Institution: Rockefeller Foundation

Philanthropy’s Fight Against Tuberculosis in World War I France

What does it take to control the outbreak of a deadly disease?

Funding a Sexual Revolution: The Kinsey Reports

The inside story of the study that first questioned binary sexuality and spurred outcry and controversy.

An Unlikely Partnership: Ted Watkins and the Rockefeller Foundation

How a charismatic community activist from Watts challenged a foundation’s civil rights strategy.

Photo Essay: Mexico and the Launch of the Green Revolution

The scientific, intensive agriculture that the Rockefeller Foundation pioneered on a large international scale (eventually in partnership with the Ford Foundation) was touted as a “Green Revolution” in a 1968 speech. The name stuck. How the Mexican Agriculture Program created a method for intensifying agriculture on a global level…

In Brief: The West Africa Museums Programme

A group of American philanthropies funded a massive preservation project in West Africa in the 1980s, working with museums that had collections at risk of deterioration and a shortage of trained personnel. The program went beyond simply repairing physical decay. It has had staying power for decades because it focuses on both the people running the museums and what these institutions mean to local communities…

The Origins of the Rockefeller Foundation Equal Opportunity Program

A fundraising appeal from the United Negro College Fund in 1962 prompted the Rockefeller Foundation to design and launch a full-blown Equal Opportunity program, the first in its history. How a simple request come to have such a broad impact…

Timeline: Foundations and the Walker Art Center

The story of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, provides one example of how foundation involvement from mid-century to the present has enabled American cultural organizations to grow, thrive, and innovate. Investment from multiple foundations has enabled such non-profit institutions to break ground in the cultural sector…

In Brief: The Rockefeller Foundation Supports Renowned Urbanist Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities is one of the most famous critiques of urban renewal in the postwar US. However, the book might never have been published if not for a vote of confidence from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1958…

The Long Road to the Yellow Fever Vaccine

Rockefeller Foundation scientists, led by future Nobel Prize winner Max Theiler, developed a yellow fever vaccine in the 1930s that was later given to thousands of American and British soldiers during World War II. The serum drastically reduced the worldwide occurrence of yellow fever. Today it remains the only vaccine in use for the deadly virus. However, the road to creating the vaccine was long and bumpy…

The Rockefeller and Ford Foundations Navigate Civil War in Nigeria

The Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation kicked off plans to construct the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria in 1963. They viewed IITA as a vital new component of their joint efforts to increase the developing world’s food supply across the globe. But a political crisis and a subsequent civil war nearly upended the funders’ plans…