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The Russell Berrie Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-05-11

At A Glance

The Russell Berrie Foundation

300 Frank W. Burr Blvd., Bldg. East, 7th Fl.

Teaneck, NJ United States 07666-6704

Telephone: (201) 928-1880


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $232,723,030

Total giving: $9,842,200






Established in 1985 in NJ - Founded by the late Russ Berrie, who established the Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. (now known as Kid Brands, Inc.) which designs, manufactures and markets a variety of gift products to retail stores. Berrie's gift of $1 million helped make possible "The Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing Arts" center at Ramapo College, NJ.

Purpose and Activities

The foundation as created to express the values and passions of Russell Berrie through social investments in innovative ideas designed to: 1) Promote the continuity and enrichment of Jewish communal life; 2) Support advances in medicine focusing on diabetes and humanism in medicine; 3) Fostering the spirit of religious understanding and pluralism; 4) Recognizing individuals who have made a significant difference to the lives of others; 5) Elevating the profession of sales; and 6) Raising the awareness of terrorism and promoting its prevention.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Community Giving

The foundation provides significant support to New Jersey's art, cultural and health care institutions and celebrates everyday people who make significant difference in the lives of others.

Diabetes and Medical Innovation

Over the years, the foundation has made substantial investments in major initiatives focusing on cutting edge research and humanistic treatment that it hopes will lead to new medical breakthroughs in the fight to prevent, treat and cure diabetes.

Grants to Individuals Program

Awards to NJ residents who have made a difference in the well-being of society.

Jewish Renaissance

This program promotes the continuity and enrichment of Jewish Communal life. The program advances the causes of Jewish continuity and survival of the Jewish people through transmitting to current and future generations of Jews a passionate and meaningful sense of Jewish identity. It serves as a catalyst to promote Jewish pluralism, foster inter-religious understanding between Jews, Catholics and those of other faiths, and successfully integrate intermarried families into the Jewish community. Another primary goal is to build a cadre of Jewish leaders who will create a Jewish Renaissance in the 21st century through nurturing and sustaining Jewish educational, cultural and community building initiatives and transforming Jewish institutions.

Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference

The award celebrates New Jersey’s unsung heroes—everyday people whose extraordinary volunteer efforts have made a real difference in the lives of others. Created in 1997, the annual award program honors nineteen individuals who have performed outstanding community service or an act of heroism. The unsung heroes are chosen from a pool of several hundred nominees and awards the top three with cash prizes of $50,000, $35,000 and $25,000. Eight other finalists are distinguished with cash prizes of $5,000. .

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Diseases and conditions
  • Health care clinics
  • Higher education
  • Hospital care
  • Human services
  • Interfaith
  • Judaism
  • Science
  • Technology
International Interests
  • Israel
  • Italy
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Jewish people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $232,723,030 (market value)

Expenditures: $21,471,035

Total giving: $9,842,200

Qualifying distributions: $12,055,470