Welcome to the new and improved Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund website. We started our family foundation in 1994, published a Retrospective in 2007 with lessons learned from our first 13 years, launched this website in 2015 to share some insights and lessons learned, and now we’ve updated the site to expand on our philosophy of giving that we’ve cultivated and honed over these past 26 years. We are also pleased to highlight many of the organizations and causes we support, including several Signature Initiatives that that we have launched and nurtured.
We are a Silicon Valley and Aspen-based couple who use a venture philanthropy approach to giving. Our foundation’s tagline: “Cultivating Leaders – Launching Innovation” conveys our deep commitment to investing in visionary leaders who have the capacity and expertise to launch and sustain innovation by bringing projects to scale to create long-lasting change. We are not absentee philanthropists; we get involved both financially and through our own volunteer leadership in the organizations we support. We embrace the motto, “If you see a gap, fill it,” and we do that by asking a lot of questions to ensure the most impactful way to fill those gaps.
Our philanthropy is informed by the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam – repairing the world. We express that tradition through two complementary Jewish values: gemilut hasadim and tzedakah. Inherent in gemilut hasadim, which means “the giving of loving-kindness”, is the notion that a person does an act of kindness without anticipating anything in return. Gemilut hasadim is a selfless act on behalf of others. The second way we work to repair the world is through tzedakah, which is often translated as “charity”, but it is so much more. In Hebrew, tzedakah means “justice” and “righteousness”. Tzedakah is a moral obligation to seek justice and righteousness for others. We believe that both gemilut hasadim and tzedakah are necessary to bring about positive change in the world.
We invite you to peruse our website to learn about our mission, theory of change, the organizations we support, and our Signature Initiatives. We hope you’ll be inspired to pursue your own tikkun olam to help make the world a better place.
Warmest Wishes –
Laura & Gary Lauder