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The Wallace Foundation


Last profile update: 01/23/2018
Last grant data update: 06/13/2018

At A Glance

The Wallace Foundation

(formerly Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds)

5 Penn Plz., 7th Fl.

New York City, NY United States 10001-1837

Telephone: (212) 251-9700


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor






The Wallace Foundation is the current manifestation of the philanthropic legacy of DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, who created a series of family foundations in the mid 1950s and 1960s. By 2003, the various foundations had merged and adopted the current name. Immediately prior to this merger, there were two foundations known as the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. - Founded by the late DeWitt and Lila Wallace. Married in 1921, Lila and DeWitt moved to New York City and published the first edition of Readers Digest in Jan. 1922. From an initial circulation of 5,000, the "little magazine" started by the Wallaces quickly caught on, and over time it became the foundation of a worldwide publishing organization. Once their livelihood was secured, they were able to turn to their first love, helping people. 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 Wallace Foundation's mission is to foster improvements in learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and the vitality of the arts for everyone.. The foundation has an unusual approach: funding projects to test innovative ideas for solving important social problems, conducting research to find out what works and what doesn't and to fill key knowledge gaps; and then communicating the results to help others.