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Profile Last Updated: 03/03/2021 Grant Information Last Updated: 07/19/2020

Russell Sage Foundation

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Purpose and Activities

The foundation is a private operating foundation devoted exclusively to the conduct and dissemination of research in the social sciences. Its current programs include research on the causes and consequences of the decline in demand for low-skilled workers in advanced economies; the adaptation of U.S. immigrants and their children to American society; the social effects of rising economic inequality, efforts by American institutions to accommodate greater racial and ethnic diversity; and a variety of smaller special projects and research initiatives. The foundation sponsors a Visiting Scholar Program in which individual scholars and collaborative groups pursue research and writing projects related to the foundation's interests at its headquarters in New York City for periods of up to one year. The foundation also provides support for scholars at other institutions to pursue research projects that advance the foundation's research interests. The foundation disseminates the resulting research findings through its own book publishing program.


Incorporated in 1907 in NY - Founded in 1907 by the late Mrs. Margaret Olivia Sage in the name of the late Russell Sage, who was a self-made financier who began work as a grocery boy and horse drover, and who was one of the wealthiest men of his time. A railroad magnate, former congressman, and moneylender, he made great sums of money in the Civil War on contracts to supply food, naval stores, and horses to the Union Army. He became known nationally as "The Money King." Upon his death in 1906, he bequeathed an estate of nearly $80 million to his wife, who in turn donated substantial gifts to the Emma Willard Seminary, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and other charitable and educational organizations. Mrs. Sage created the Russell Sage Foundation for the purpose of social betterment with an initial endowment of $10 million, later supplemented by a gift of $5 million.


Russell Sage Foundation

Operating foundation




112 East 64th St New York City, NY United States 10065

Contact Information