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The Philanthropy 50: The Gunds Make the List of Top Donors in 2014

Gordon and Llura GundIt’s quite a list. On it, among others, are the Gateses, a Rockefeller, Google’s co-founders, a former New York City mayor and the founding president of Facebook. A list of America’s richest people, you ask? Well, not exactly. Compiled by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, “The Philanthropy 50” is a ranking of the country’s top donors in 2014, who gave almost $10 billion, collectively, to a plethora of non-profits. Coming in at #37 is a couple near and dear to FFB’s heart—Gordon and Llura Gund.

To those associated with the Foundation, the Gunds are legendary. Along with a few other families affected by retinal diseases, they co-founded FFB in 1971, when Gordon had already lost most of his vision to retinitis pigmentosa. For decades now, Gordon—a successful businessman, financier, sports-team owner and entrepreneur—has been completely blind. But the Gunds have never wavered in their support of the Foundation, which has raised $600 million and driven research resulting in more than a dozen treatments in clinical trials today.

It was the need to continue this momentum that compelled the Gunds to create The Gordon and Llura Gund Family Challenge this past summer. Pledging $50 million, they promised to match qualifying donations to the Foundation of $25,000 or more over the next two years. Hence the reason they landed on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list.

If you look closely, however, you’ll see that the Gunds’ contributions total more than $58 million in 2014. That’s because they gave to FFB in many other ways, including via match campaigns and research funding—as has been their practice for decades. Only this time, we at FFB are not the only ones who know it; many others do, too.

Picture, above: Gordon and Llura Gund, co-founders of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. 

4 Responses to 'The Philanthropy 50: The Gunds Make the List of Top Donors in 2014'

  1. pam howe says:

    I am thankful for the compassionate people who support the cause of better vision. I have not been in the habit of making requests but I cannot help my son with my own resources. I am a retired registered nurse who worked over 40 years in my profession while raising 4 sons. My youngest son, James, now 31 has Bardet-Biedl syndrome. He has been legally blind since age 10. His vision got progressively worse as anticipated. At age 14 I was able to get him into the Va school for the Deaf & Blind where he remained until age 21. We tried to get him trained in a skill to viable employment without success. He does work part-time which provides a social outlet but not much challenge. James life is his family which is limited. I want to give him he best life experiences as possible. I am running out of energy & perhaps time…
    You may already be involved with the Marshfield Clinic in Iowa. I wanted to take James to Iowa when they hosted a BBS event but didn’t have the money for airfare for us & I am unable to drive three days in a car due to the complications of aging. Are there any grants for transportation purposes? I would like to plan a trip to the Clinic if they have assessment for adults in the future. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Fred Sosa says:

    My son was born in Far Rockaway,NY 50 years ago, shortly after his birth we moved to the Seattle area, and it is when he was diagnosed with congenital toxoplasmosis, we took
    him to the Bascom Eye Institute in Florida and were told that there was no known
    treatment for that condition. Presently he lives in Newport Richey,Florida , have there been
    any new scientific developments that will help to correct or improve his condition? Are
    there any Opthamologist in his area that are specialist treating congenital toxoplasmosis.
    Your reply is very much appreciated are, thank you.

  3. muqadus says:

    hi there,i m patient of kretoconus and it makes my left eye almost finished need help to restore my vision.i m mother of two kids n it made my life miserable

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