News The Power of Giving

Marie-Josée Kravis and Henry R. Kravis Establish New Scholarships for Students

The Stern Undergraduate College at New York University has announced that it will use a generous donation of $1.8 million from the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation to create a new scholarship. The funds will support high-achieving, low-income students entering Stern for the fall 2016 semester. Students given the scholarship will be known as the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis scholars.

The Kravis Foundation also supports NYU’s “Momentum Campaign,” which hopes to raise $1 billion in funding over the next six years for scholarships. With the addition of the Kravis’ donation, the school has now raised over $100 million to put toward scholarships, and it has reached the halfway point in its overall goal with $500 million raised.

“Talent doesn’t correlate with zip code. This scholarship will help more talented men and women who lack resources pursue higher education,” said Henry Kravis, co-founder and co-CEO of global investment firm KKR.

Andrew Hamilton, NYU’s president, agrees. “Addressing college costs and affordability are among my foremost priorities,” he said. “Next year, we will enact NYU’s smallest increase in undergraduate cost-of-attendance in more than 20 years. But even important steps such as that must be accompanied by improvements in scholarship aid.”

“And so we are grateful to Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis for their generous gift, which will permit students filled with talent and ambition but lacking financial resources to obtain the NYU education of which they dream,” Hamilton said.

This is not the first donation the Kravis Foundation has made to education. Last spring, the foundation pledged $100 million to Rockefeller University to create a new laboratory as a campus extension. That laboratory will be a two-floor centerpiece of the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation—David Rockefeller River Campus, consuming three city blocks on the shore. The new lab will provide plenty of space for the school’s science and research projects.

The Kravis Foundation’s gifts ensure that new generations of intelligent, committed students will have the educational resources they need for years to come.


Endeavor Awarded 2015 Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership

The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership was established in 2006, to create a process to choose a worthy annual recipient. The organization looks to reward and praise worthy institutions that impact and inspire communities around the world. Endeavor’s mission statement is to help High-Impact Entrepreneurs unleash their potential by providing an unrivaled network of seasoned business leaders who look to provide the key assistance to make a business model work.


Endeavor has supported charitable initiatives such as those organized by Sugianto Tandio, who looked to solve the waste and pollution problems that Indonesia faces. With the help from Endeavor, Tandio was able to turn his company, Tirta Marta, into a next generation eco-friendly company using Indonesia’s natural resources. Endeavor will receive the Kravis Prize and $250,000 later this month at the Claremont McKenna College as part of it’s 10th Anniversary of the prize, and of the 20th Anniversary of the College’s Kravis Leadership Institute.

“Endeavor exemplifies the Prize’s philosophy about entrepreneurship, social good, and venture philanthropy. Endeavor’s leadership has had a profound impact on everyday people,” said Marie-Josée Kravis, an economist who is chair of the Kravis Prize Selection Committee. “We are grateful for its remarkable work to change lives all over the world, creating invaluable jobs and resources.”

Said alumnus and trustee of the College, Henry R. Kravis, “Endeavor is a perfect example of a nonprofit that has significant influence on the ground and great success creating a sustainable ecosystem for future impact.” Kravis, who is also a co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P, continued to praise the 2015 winner, “We applaud Endeavor’s impressive accomplishments developing high-impact companies and entrepreneurs, and work to transform the economic landscapes of underdeveloped countries.”

Claremont McKenna College has had such previous winners as Helen Keller International and Mothers2Mothers, with all the recipients having been found be representative of the kind of organization that both Henry Kravis and Claremont McKenna are proud to recognize.

Organizations Resources

Groundbreaking Advancements in Medicine Made Possible By Donor Generosity at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center IMG: via Stanford.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is one of the world’s premier institutions tirelessly devoted to curing and treating cancer, as well as developing new technologies to help prevent the deadly disease. As the world’s largest and oldest private cancer center, Memorial Sloan Kettering has dedicated more than 130 years to exceptional patient care and groundbreaking research and cancer treatment developments. The prestigious cancer center would not be as globally renowned as it is today, however, without significant contributions from philanthropists and generous, committed donors.

Two of those donors are Henry R. Kravis and his wife Marie-Josée Kravis, prominent philanthropists who have invested a great amount of time and vital funding in supporting Memorial Sloan Kettering’s work.

Recently, the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation donated a gift of $100 million to the cancer center, which allowed for the formation of the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology (CMO) to be formed. This division of the cancer center was designed to transform and innovate cancer care using cutting edge research and technology, and would not have been made possible without the remarkable generosity of the Kravises.

Advancements in medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering include a new procedure called the “tumor sequencing test,” which was designed to provide more personalized treatment options to patients.

According to Dr. Eva Kiesler, “A new genome-sequencing test developed at Memorial Sloan Kettering allows our doctors to quickly find out whether a patient’s tumor carries clinically useful mutations – including aberrations that make cancers vulnerable to particular drugs – and to match individual patients with available therapies or clinical trials that will most benefit them,” of the advancements in medicine being made at the center.

The primary goal of the CMO “is to expedite and streamline cancer genomics research to guide cancer treatment,” which will ultimately provide better treatment options for every single person who seeks care at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Learn more about the new oncology center and the donation that made it possible by visiting


Do Contests Really Drive Philanthropy?

Do Contests Really Drive Philanthropy?  Leaders in the philanthropic sector are constantly trying to find new ways to inspire others to give to worthy charities. Similarly, nonprofit organizations are not only posed with the challenge of putting their cause out into the world, but also innovating their own methods of giving. Designing public prizes or contests is one strategy that some organizations have used to inspire philanthropy.

According to Mayur Patel of the Knight Foundation, contests can absolutely help improve philanthropy. Here are the 6 main reasons why:

  1. Contests bring “new blood and new ideas.” According to Patel, “A key part of a foundation’s role is looking for new people and good ideas. Contests open up unique avenues for meeting people you would otherwise not know,” which also expands and refreshes a company’s networks, and draws in more passionate individuals.
  2. Contests create value that extends beyond the winners. One example of this is the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership. When Marie-Josee Kravis (formerly Marie-Josee Drouin) presented Dr. Sakena Yacoobi with the $200,000 prize in 2009,  it not only honored one recipient’s dedication to humanitarianism, but has inspired countless others to aspire to that level of giving.
  3. Contests can help organizations spot emerging trends. An organization’s contest judges are put in a position where they can easily spot trends from participants. Taking advantage of this opportunity will allow charitable organizations to find emerging trends in their industry.
  4. Contests can help an organization change its routine. What better way to revamp an organization’s routine than by introducing a fun public contest for a good cause? These kinds of “prizes for a purpose” events are thoughtful, incorporate innovation, and are lighthearted reminders that giving can be really fun and interactive.
  5. Contests fit nicely with existing strategies. According to Patel, “The most successful [contests] are embedding in existing program strategies,” of the way that tackling a foundation’s key area of focuses in a new way could be really beneficial and encourage new levels of philanthropic giving. If an organization doesn’t overthink it, and designs a contest that aligns with preexisting strategies, it has a good chance of being successful.
  6. Contests thoughtfully engage the community. Perhaps most important, depending on the kind of philanthropic organization, is the ability to further engage with its community. Contests and prizes are a phenomenal way to achieve further engagement through social media, and remind an organization’s community of how innovative and passionate it is.

What do you think? Are contests a great way to inspire philanthropy?


Robin Hood Foundation Gala Raises Over $80M

jessica biel robin hood gala
IMG: Helga Esteb via Shutterstock

On Monday, May 13th, the Robin Hood Foundation hosted a gala to raise money to help fight poverty in New York City. Over the course of the evening, the foundation raised over $80 million. The event was chock-full of celebrities, business leaders, and other well-known faces, many of them donating significant amounts of money to the cause.

Mary J. Blige, Bono, Elton John, and Brian Williams were among the entertainment for the night, as were comedians Louis C.K. and Jerry Seinfeld. Newlyweds Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel also attended the event, stopping to chat with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Paul Simon and Sting performed together on stage.

In 2011 the event raised about $47 million. In 2012, that number was beat by an impressive haul of $59 million. This year’s $80 million knocks both those numbers out of the water. The event was co-chaired by Timberlake and Biel, as well as by Paul Tudor Jones II and his wife Sonia; Henry Kravis and his wife Marie-Josee; and Leslie Moonves and his wife Julie Chen.

This event certainly isn’t the first time the Robin Hood Foundation has brought in big names, though. Last December, the foundation put on a benefit concert entitled “12-12-12,” with proceeds going to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Musicians like Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones performed at the concert.

Funds raised and distributed by the Robin Hood Foundation have been used to install libraries at public schools in NYC, feed homeless and hungry New Yorkers, provide for victims of 9/11, and support victims of Superstorm Sandy—to name a few.

Read our profile of Henry Kravis here.

Organizations Resources

Mothers2mothers is out to save the world

IMG: via

Mothers2mothers really is out to save the world. They are an NGO that works to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. In other words, they want to ensure that women who have HIV and are pregnant receive the proper treatments to prevent genetic transmission. By providing care that is often denied, m2m is empowering women and making a difference.

In 2012, m2m received the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership. The organization has seen stunning success in its HIV treatment clinics in sub-Sahara Africa. With treatment clinics in over 7 countries, m2m has reached over 1 million women.

Marie-Josée Kravis is the selection committee chair for the Kravis Prize, and is also a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. She has recognized the importance of programs like m2m, especially in underdeveloped nations.

In an interview with m2m Mentor Mother Tlalane Phafoli, Marie-Josée Kravis points out the simplicity of the solution to transmission of HIV. “The treatment is relatively simple, and people don’t seem to understand you can give the pregnant woman a pill,” she says.

“Usually what happens is the mother unknowingly will transmit their virus to the child during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or while they are breastfeeding,” Phafoli explains. “mothers2mothers makes sure that women who are pregnant and HIV positive, once she is given that pill, that treatment, she adheres to the treatment.”

Phafoli goes on to explain to Marie Josée Kravis that this type of program really begins and spreads from the community level. In underdeveloped nations, it has to be a real grassroots movement or mothers won’t even realize they should get tested.

“One of the great injustices of our time is that every day, 1,000 babies in Africa are born with HIV—compared to one a day in the US and Europe,” reads the m2m website. “This is entirely preventable, and mothers2mothers is part of the solution.”

About 98% of babies born in resource-rich countries are HIV-free, as compared to the 40% who are infected at birth in resource-poor countries like Africa. Organizations like m2m stand to make a real change in the world.


Prominent People in Philanthropy: Marie-Josee Kravis

Marie-Josee Kravis
IMG: lev radin /

Marie-Josee Kravis could almost be considered a deity in the art world. A sharp-witted journalist, knowledgable economist, and experienced political strategist, Mrs. Kravis had many options for areas in which she could fruitfully allocate her professional time. However, these no-nonsense career paths each eventually took a backseat to Marie-Josee’s passion for the arts. With her knack for business and respect for art of all styles, Mrs. Kravis currently serves as President of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. Though she and her husband contribute sizable sums of money to art-based organizations including the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, and the Metropolitan Opera, they keep New York’s impoverished communities in mind too. The Kravises support the Robin Hood Foundation, which combats poverty in New York, and several other philanthropic organizations.

To read more about Marie-Josee Kravis, click here!