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A Family Foundation: Looking to the Future, Honoring the Past

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Publication Date: January 1996

Publisher(s): Nathan Cummings Foundation

Author(s): Deborah S. Gardner

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Banking and finance (Philanthropy and nonprofit sector)
Social conditions (History)

Keywords: World Jews; Fundraising/Philanthropy

Type: Report


In writing this essay I drew heavily on the series of oral history interviews I conducted in 1996 with members of the extended Cummings family, staff and trustees. The Cummings Foundation commissioned the interviews as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of Nathan Cummings' birth; a foundation archives will be created to preserve the history of its activities for future generations. The intent of these projects documenting the foundation's evolution from 1985 to 1996 is to better understand its own work and to glean lessons that might be of use to families contemplating, or beginning, their own foundations.