Editor’s Note: This is one of three “Family Office Spotlights” included in the National Center’s new report, Working Together for Common Good, available at our website at www.ncfp.org.
The Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds are a group of Baltimore-based family foundations whose philanthropic contributions have had significant impact not only on the city of Baltimore, but nationally and internationally as well.
Joseph Meyerhoff, a premier Baltimore businessman, philanthropist, and fundraiser, began the tradition of giving in his family that continues to be a legacy today through his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Among other activities, Meyerhoff is most well known for his leadership of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and his work in the creation of the state of Israel.
Joseph’s son, Harvey M. “Bud” Meyerhoff, was instrumental in the building of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Funds’ gift still remains among the largest gifts to the Museum. Bud Meyerhoff is also a long standing supporter of the Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins Health System, where he was chairman of the board and currently serves as a trustee emeritus.
Bud Meyerhoff’s children and grandchildren serve as trustees on several family foundation boards and are active in their communities. His sister, Eleanor Meyerhoff Katz, and her children are all actively involved in family foundations, as well as in their own communities. For 14 years, Terry Meyerhoff Rubenstein served as the executive vice president of the Family Funds. She orchestrated the transition to the current operating structure.
The Funds currently operate under a management committee that oversees grantmaking decisions. The management team is made up of three professionals who work directly with the committee chair.
In advance of meetings, committee members are sent emails advising them that board dockets are available on an internal, password protected website. From there, they can download materials to their electronic devices.
“We strive to make our grantmaking process as user friendly as possible for both trustees and grantees” says Elizabeth Minkin, a fourth generation family member and director of Baltimore and domestic initiatives. “This is a business. This is our long-term legacy—to steward this money which has been entrusted to good decisions made by the family. Our goal is to involve all generations in carrying on the family tradition of philanthropy.”
Ms. Minkin is part of the three-member management team that includes a director of Jewish and Israel initiatives and a director of grants administration. This team of professionals reports to the chair of the grants management committee. The director of grants administration works with the family office. In total, there are four individuals who work for the family office and two full-time and two part-time employees who work for the charitable funds.