History & Mission

The mission of The Prospect Hill Foundation is to advance the human experience while ensuring the well-being of the earth.

The Prospect Hill Foundation is a private family foundation established in New York in 1959 by the late William S. Beinecke, then President and Chairman of the Sperry and Hutchinson Company and his wife, Elizabeth G. Beinecke. In 1983, The Prospect Hill Foundation merged with the Frederick W. Beinecke Fund, which had been established by the will of William S. Beinecke’s father and was later augmented by the will of Carrie Sperry Beinecke, his mother.

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The Foundation has a three-fold grantmaking framework: program grants in two areas, sponsored grants and matching gifts. The two current program areas are Nuclear Disarmament & Nonproliferation and Youth. Sponsored grants support the philanthropic interests and activities of Beinecke family members and are initiated by directors. The matching gifts program is a 2:1 benefit for the Beinecke family office and for staff and directors of The Prospect Hill Foundation. Reflecting the geographic location of the family, the Foundation’s grants support activities mainly in the northeastern United States, with a smaller presence in the San Francisco/Bay Area.

After its Year of Reflection (2017-2018), the Foundation decided to phase out of three of four former program areas (Environment/Oceans & Coastal Waters; Reproductive Health & Justice; and Youth Justice) and maintain the Nuclear Disarmament & Nonproliferation Program. At the same time, the Foundation decided to develop a new program area focused on young people.

The Foundation is governed by a ten-member group of directors who are all descendants of William S. and Elizabeth G. Beinecke. The two program areas are governed by a committee of directors and each includes a non-director expert. The Foundation also has two management committees, Audit and Finance & Investment.

To learn more, explore our Grantmaking Programs and Recent Grants, and review our latest Financial Information, as well as the biographies of our Directors, Committee Members & Staff.