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Altman Foundation


Last profile update: 04/16/2018
Last grant data update: 03/19/2018

At A Glance

Altman Foundation

8 W. 40th St., 19th Fl.

New York City, NY United States 10018-2263

Telephone: (212) 682-0970


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business; Other






Incorporated in 1913 in NY - Founded by the late Benjamin Altman, who established B. Altman & Company. In his will, Mr. Altman bequeathed his ownership of B. Altman & Company to the foundation. Following Altman’s death, Colonel Michael Friedsam, his close relative and colleague, led the business and the foundation until his own death in 1931. Friedsam was also an art collector and a philanthropist with a deep interest in New York. The next presidents, John S. Burke and his son, John S. Burke, Jr., carried the Altman tradition of service and support of the community into the modern age. In December 1985, to conform with new laws prohibiting control of businesses by private foundations, the foundation relinquished ownership of the company increasing the market value of the foundation's assets significantly. The foundation's original purposes were to provide for the employees of B. Altman & Company and to support charitable and educational institutions at the discretion of the trustees. In 1964, the foundation's charter was amended and its activities were limited to support of charitable and educational institutions in New York State.

Purpose and Activities

The foundation's mission is to support programs and institutions that enrich the quality of life in New York City, with a particular focus on initiatives that help individuals, families and communities benefit from the services and opportunities that will enable them to achieve their full potential.