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Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-06-06

At A Glance

Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Inc.

135 E. 64th St.

New York City, NY United States 10065-7045

Telephone: (212) 288-8900


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $93,530,495

Total giving: $4,670,762






Incorporated in 1952 in NY - When Robert Sterling Clark died in 1956, he left one-quarter of his estate to the foundation and one-quarter to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The other half of his estate was left in trust to his wife, Francine. When Mrs. Clark died in 1960, the institution and the foundation shared her portion of the estate. After taxes, the total estate was valued at more than $50 million. The grantmaker is a signatory to Philanthropy’s Promise, an initiative of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). By signing on, the grantmaker has committed to allocating the majority of its grantmaking dollars to marginalized communities and at least 25 percent to social justice strategies, such as advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement

Purpose and Activities

The foundation supports projects that: 1) promote international cultural engagement; 2) ensure the effectiveness and accountability of public agencies in New York City and State; and 3) protect access to comprehensive reproductive health through litigation and public policy advocacy in New York State and at the federal level.

Program Area(s)

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

Employee Matching Gifts

The foundation matches the monetary gifts of its staff to charitable organizations.

Ensuring Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Health Information and Services

The objective of the foundation's work in this field is to protect and expand women's access to reproductive health services. The strategies employed by foundation grantees to achieve these objectives include policy analysis, advocacy, public education and litigation aimed at: 1) Promoting the implementation of laws, policies, and practices that facilitate access to contraception and abortion; 2) Challenging laws and legal decisions that undermine reproductive rights, and developing legal arguments in support of these rights; 3) Promoting comprehensive sexuality education; and 4) Preventing harassment and violence against reproductive health care providers and patients.

Improving the Performance of Public Institutions in New York

The foundation's goals in this area include: 1) safeguarding the well-being of low-income families and other vulnerable New Yorkers who are most dependent on publicly funded agencies; 2) ensuring that all children in the State receive high quality care and education from birth onward, and that young people and adults receive the training, employment services, and other supports necessary to become productive workers and community members; 3) improving government policies and operations that shape the physical environment in New York State, including housing, economic and community development, environmental protection, and solid waste management programs. In all of these areas, our grants support: 1. Research to determine the efficacy of government programs; 2. Education, advocacy, and organizing to inform public policy discussions and assist government officials in developing and implementing sound policies and programs; and 3. Litigation when other actions fail to improve government performance.

Program-Related Investment

Historically, the foundation has made a PRI in the form of an equity investment in a production company.

Promoting International Arts Engagement

The objective of the program is to help promote global understanding through the arts. The foundation supports initiatives of U.S. visual and performing arts organizations that engage communities beyond the artistic work. Currently, the focus of this program is Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. While support for projects that bring international artists to the U.S. is considered, the Foundation gives preference to projects that send artists and representatives of U.S. arts organizations abroad. The foundation's strategies to promote international arts engagement include encouraging and supporting public-private partnerships, corporate sector partnerships, and partnerships with foreign entities. The foundation also supports U.S. arts organizations that build transformative bilateral relationships with international partners, and develop internet technology that advances global arts engagement.

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Community and economic development
  • Dance
  • Environment
  • Family planning
  • Family services
  • Human services
  • Museums
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Public administration
  • Public affairs
  • Public policy
  • Reproductive rights
  • Sustainable development
  • Theater
  • Urban development
  • Visual arts
International Interests
  • Africa
  • Global Programs
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
Population Groups
  • Adolescents
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Female adults
  • Females
  • Homeless people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Seniors
  • Young adults

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $93,530,495 (market value)

Expenditures: $6,183,887

Total giving: $4,670,762

Qualifying distributions: $5,760,992