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The Wallace Foundation

Manager: Cheryl Mirer
Priority: Open


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.


arts, education


No support for religious or fraternal organizations; environmental or conservation programs, health, medical or social service programs, international programs, or for private foundations.


Total giving: $61,462,148

Qualifying distributions: $61,462,148

Giving activities include:

$61,436,628 for 169 grants (high: $4,000,000; low: $250)


  • $3,740,000 to EdVestors, Boston, MA, in 2012. For arts learning for children in Boston Public Schools
  • $2,443,000 to RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, in 2012. To conduct evaluation of six school districts summer learning programs and produce public report
  • $1,800,000 to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, Charlotte, NC, in 2012. To participate in Wallace's Principal Pipeline initiative
  • $1,000,000 to Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh, PA, in 2012. For Summer Learning Program, as part of Wallace Summer Learning District Demonstration Project
  • $765,000 to Grand Rapids, City of, Grand Rapids, MI, in 2012. To participate in Wallace's System Building Initiative
  • $250,000 to Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC, in 2012. To conduct analysis of instructional superintendent position in six Principal Pipeline districts
  • $200,000 to Education Development Center, New York, NY, in 2012.
  • $150,000 to Education Trust, Washington, DC, in 2012. For conferences
  • $125,000 to After School Matters, Chicago, IL, in 2012. To create cash reserve fund for organizations receiving intensive financial management training in Strengthening Financial Management Initiative