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Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-07-17

At A Glance

Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation, Inc.

271 Madison Ave., Ste. 605

New York City, NY United States 10016-1001

Telephone: (212) 684-9110


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business
  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $59,409,522

Total giving: $3,544,250



Bridge Number



Incorporated in 1943 in NY - Founded by the late Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel. Bernard Gimbel was one of the founders of Gimbels, which was a major American department store corporation from 1887 through the late 20th century

Purpose and Activities

Support for education, workforce/economic development, criminal justice, civil legal services, reproductive rights, the environment, and for advocacy in these areas.

Program Area(s)

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

Civil Legal Services

The foundation supports efforts to reduce barriers to effective and unrestricted civil legal assistance through direct legal representation and policy advocacy. Support is provided for programs offering legal representation on a range of issues including education, employment and foster care. Funding is also provided for innovative initiatives aimed at increasing the accessibility of legal services in underserved communities.

Criminal Justice

Funding in the criminal justice area is focused on programs working to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. These include advocacy for sentencing reforms and increased use of alternatives to incarceration, as well as efforts to improve the likelihood of successful reentry for those returning to their communities after release from prison or jail.

Economic Development

The foundation's funding in the area of economic development is aimed at increasing the number of living wage jobs in New York City and ensuring low-income workers' access to those jobs. Support is provided for initiatives that help individuals, families and communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency; for advocacy efforts to advance effective economic and workforce development policies; and for a range of job training programs, with an emphasis on those geared toward specific employment sectors.


In the area of education, the foundation seeks to fund efforts to improve the public school system in New York City. Specifically, funding is provided for long-term in-school programs that incorporate the arts into standard curriculums to enhance language development, literacy comprehension, and learning across a range of subject areas; and for efforts to increase access to English language literacy and appropriate special education services. The foundation also supports comprehensive initiatives aimed at improving the overall quality of education for all students through policy reform and advocacy efforts.


The foundation supports organizations working to address a range of environmental issues through policy change, public education, and legal advocacy. For the most part, funding in this area is limited to organizations whose work is national in scope.

Reproductive Rights

The foundation supports domestic programs that seek to protect women's reproductive rights and increase access to comprehensive reproductive health services. Funded initiatives include those working to achieve these goals through public education efforts, policy advocacy and legal advocacy.

Fields of Interest

  • Economic development
  • Environment
  • Job training
  • Legal services
  • Reproductive rights
  • Sustainable development
Population Groups
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $59,409,522 (market value)

Expenditures: $4,771,328

Total giving: $3,544,250

Qualifying distributions: $3,898,520