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  • 1909

    John D. Rockefeller Jr. Foundation made a $1 million grant ($26 million in today's dollars) to support a comprehensive public health initiative that established the Rockefeller Sanitation Commission to eradicate hookworm and other diseases in the South. It changed public health policy in the region and began the strategic philanthropy approach to grant making.

  • 1923

    The Garland Fund awards a grant to the NAACP, the beginning of a partnership that ultimately results in the NAACP's focus on education desegregation and the landmark Brown decision.

  • 1949

    Robert Sutherland, director of the Hogg Foundation, hosts a meeting in Austin attended by the donors and trustees of ten grantmakers, leading to the establishment of the first U.S. regional association of grantmakers, Philanthropy Southwest.

  • 1953

    The Field Foundation, based in Chicago, becomes of the largest funders of the Highlander Folk School, which trained hundreds of civil rights activists, including Rosa Parks and John Lewis.

  • 1954

    From its inception in 1954, the New World Foundation, based in Chicago (and later New York) funded civil rights advocacy in the South, particularly through its support for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and gatherings of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

  • 1956

    Foundation Library Center (later known as Foundation Center, and now known as Candid) established in New York City.

  • 1957

    National Council on Community Foundations (later Council on Foundations) incorporated in New York City; membership expands to private and company foundations in 1958.

  • 1961

    The Voter Education Project (VEP) was a discreet civil rights agency that funded African American voter registration campaigns throughout the South. Supported by civil rights leaders, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officials, and philanthropists, the VEP operated within the Southern Regional Council (SRC) to finance local movements and collect data on black disfranchisement.