November 25, 2008
Another Wall Street Journal report on how the financial crisis is hitting foundations highlights the Harlem Children’s Zone. HCZ, run by the mayoral control proponent Geoffrey Canada, was promised $25 million grant by the Starr Foundation, which is run by Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former chief executive officer of AIG.
Now, the Journal reports:
Anyone with a foundation whose endowment is heavily invested in AIG stock “is taking a bath,” says Mr. Greenberg, adding that he intends to fulfill current commitments but that gifts would inevitably be fewer and smaller in the months ahead. “You can’t give what you haven’t got.” …
Among the beneficiaries feeling the pinch are Harlem Children’s Zone Inc., to which Mr. Greenberg recently pledged $25 million. “I’m spending a lot of time now thinking about how we could replace the kind of support we’ve received from Wall Street,” says Geoffrey Canada, president of the organization, which provides parenting classes and charter schools for poor families. Mr. Canada says he is cutting 10% of his staff of 1,400.
Other New York City education projects could be affected. According to its 2006 tax returns (available here), the Starr Foundation also gave money to Advocates for Children ($100,000), The After-School Corporation ($250,000), Bronx Preparatory Charter School ($75,000), Chess-in-the-Schools ($50,000), the Partnership for After School Education ($100,000), Prep for Prep ($250,000), Teach for America ($1 million), City Year ($400,000), Make the Road By Walking ($25,000), and MDRC ($250,000).
Harlem Children’s Zone got more than $6 million.