education and children have been among the funding interests of Chris and Keena Clifford. PHOto: MB Images/shutterstock

education and children have been among the funding interests of Chris and Keena Clifford. PHOto: MB Images/shutterstock

Berkshire Partners is a familiar name among companies looking to make investments, but it’s also good to know in the world of philanthropy. Several high-profile professionals have found success with Berkshire Partners and launched their own private funding vehicles, including Carl Ferenbach, who started the High Meadows Foundation with his wife to focus on the pressing environmental and societal issues. Another philanthropist who has emerged from this investment firm is Chris Clifford, yet only limited information is known about the dedication to philanthropy that he and his wife have and what their giving goals are for the future.

Here’s what we know so far about the Clifford Family Foundation Charitable Trust and how this funder gives in New England.

A Focus on Boston

Chris and Keena Clifford have strong ties to Boston, so this is where much of the couple’s giving has been centered. Chris graduated with an MBA from Harvard and co-founded the Boston-based Berkshire Partners in 1986. He served as a managing director until he retired in 2008, thereby signaling perhaps a bolder move towards future philanthropic pursuits.

Established in 1989, the Clifford Family Foundation Charitable Trust has directed gifts not just to the Boston area, but to Florida and California as well.

Education Grantmaking

Over the years, Chris and Keena Clifford have focused much of their giving on education and often on the couple’s alma maters. Colgate University in New York and Wheelock College in Boston commonly see the foundation’s support.

However, Teach for America in Boston, Tuck School of Business in New Hampshire, and Jumpstart for Children in Boston are other New England education grantees. In past years, Belmont Hill School in Belmont, Massachusetts and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine also received grants for general charitable purposes and scholarships.

Other Grantmaking

The Cliffords also fund other types of nonprofits besides education, especially within the realm of health and human services. In recent years, they have awarded grants to United Way groups, public radio stations, visiting nurse and hospice organizations, Habitat for Humanity chapters, and theaters as well. However, Boston organizations should know this type of funding is often shared with targeted Florida communities, such as Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, and West Palm Beach.

The Clifford Family Foundation Charitable Trust does not have a website, and according to recent tax records, it also does not accept unsolicited funding requests. Learn more about this local funder and how to get in touch with the staff in IP’s full profile of the Clifford Family Foundation Charitable Trust: Grants for New England.

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