The Overbrook Foundation is a progressive family foundation that supports organizations advancing human rights and conserving the natural environment.
2015 Letter from the Chair and President
This January, Overbrook’s Chair and President released their annual letter updating grantees, colleagues and others interested in the Foundation’s work and plans for advancing it over the next year. This year’s letter highlights the Foundation’s ongoing strategic planning and expanding initiatives to support movement building and combatting the influence of money in politics.
Current Program Areas
Through its Environment Program, the Foundation supports projects focusing on biodiversity conservation in Latin America, and sustainable production and consumption in the United States. Several grants are also awarded for specific climate change initiatives and organizations using media to increase public awareness of environmental issues. Finally, the environment program launched a new portfolio in 2014 focused on movement building.
Overbrook’s Human Rights Program supports organizations within the U.S. that are advancing the U.S. domestic human rights movement. It also makes grants to strengthen gender rights in the U.S. through supporting reproductive justice and LGBT rights, with a distinct focus on marriage equality. As they are central to the democratic process and the success of our grantees, the Foundation supports non-profit media and media reform. In Latin America, the Foundation funds organizations defending human rights defenders and advancing gender rights, both women’s rights and LGBT rights.
The Overbrook Foundation was established in New York in 1948 by Helen and Frank Altschul. The Foundation took its name from Overbrook Farm, the Altschul family home in Stamford, Connecticut. The Foundation is currently governed by a Board of 13 Directors and is managed by a staff of seven. The Board consists of third and fourth generation family members.
Currently, the Foundation has an endowment of approximately $166 million. It awarded approximately $6.1 million in grants in 2014. Since its inception, the Foundation has given away more than $176 million.
Recently Awarded Grants
After each Board of Directors Meeting, we announce the grants awarded by the Foundation on our website. At the Foundation’s November 2014 Board Meeting, The Overbrook Foundation’s Board of Directors approved 14 grants through the Human Rights program for a total of $538,000. The Environment Program awarded $840,000 in grants to 17 organizations at this Board meeting.