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The Aaron Straus & Lillie Straus Foundation, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-06-07

At A Glance

The Aaron Straus & Lillie Straus Foundation, Inc.

2 E. Read St., Ste. 100

Baltimore, MD United States 21202-6912

Telephone: (410) 539-8308


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $69,886,293

Total giving: $3,276,417






Established in 1926 in MD - Founded by the late Aaron Straus, who was the founder of the Reliable Stores Corporation

Purpose and Activities

Giving primarily for Jewish community services; families, children, and youth; building infrastructure in the non-profit sector; and alternative grantmaking.

Program Area(s)

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

Building Infrastructure in the Nonprofit Sector

The foundation makes a small portion of its overall grantmaking available for the purpose of keeping the sector strong and vibrant, to increasing philanthropic investment in the Baltimore, MD, community, and to helping organizations strengthen their infrastructure so that services can be delivered in efficient, cost-effective, and measurable ways. In addition, the foundation encourages the community's best and brightest to seek careers in public service, public policy and the nonprofit sector, and was very instrumental in both the passage of the National Community Service Act and Maryland's Americorps program. .

Families, Children and Youth

The foundation's work in this area is based on the core belief that all children are entitled to live in a safe and nurturing family with access to those opportunities which can best help them prepare for a healthy and productive future. Funding in this area is focused in the following areas: 1) advocating for public policies and public investment in tested and measured strategies and interventions; 2) increasing availability of and access to high quality public education and health care; 3) preventing pregnancies and births to teens; 4) linking families to workforce training programs which either help with entry to or advancement and retention in jobs with family-supporting wages and benefits; and 5) helping build the financial literacy and asset-building opportunities for low-income families. .

Jewish Community Services

The foundation's support for the Jewish community centers on rescue and relief for threatened Jewish communities throughout the world, providing social and human services for fragile Jewish families in Baltimore, MD, including new immigrants and for expressing the strongly held Jewish value of social justice for all citizens. The foundation also supports opportunities for increasing understanding and cooperation among diverse cultures and communities. The foundation primarily funds the Jewish community, both locally and worldwide, through large intermediaries and federations of agencies that re-grant our dollars in areas of greatest community need. The foundation also seeks to foster stronger partnerships between Americans and Israelis in the areas of philanthropy, business and the exchange of intellectual capital. To ensure that Jewish youth are given the opportunity to remain connected to their Jewish heritage, the foundation continues to support two camps created by Aaron and Lillie Straus in the early 1920's, Camps Airy and Louise. .

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Child welfare
  • Education
  • Family services
  • Human services
  • Judaism
  • Nonprofits
  • Public policy
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students
  • Public charities

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $69,886,293 (market value)

Expenditures: $4,520,064

Total giving: $3,276,417

Qualifying distributions: $3,720,430