Carnegie Corporation of New York Pledges One Million Dollars to Tsunami Relief Efforts

The board of trustees of Carnegie Corporation of New York approved today the president and board chair’s recommendation to respond to the unprecedented natural disaster caused by the tsunami and to pledge one million dollars to relief efforts.

“At a time of such human tragedy and vast devastation caused by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, we have to face the fact, once again, that philanthropy must transcend geographic, religious and even programmatic boundaries,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. Gregorian and Helene L. Kaplan, chair of the board of the Corporation, contacted the trustees following the disaster and, as the scope of the destruction and need became apparent, suggested the Corporation respond, as part of the global community, to the relief efforts. “We believe it is important that those who suffered enormously in South Asia know the solidarity of the world community in the hour of their ordeal.”

“Never before have we witnessed such a massive disaster and never before has international philanthropy faced more of a challenge. We at the Corporation are proud to offer our helping hand to the people most affected,” said Mrs. Kaplan. “Our prescient founder, Andrew Carnegie, understood the importance of flexibility, and outlined in his charter to the board the responsibility of acknowledging the special needs of our times and offered us the freedom to respond to extraordinary events.”

Currently the Corporation is exploring the most effective and efficient organization or organizations to dispense the funds.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie’s vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim “to do real and permanent good in the world.” The Corporation’s capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $1.8 billon on September 30, 2003. The Corporation awards grants totaling approximately $80 million a year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development and strengthening U.S. democracy.