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Profile Last Updated: 04/13/2018 Grant Information Last Updated: 07/31/2018 eGrant

Mertz Gilmore Foundation

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Purpose and Activities

Current concerns include human rights, the environment, and New York City cultural, social, and civic concerns.


Incorporated in 1959 in NY - In 1959, Joyce Mertz and her parents, LuEsther and Harold, established a family foundation called the Mertz Foundation. Joyce married Robert Wallace Gilmore in 1964, and the couple began managing the foundation's operations. Together with their colleague and friend, Bayard Rustin, they became strong advocates for peace and civil rights, which was reflected in their grantmaking. They also were committed passionately to the quality of life in New York City where they lived and made grants to performing arts institutions and to groups working to protect the city's environment. Their interest in the environment led them to support programs reaching beyond the city to include state, national and global issues as well. Initially, family members provided the foundation with funds on a yearly basis. However, when Joyce Mertz Gilmore died in 1974, her will provided for an endowment to the foundation. Robert Gilmore soon changed the foundation's name to the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation in her honor and memory. Robert Gilmore died in 1988, but not before he set the foundation on a new course by expanding the Board beyond the family. His heirs donated a generous portion of his estate to the foundation. In 2002, the Board of Directors changed the name of the foundation to the Mertz Gilmore Foundation to honor the memory of Robert Gilmore.


Mertz Gilmore Foundation

Independent foundation



Bridge Number



218 E 18th St New York City, NY United States 10003-3605

Contact Information