Regions United States

Helping the U.S. Be a Land of Opportunity for All

For Atlantic Founder Chuck Feeney, America has been a land of great opportunity. Thanks to the G.I. Bill, he became the first of his Irish American family to go to university. His Cornell education, combined with entrepreneurial skills developed early in life, led Feeney to create Duty Free Shoppers, the source of his wealth and of his endowment of The Atlantic Philanthropies.

It’s only natural that Atlantic’s grantmaking in the country that made so much possible for Feeney would similarly be focused on giving a leg up to those who are unfairly disadvantaged or vulnerable to life’s circumstances. As Feeney’s own experiences showed, a boost to those who need it can open up a world of opportunity.

We’ve helped dismantle systemic barriers that unfairly hold people back, especially because of their race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. As a result, more young people are now staying and succeeding in school, courts are handing down fewer death penalty sentences, advocates are successfully addressing inequities in our criminal justice system that do great harm, and other groups are leading efforts to protect our civil liberties.

We’ve also made big bets to strengthen higher education, advance life-saving medical research, expand access to high-quality health care, and enable older adults to live well and continue to be able to make meaningful contributions to their communities.

In 2015, we launched The Global Brain Institute, a program to enable leaders around the world committed to changing both the practice of dementia care and the societal forces that affect brain health. In 2016, we announced Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity, a program that supports leaders committed to dismantling anti-black racism in the United States and South Africa, two nations with deep and enduring legacies of racial exclusion and discrimination. Learn more about Atlantic Fellows >

We made big bets to bolster universities and medical research, expand health care, support children and older adults, and protect rights.

$3.1b in grants since 1982

$350m to kickstart Cornell NYC Tech

45% of grants are over $10m