Our Structure and Funding

The Legal Definition of The Wexner Foundation

In the early 1980’s, Leslie Wexner advanced a set of leadership development ideas that have become his unwavering philanthropic commitment over four decades. He recognized that leaders were not sufficiently developed and valued in Jewish community life. With laser-like focus he crafted a set of initiatives designed to identify, train and support volunteer and professional leaders in North American Jewish life and public sector leaders in Israel. In time, Abigail Wexner, his life and leadership partner, joined him in building a foundation singularly devoted to these pursuits.

The philanthropic organization created to develop these leadership initiatives took the legal form of a private operating foundation. Unlike the vast majority of foundations which function as grant-making entities, The Wexner Foundation devotes itself to a set of focused initiatives largely funded by a single donor and operated by its own professional staff. While philanthropic partners and local communities have periodically provided supplemental funding, the Foundation‘s standing as a private operating foundation endures.

Given the above, with rare exception, The Wexner Foundation is not a grant-making philanthropy and has no process through which agencies and organizations might apply for funding.

Since we are not an endowed Foundation, the annual budget represents the costs to run our leadership initiatives for one fiscal year. Our funding, approved and provided solely by our chairmen and associated Foundation partners, is used exclusively for our leadership programs and for grants directly related to those programs.

Gender Safety, Respect and Equity

In addition to a revised Code of Conduct required for all who participate in our programs, our Summit on this topic has generated important discussions and initiatives. We are working on creating thoughtful curriculum modules on this very important topic. We cannot leave gender safety, respect and equity to chance or good intent.

Diversity and Inclusion are core values of The Wexner Foundation. We strive to select cohorts that represent the broadest possible representation.

The Wexner Foundation is a nonpartisan, interdenominational, pluralistic program that engages leaders of divergent opinions and provides forums for rigorous debate on a wide range of issues. Faculty, speakers and authors at any of the Foundation’s written and spoken forums express their views only. Such views are not to be construed as the view of the Wexner philanthropic organization.