Thursday, January 6, 2011

PGH Foundation gets $50 million Gift

With a single gift, the Pittsburgh Foundation has grown by more than 7%. Former chemical engineer, Charles Kaufman left a gift of approximately $50 million to the foundation to be split between two funds he and his sister had created.

Most of the money ($35- $40 million) will be added into the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation, which provides grants to research institutions in Pennsylvania for scientific research in chemistry, biology and physics, “for achievement in and contribution to the field and humanity.” Pittsburgh Foundation President and CEO Grant Oliphant says a similar fund was set up years ago in Texas and has helped fund major research in that state. The reminder of the funds will go into an advised fund Kaufman and his late sister; Virginia Kaufman, created before her death that supports charitable causes “about which they were especially passionate, including public education, land conservation and Jewish healthcare, including programs for the elderly.”

This is the biggest bequest the Pittsburgh Foundation has ever received. Kaufman never married and had no children. Most of the money amassed during his retirement through investment and entrepreneurial ventures. “Charles Kaufman’s selfless philanthropy will reach out to people he never knew, in support of charitable causes about which he cared so much,” says Oliphant. The details of how the funds will be run are still being formalized but Oliphant says it will be designed to make sure the funds are around for years to come. “This is a gift that will be around 100 or 200 years from now and we will still be celebrating [it],” says Oliphant, “it’s an incredible gift to our children and our grand children.”

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