- Assets: $5,320,384 (2009)
- Grants Received: $1,976,508 (2009)
- Grants Awarded: $1,799,080 (2009)
The Ben & Jerry's Foundation (BJF) was established in 1985 from a donation of stock from Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc., the ice cream company founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. (Cohen is also the co-founder of the antiwar group True Majority.) In addition to the original endowment, each year Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc. makes a large donation (generally exceeding $1.1 million) to the Foundation. Jerry Greenfield is the Foundation's Vice Chairman and President, and Rebecca Golden is its Director.
A member organization of the Peace and Security Funders Group, the Ben & Jerry's Foundation supports organizations that deem social change imperative because they perceive the United States as a nation whose policies harm people and the natural environment alike. BJF's awards range between $1,000 and $15,000 apiece, and are earmarked to fund projects that will, in the Foundation's opinion, accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
- lead to societal, institutional and/or environmental change
- address the root causes of social or environmental problems
- lead to new ways of thinking and acting
- help ameliorate an unjust or destructive situation by empowering constituents
- facilitate leadership development and strengthen the self-empowerment efforts of those who have traditionally been disenfranchised in our society
- support movement building and collective action.
BJF recently endorsed a document called the Earth Charter, which blames capitalism for many of the world's environmental, social, and economic problems. The Charter maintains that "the dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species. The benefits of development are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening."
Among the organizations funded by the Ben & Jerry's Foundation are: the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute; the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); the Border Action Network; Global Exchange; Grassroots International; the Institute for Policy Studies; Physicians for Social Responsibility; the Ruckus Society; the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center; and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Ben and Jerry's Foundation, click here.
(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)