The Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund aims to solve social challenges in our communities through the dual methodologies of informed tzedakah – righteous giving – and venture philanthropy. The Fund invests in visionary leaders and projects that have the potential to create lasting impact. This approach requires a high tolerance for risk, a willingness to learn from mistakes, and a strategic vision to stay focused on the larger goal. Our guidelines principles are:

  • Personal. We play an active role in supporting organizations and leaders who have a positive impact and lasting effect on wellbeing and community life. We give our personal leadership and full complement of resources and networking to our philanthropy.
  • Measured Risk-Taking. We view risk-taking and learning from our mistakes as important functions of venture philanthropy.
  • Invest In People. We invest in highly-motivated, high-achieving, visionary leaders who have the potential to create lasting change.
  • Impact. We prioritize giving larger grants to a smaller number of organizations to maximize impact.
  • Partnerships. Our grants are more effective when part of collaborative of engaged, like-minded philanthropists who can help bring projects to scale.
  • Leverage. We prioritize grants that leverage existing resources to catalyze organizational excellence and social change.

Our preferred grantmaking strategies are:

  • Entrepreneurial, strategic initiatives created by the Fund
  • Capital grants for local Jewish communal institutions
  • General operating and program support for key institutions in the Fund’s fields of interest

The Socrates Program of the Aspen Institute

Laura and Gary with Senator Maria Cantwell

Sotomayor at National Constitution Center