Mission & History


The George Gund Foundation was established in 1952 as a private, nonprofit institution with the sole purpose of contributing to human well-being and the progress of society.

Over the years, program objectives and emphases have been modified to meet the changing opportunities and problems of our society, but the foundation’s basic goal of advancing human welfare remains constant.

History of the Foundation

The George Gund Foundation was created in 1952 because Mr. Gund believed the private foundation concept provided the most positive, farsighted vehicle for intelligent underwriting of creative solutions to social ills in a manner which would not be limited to his own lifetime.

Grantmaking until Mr. Gund’s death in 1966 primarily reflected his personal commitment to institutions that had been important in his life.

The Foundation’s assets grew considerably following Mr. Gund’s death in 1966, and the Foundation hired its first staff in 1969. At that time, the Foundation began to develop priorities and guidelines that reflected not only Mr. Gund’s interests but also new areas of commitment.

Today, Mr. Gund’s vision is carried forth through the continued involvement of the Gund family in the Foundation’s work. His son, Geoffrey, is currently president of the board which now includes both second and third generation family members.

The Foundation has made grants totaling $722 million since its inception.