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The J. M. Kaplan Fund, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-09-26

At A Glance

The J. M. Kaplan Fund, Inc.

71 W. 23rd St, No. 903

New York City, NY United States 10010

Telephone: (212) 767-0630


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $145,729,243

Total giving: $6,060,140





Additional Contact Information

Application address for Furthermore Grants in Publishing program:, c/o Ann Birckmayer, Prog. Assoc., P.O. Box 667, Hudson, NY 12534; tel.: (518) 828-8900


Incorporated in 1948 in NY as Faigel Leah Foundation, Inc.; The J.M. Kaplan Fund, Inc., a DE corporation, merged with it in 1975 and was renamed The J.M. Kaplan Fund, Inc. - When the merger took place the officers and programs of the original J.M. Kaplan Fund were largely maintained while the assets of the fund increased substantially. The activities of the fund reflect the interests of the Kaplan family members. The fund bears the name of one of its founders and principal contributors, the late Jacob M. Kaplan, who along with his three brothers, organized and developed the Dunbar Molasses Corp. Later, Mr. Kaplan and his brothers established the Hearns Department Store chain. Mr. Kaplan was the owner and president of Welch's Grape Juice Co., and later, president of Jemkap, Inc. Until 1977, he directed the affairs of the fund as its president. He served on the board of trustees until his death in July 1987. At the close 2010, the market value of the foundation's assets totaled $139.1 million, a 59 percent increase over the 2009 value ($87.2 million)

Purpose and Activities

Giving primarily in three areas: environment, historic preservation, and human migrations. The fund offers program-related investments to encourage ventures of particular interest. The fund also has a trustee-initiated grants program that considers grant requests invited by the trustees.

Program Area(s)

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

City Life Program

The program concentrates on public spaces and public services throughout the five boroughs of New York City. It focuses particularly on parks and streets. The park projects strives to: assure public access to well-maintained parks and greenery in all neighborhoods; enhance public uses of harbor and shoreline; and promote community participation in parks governance and operations. The street projects strive to: advocate more and better rail, bus, and water transport; expand pedestrian zones and bike paths; and regulate truck and automobile traffic. The City Life Program is on hiatus until further notice.

Environment Program

This program concentrates on marine conservation, especially in ocean waters that lie beyond the jurisdiction of a single national government. The program currently supports grantees working to: create international protections for species and ecoregions of the High Seas; educate scientists and the public about the value and vulnerability of the ocean as a world system; and foment civil society movements to protect Arctic waters and Arctic coastal communities.

Furthermore Grants in Publishing

The fund also sponsors Furthermore Grants in Publishing, a program directed by president emeritus Joan K. Davidson. Furthermore supports books on art, architecture, and design; conservation; cultural history; and public issues. Organizations interested in Furthermore program should contact Ann Birckmayer, Prog. Assoc., Furthermore Grants in Publishing. URL:

Grants to Individuals Program

Awards and prizes to individuals and teams to support inter-disciplinary innovation in the fields of cultural heritage, human rights, the built environment, and the natural environment. The prize is particularly designed for high-risk, early stage ideas being piloted or prototyped by dynamic visionaries.

Historic Preservation Program

The Historic Preservation Program concentrates on the conservation of archeological resources in the Aegean Basin, focusing on Turkey and Greece, and on the preservation of U.S. industrial heritage. The program's Site Conservation and Training Initiatives support projects that conserve in situ archeological resources and conservation training for Turkish and Greek nationals. The fund also addresses emerging needs in the region. In the U.S., the program's Industrial Heritage Initiative, supports efforts to shape and influence the protection and reuse of former industrial sites including mines, power plants, grain elevators, and steel plants.

J.M.K. Innovation Prize

The J.M.K. Innovation Prize is a new initiative of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. In 2015 up to ten prizes will be awarded to U.S.-based individuals or teams addressing our country's most pressing needs through social sector innovation. The prize will provide up to three years of support at $50,000 per year, as well as a $25,000 bank of funds available for technical assistance or targeted project expenses, making a total award of up to $175,000. Specifically, the prize seeks to support inter-disciplinary innovation in the fields of cultural heritage, human rights, the built environment, and the natural environment. The prize is particularly designed for high-risk, early stage ideas being piloted or prototyped by dynamic visionaries. See web site for additional information. .

Migrations Program

The fund aims to support: a) comprehensive immigration policy reform for the United States; and b) the integration of immigrants into local and national communities. The former aim is pursued through grants for public education and advocacy. The latter is pursued by efforts, initiated by the fund, to: bolster local immigrant-friendly policies and programs; highlight immigrant contributions to the commonweal; and establish, with the Migration Policy Institute, a new award - the E Pluribus Unum Prize - intended to honor government agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals who have succeeded in integrating recent immigrants and adding value to the larger community.

Program-Related Investment

Historically, the foundation has made PRIs in the form of loans in the areas of the arts, housing, wilderness preservation, human services, financing to nonprofit organizations for land acquisition, facilities acquisition and renovation, and to capitalize community financial institutions.

Fields of Interest

  • Community and economic development
  • Environment
  • Historic preservation
  • Human services
  • Natural resources
  • Right to free movement and asylum
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $145,729,243 (market value)

Expenditures: $10,235,233

Total giving: $6,060,140

Qualifying distributions: $7,682,661