vulnerable and have stalled the energy and economic transformation we need. We’ll invest in solutions at the local, state, national and global level and join forces with diverse, enlightened leaders to chart a new course for a sustainable future.

Inequality: Millions of Americans face overwhelming obstacles shaped by social hierarchies of race, ethnicity, gender, income, education level or zip code, which restrict their opportunities.In order to address inequality, we will invest in work with strong potential to transform the influence of implicit bias and discrimination that currently exist in our public policy, systems and markets. We are particularly concerned about the effects of law enforcement and criminal justice policies and practices on the economic security of hard-working families. With our partners, we will catalyze new and effective pathways to: improve quality of life for people; level the playing fields of opportunity; and challenge ideas, policies, practices and systems that perpetuate racial and ethnic stereotypes, criminalize people in poverty and make it possible for a few to hold a vastly disproportionate share of the nation’s income, wealth and assets.

While our work is primarily concentrated in the United States, we will continue to support efforts addressing inequality in Israel and are looking globally to where we can make a difference. We have a long track record of aligning our investments with our values through shareholder activism and are exploring how we expand the tools we use to dedicate more of our investment dollars for greater impact.

The Nathan Cummings Foundation invests in four focus areas that together advance our vision of a healthy planet and a healthy democracy.  

  • We will accelerate a just transition to a more inclusive clean economy, where communities on the front lines are creating solutions to the climate crisis and where prosperity for all people is not at odds with a healthy environment.
  • We are determined to advance racial and economic justice, by unlocking markets that have excluded generations from economic opportunity, reforming systems that criminalize too many and lifting up new models of democratic inclusion.
  • We will use our influence as an investor and grantmaker to increase corporate and political accountability, spurring greater transparency and more democratic systems and structures.
  • We believe in the transformative power of the arts, contemplative practice and religious traditions to change hearts and minds. We seek to move people to act for social change by amplifying the voices, creativity and culture that can build empathy, nurture compassion and shift narratives about race, class, gender and ethnicity, who has power and how we value the planet.