Mott Foundation leader and pioneer of philanthropy William S. White dies aged 82


Alliance magazine


One of the longest-serving leaders of a major philanthropy in the United States and pioneer of philanthropy infrastructure, William S. White passed away peacefully on October 9 2019 at age 82.

Under White’s leadership, the Foundation grew from a primarily local funder with assets of roughly $377 million to an internationally recognised philanthropy with assets of more than $3 billion. William was the recipient of many honors, including the Council on Foundation’s Grantmaker Award in 2002, and The European Foundation Centre’s first-ever Philanthropy Compass Prize in 2009.

In tribute, Mott Foundation stated, ‘White built a reputation for seeking out solid, well-managed organizations and funding them to create infrastructure and sustainability in key sectors. He recognized that the stubbornness and complexity of the issues we seek to address means that they will not be resolved overnight. He often said that having patience and taking a “long view” are essential for meaningful, sustainable change to take root. And he embraced Charles Stewart Mott’s belief that good things happen when people work in partnership with their communities.’

European Foundation Centre paid tribute to his commitment to building the philanthropic infrastructure in Europe, particularly through the Mott Foundation’s work in Central and Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall. ‘He was a visionary who had the ability to look at problems from new angles, and is remembered by EFC staff as someone to go the extra mile for, because in turn he always had time for them.’

For more see In Memoriam: William S. White


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