Craig Newmark, founder of classified ads website Craigslist, is making yet another $100 million gift—this time to a coalition of nonprofits supporting veterans and military families.
“I’m getting my act together,” Newmark, 70, told Observer via email, adding that he needs “to be professional about contributions over the next decade or so.”
He retired from Craigslist in 2018, shortly after launching Craig Newmark Philanthropies. The foundation, which has already established a scholarship for veterans at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy and given $42 million to organizations supporting veterans and their families, plans to distribute the remaining $58 million over the next three years.
Newmark’s donations will address mental health and suicide prevention, homelessness, food insecurity, policy solutions and employment opportunities. Grants of $10 million each will go toward groups like the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which has invested more than $120 million on veteran-related initiatives; and Blue Star Families, the largest chapter-based military and veteran family support organization.
“Other one-percenters need to step up,” said Newmark in a recent tweet discussing his donation.
The internet entrepreneur’s interest in this sector of philanthropy was spurred by an interaction fifteen years ago with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “I started to realize that they already earned the respect of all Americans, and I needed to stand up for them,” he told Observer. In 2013, the philanthropist also became the “nerd-in-residence” for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, helping with customer service culture and capability.
Newmark is donating the same amount to cybersecurity
This isn’t the first major donation of the year for Newmark. While celebrating Craigslist’s 28th anniversary in March, he announced a $100 million pledge toward strengthening U.S. cybersecurity.
The gift focuses on what Newmark calls “Cyber Civil Defense,” and involves giving grants to organizations like Consumer Reports and the Aspen Cybersecurity Program, which educate the public on cybersecurity technology.
“I should put my money where my mouth is,” said Newmark, 70, of his increasingly large philanthropic gifts.
Established in 2016, Craig Newmark Philanthropies focuses on supporting four areas: veterans, cybersecurity, journalism and pigeon rescue.
The foundation has given more than $170 million to journalism groups like the Poynter Institute and Associated Press Institute since 2016. Columbia Journalism School and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which has since been renamed the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, have also benefited from grants.
Newmark’s love of birds, meanwhile, has led him to make donations to pigeon adoption and rescue centers located in San Francisco and Pleasant Valley, New York.