The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation works to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. We invest in the people, programs and institutions that are improving the human mind, body and spirit.
The Foundation has created groundbreaking independent institutions in each of its three investment areas, including The Broad Center, which develops leaders to help transform America’s urban public schools, the Broad Institute, a global leader in genomics, and The Broad, a museum in downtown Los Angeles devoted to showcasing great contemporary art.
At The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, we make grants to promising people and organizations working to improve public schools, advance scientific and medical research and make the arts accessible to the broadest public. Alongside our grantees, we aim to achieve improved academic achievement for all students, greater public access to great art and architecture and groundbreaking advances in scientific and medical research.
Our grants team seeks out nonprofit organizations that are pursuing transformative ideas. In addition to offering financial support, we provide non-monetary assistance, serving as thought partners and helping our grantees go from early-stage implementation to achieving their goals. We establish benchmarks at the start of each grant to track progress, and we partner with our grantees to help them advance their work.
Before we invest, we ask ourselves three questions that guide our decisions:
Will this happen without us?
Will it make a difference in 20 or more years?
Is the leadership in place to make it happen?
We are enormously proud of the work of our grantees across all three areas of our philanthropy. They are amazing organizations with staffs who work tirelessly to ensure every child in America has access to a great public school, to discover the causes of disease, and to make art accessible to a broad public. We are humbled to be able to help them make the world a better place to live, work and play.
Eli and Edythe Broad, who came from humble backgrounds to become two of the world’s leading philanthropists, have devoted their lives to giving back to the country that gave them the opportunity to live the American Dream.
Growing up in Detroit and attending public schools, Eli and Edye met in 1953 and married the next year. After graduating cum laude in three years from Michigan State University, Eli became the youngest certified public accountant in the state’s history. Restless to make more money, he decided to start a homebuilding business. By eliminating basements and passing on the savings, Eli made home ownership possible for young families who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Kaufman and Broad Homebuilding Corporation was an immediate success and soon expanded across the country and in France. Eli and Edye moved their family and the company headquarters to Los Angeles to grow the business in 1963, where the Broads have lived ever since.
In 1971, Eli acquired SunLife, a small insurance company founded in 1890, for $52 million and transformed it into a new business that would answer another essential public need: offering secure retirement savings to aging Baby Boomers—the same customers who bought homes from Kaufman and Broad. SunAmerica, as Eli renamed the company, provided retirements for a generation of Americans. The company was the best-performing on the New York Stock Exchange for a decade, brought thousands of jobs to Los Angeles and created wealth for its employees, shareholders and Eli’s family when he sold the company to AIG for $18 billion in 1999.
After that, Eli and Edye decided to devote their lives, and their lifetime earnings, to philanthropy. The Broads had always been philanthropic, giving as early as the 1950s to causes close to home. They donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from its founding in 1965 and to UCLA as early as 1967. That same year, they established a family foundation.
As the Broads’ capacity to give grew, the focus of their philanthropy sharpened, as did their commitment to making sure their philanthropy created a positive return for the public good. Eli and Edye devoted their giving to improving the human mind, body and spirit by investing in improving K-12 public schools, advancing scientific and medical research and expanding public access to the arts.
These three areas of philanthropy held special meaning for the Broads—as graduates of Detroit Public Schools, as parents of a son who struggles with an incurable disease and as passionate, lifelong collectors and champions of contemporary art and architecture. As one of the first signatories of the Giving Pledge, the Broads have promised to give away 75 percent of their net worth. And their commitment goes far beyond writing checks. The Broads work to create lasting positive change through institutions like high-quality public charter schools, genomics and stem cell research centers and contemporary art museums like The Broad in downtown Los Angeles.
Over the course of their lives, the Broads have invested more than $4 billion in these causes for the simple reason that they believe in philanthropy, as in business, they have a moral obligation to work to make life better for people.
In 2016, Eli and Edye appointed Gerun Riley president of the foundation. Gerun began working for the Broad family in 2003, and since then has taken on roles of increasing responsibility, serving as chief of staff, vice president and most recently as senior vice president of the foundation. She has worked on a number of key initiatives including The Broad Prize for Urban Education, the architectural competition and opening of The Broad museum and the foundation’s organizational strategy, design and governance. She has also worked closely with major grantees including The Broad Stage, where she serves on the board, The Broad Institute, the Broad stem cell research centers at UCLA, USC and UC San Francisco, and other partners in K-12 public education.
After a year of working alongside Gerun to helm the foundation, on Oct. 12, 2017, Eli announced his retirement from the foundation. Today, Gerun oversees the foundation’s grantmaking and strives to carry forward and evolve the Broads’ vision for helping make the world a better place.
Founder, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation Eli Broad is a renowned business leader who built two Fortune 500 companies from the ground up over a five-decade career in business. He is the founder of both SunAmerica Inc. and KB Home (formerly Kaufman and Broad Home Corporation).
Today, Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, are devoted to philanthropy as founders of The Broad Foundations, which they established to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation, have assets of $3 billion. Through the foundation, the Broads have created groundbreaking independent institutions in each of their three areas of grantmaking, including The Broad Center, which develops leaders to help transform America’s urban public schools, The Broad Institute, a global leader in genomics, and The Broad, a museum in downtown Los Angeles devoted to showcasing great contemporary art.
Edythe L. Broad
Co-Founder, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation Edythe Broad has been the quiet force behind her and Eli’s philanthropy and the calming influence in his restless drive to create businesses and institutions that would have a lasting impact. Together, the Broads have invested more than $4 billion in philanthropic causes. Edythe inspired the couple’s decision to become art collectors and patrons. What started as a personal interest in collecting art launched The Broad Art Foundation as a pioneering lending library of contemporary art. Ultimately, her passion led to the creation of The Broad art museum in downtown Los Angeles, which opened to the public with free general admission in September 2015.
Suzanne Nora Johnson, Esquire
Former Vice Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Former Chairman, Global Markets Institute
Suzanne Nora Johnson is former Vice Chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. She also served as Chairman of the Global Markets Institute and was a member of the firm’s management committee. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Suzanne was an attorney with Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett and worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals. Suzanne currently serves on the corporate boards of Intuit Inc. (Lead Director and Chair of the Compensation Committee), Pfizer Inc. (Chair of the Audit Committee), and Visa Inc. She also serves on the boards of several nonprofit institutions, the Brookings Institution (Co-Chair), the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Markle Foundation (Chair) and the University of Southern California. She chairs a number of endowment investment committees. She is a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Foreign Policy Association. Suzanne has also been a chair and member of various Global Agenda Councils for the World Economic Forum. She was a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Suzanne received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from USC.
President, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
As president of The Broad Foundation, Gerun Riley leads a team dedicated to supporting groundbreaking organizations and talented people. During her 15-year career with the Foundation, she has worked with major grantees including The Broad Stage, the Broad Institute, the Broad stem cell research centers at UCLA, USC and UC San Francisco and the Broad museums at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Michigan State University.
Today, she guides the organizational strategy, design and governance for the multi-billion-dollar Foundation and serves on the boards of The Broad Center, the Broad Institute and The Broad Stage. Prior to joining The Broad Foundation, Riley worked in the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, where she coordinated the firm’s pro bono department.
Ms. Riley received her B.A. in neuroscience from Bowdoin College.
Jay S. Wintrob
Chief Executive Officer, Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. Jay S. Wintrob is Chief Executive Officer of Oaktree Capital Management L.P., a leader among global investment managers, specializing in alternative investments with $140 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2020. Mr. Wintrob has served as a member of Oaktree’s Board of Directors since 2011. Prior to joining the firm as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wintrob was President and Chief Executive Officer of AIG Life and Retirement, the U.S.-based life and retirement services segment of American International Group, Inc., from 2009 to 2014. Following AIG's acquisition of SunAmerica in 1998, Mr. Wintrob was Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of AIG Retirement Services, Inc. from 1998 to 2001, and President and Chief Executive Officer from 2001 to 2009.
Mr. Wintrob began his career in financial services in 1987 as Assistant to the Chairman of SunAmerica Inc., and then went on to serve in several other executive positions, including President of SunAmerica Investments, Inc. overseeing the company's invested asset portfolio. Prior to joining SunAmerica, Mr. Wintrob was with the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers.
Mr. Wintrob received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Wintrob is a board member of several non-profit organizations, including the Skirball Cultural Center, the Los Angeles Music Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Doheny Eye Institute.
How can our organization apply for a grant from The Broad Foundation?
The Broad Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. Unlike many foundations that have a traditional grant cycle and review process, we proactively seek out investments that align with our mission to ensure every child has the opportunity to attend a great public school. Once we identify potential partnership opportunities, we contact a prospective grantee organization or individual and invite them to submit additional information.
Does The Broad Foundation fund initiatives outside the United States?
No. Our education initiatives are focused on our home state of California and our hometown of Los Angeles.
What initiatives does The Broad Foundation fund?
A complete list of grant commitments can be found here.
Who are Eli and Edythe Broad?
Eli and Edythe Broad are philanthropists who have a public focus in all of their philanthropic initiatives. They both attended Detroit Public Schools and believe that every child deserves the opportunity to attend a great public school. Eli Broad is an entrepreneur who attended Michigan State University, began his career as a certified public accountant, and went on to create two Fortune 500 companies—KB Home and SunAmerica. He and his wife are devoting their time and resources to advancing entrepreneurship for the public good in public education, scientific and medical research and the arts.
What is the size of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation?
The Broad Foundations, including The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation, together have $3 billion in assets.
Do you have a board?
Yes. The Broad Foundation has a 11-member board of governors that advises Eli and Edythe Broad in their philanthropic initiatives. See a list of board members here.
How do you evaluate success?
Our grantees submit periodic reports on their progress toward expected milestones, such as improving student achievement, supporting teachers or increasing educational opportunity. When key performance benchmarks are met or exceeded, we may expand or deepen our relationship with the grantee. When key performance benchmarks are missed, we may offer assistance and/or we may decide to put a grant on “pause.” If there is limited progress made toward meeting these targets, we may terminate an investment early.
Do you think public schools should be privatized?
No. To the contrary, we are working to ensure that public schools remain public. We believe that public schools must live up to the promise of providing a great education to every student.
Why do you support charter schools?
We believe that families deserve high-quality public school options. We support high-performing public charter schools because we believe they help provide those options to families, especially in underserved communities. However, we also work to close under-performing charter schools that do not live up to their promise to serve students.
Where are you based?
Our offices are in Los Angeles.
Why did you sunset The Broad Prizes?
In 2019, we decided to officially sunset both The Broad Prize for Urban Education and The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools to focus our work completely on our hometown of Los Angeles. We look forward to doing in L.A. what we aimed to do with the prizes: spotlight the educators who were making a difference for students of color and low-income students.
Are there specific cities where you focus your investments?
We focus on improving public schools in our home state of California and our hometown of Los Angeles. Through grants to The Broad Center, we support public school system leaders around the country who are working to dramatically improve public schools.