Foundation Center - Knowledge to build on.
Home Profile Search Site Map Ask Us Donate Now
About Us Locations Newsletters Press Room PND
Funders Forum

The Colcom Foundation

September 2012

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Colcom Foundation's mission is to foster a sustainable environment to ensure quality of life for all Americans by addressing major causes and consequences of overpopulation and its adverse effects on natural resources. Regionally, the Colcom Foundation supports conservation, environmental projects, and cultural assets. The Foundation Center asked John Rohe, the foundation's vice president - philanthropy:

Question Is there anything you would like your colleagues in the field to know about particular strategies that the Colcom Foundation has found helpful in pursuing its chosen program areas? Also, where do you see the largest potential for collaboration in your field?

Answer "Philanthropy essentially occupies two realms: the present and the future. In form and substance, these two realms differ dramatically. Colcom Foundation strives to improve the quality of life in both. Through regional community projects, the foundation endeavors to share in the creation of a place worth caring about, where the highest human potential can be nurtured. As Churchill observed, 'We shape our buildings (places) and thereafter they shape us.'

"The foundation also strives to improve the quality of life for tomorrow. Intrepid voyagers on this terrain know the future will never be visualized with certainty. In words attributed to Mark Twain, 'It's difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.' When practicing the art of future philanthropy, the foundation painstakingly strives to rely upon the most accurate available projections — projections of potential harm unless anticipated with foresight, compassion, and good will.

"Philanthropists addressing future conditions seem to have comfortably resigned themselves to two inescapable aspects of this charity. First, uncertainty. Hopefully, the risk of uncertainty will be offset by the adage that an ounce of prevention averts a pound of cure. Second, thanklessness. Today, we are the unwary beneficiaries of farsighted acts of charity practiced by our forebears. They studied the future and allocated an ounce of good will for our betterment today. Who are these kind-hearted souls and would they be willing to take a bow even if they were still among us? This differs from philanthropy operating in the present. When striving to avert harmful conditions in the future, it's best to not expect a pat on the back.

"A large potential for collaboration exists when sustainability advocates recognize the futility of ignoring population concerns. Currently, the fields of sustainability and conservation capably attempt to soften the footprint of each person; corporations as well work to soften their business' footprint through CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts. This is essential. Another part of the equation is often overlooked. If we are able to soften our footprint by 50 percent while doubling the population, we will have merely perpetuated the prevailing state of unsustainability. On a planet adding over 331,000 people every day (births minus deaths) and a nation expected to increase its population 40 percent by 2050, sustainability advocates might soon be again adding population concerns to their agenda."

Funder's Forum: Donor Profiles

The Jerome Foundation
March 2016

The Wallace Foundation
December 2015

The Beveridge Family Foundation
October 2015

The Staten Island Foundation
September 2015

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
August 2015

The Edwin Gould Foundation
July 2015

The Princeton Area Community Foundation
June 2015

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
May 2015

The John Ben Snow Foundation, Inc.
April 2015

The Avon Foundation for Women
March 2015

The Pinkerton Foundation
February 2015

The Heckscher Foundation for Children
December 2014

The Cooper Foundation
November 2014

The National Grid Foundation
October 2014

The Endeavor Foundation
September 2014

The Commonwealth Fund
August 2014

Teagle Foundation
July 2014

Robert R. McCormick Foundation
June 2014

Bush Foundation
May 2014

The Kresge Foundation
April 2014

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
March 2014

Rauch Foundation
February 2014

Stavros Niarchos Foundation
January 2014

The Louis Calder Foundation
December 2013

The Bella Vista Foundation
November 2013

The Skillman Foundation
October 2013

Rosenberg Foundation
September 2013

The Pittsburgh Foundation
August 2013

Saint Luke's Foundation
July 2013

The Sobrato Family Foundation
June 2013

W.K. Kellogg Foundation
March 2013

Trustees' Philanthropy Fund, Fidelity Charitable
February 2013

The Duke Endowment
January 2013

The Beazley Foundation
October 2012

The Colcom Foundation
September 2012

The Clark Foundation
August 2012

The Hyde and Watson Foundation
July 2012

Annie E. Casey Foundation
June 2012

Robert W. Woodruff Foundation
May 2012

Markle Foundation
March 2012

The Commonwealth Fund
February 2012

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund
January 2012

Posner-Wallace Foundation
December 2011

Public Welfare Foundation
November 2011

Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
October 2011

Walter & Elise Haas Fund
September 2011

Alcoa Foundation
August 2011

Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
July 2011

The Cleveland Foundation
June 2011

Fannie E. Rippel Foundation
May 2011

The California Wellness Foundation
April 2011

Jerome Foundation
March 2011

Lumina Foundation
for Education

February 2011

Charles Stewart
Mott Foundation

January 2011

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
December 2010

M. J. Murdock
Charitable Trust

December 2010

Surdna Foundation
October 2010
© Foundation Center
All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy