Time, Inc. generously donates the Taproot Foundation office space that looks out on the Lehman Brothers HQ building in mid-town Manhattan. Last week, several members of our team displayed messages on our windows stating their support and sympathy for their colleagues at Lehman Brothers – ‘Stay Strong.’
Our desks directly face the windows where last week we could see our brothers at Lehman abuzz in stress and worry. For once, it was the employees of a nonprofit sitting secure in their jobs, watching the investment bankers worry about their job security and mortgage payments.
The helping hand of the Lehman Brothers.
The reality, however, is that our New York office is able to be confident in our future in part due to the philanthropic generosity of our neighbor, Lehman Brothers.
The investment bank was one of our early supporters in New York and continued their support in the years that have followed. They hosted our board meetings and provided countless hours of counsel.
We were not alone in benefiting from their pocket book or brain trust. Lehman Brothers was a friend to several high-impact nonprofits in the area like the Harlem Children’s Zone and the New York Women’s Foundation.
They brought a strategic eye to philanthropy. Unlike the majority of corporations that hand out small grants ($5k-$10k) to hundreds of nonprofits, Lehman had the courage to pick winners and make much more significant grants that can make a meaningful impact for the grantee and therefore the community.
Lehman Brothers is now bankrupt and will be selling off its assets. The one asset that is perhaps most valuable (at least to society) is their grant making philosophy – and it is free. We encourage companies across the country to acquire this asset and ensure the philanthropic legacy of the once proud bank.