DJB Foundation Records, 1971-1975


Mss 10
10.5 c.f (21 document boxes)
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ABSTRACT

The DJB Foundation, a progressive social change philanthropy, was founded in 1948 by Daniel J. Bernstein to hold the portion of his inheritance intended for donation to charities. With his death in 1970 almost five-million dollars came to the foundation. Its most active period began in 1971 when the Board of Directors decided that all assets would be given away within ten years. The grants concentrated on groups and programs generally ignored by conventional foundations because they were "controversial" -- the poor, GIs, deserters and draft resisters, ethnic groups, convicts and ex-convicts. The DJB Foundation exhausted its funds by the end of 1974.

The DJB Foundation Records consist of financial summaries and grant files containing correspondence, proposals, and information about the recipient organization.

ACCESS

This collection is open to the public without restriction. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

PREFERRED CITATION

Cite as: DJB Foundation Records, 1971-1975, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

ACQUISITION

Presented by Carol Bernstein Ferry and W. H. Ferry, July 1993. A93-89

Processed by Brenda L. Burk and Danielle Macsay, March 1998.

HISTORICAL NOTE

Daniel J. Bernstein was born in New York City in 1918, the youngest of three brothers. Graduating from Cornell University in 1940, he went to Harvard Business School for a year before going to work for the Land Conservation Corps. A few months later he volunteered for the Navy at the United States' entry into World War II and served for five years. An early impression that developed Dan's awareness of the plight of others was the treatment of black servicemen. The unfairness with which black sailors were dealt by the Navy was a powerful lesson for him about the hatefulness of racism.

After leaving the Navy, Dan searched for a job that would have some meaning. He was guided by Jim Robinson, a progressive minister in Harlem, to the National Scholarship Fund and Service for Negro Students. He and Felice Schwartz, the creator of the organization, built it into a great success, connecting qualified black students, available funding, and interested colleges.

After a few years, he entered the business world and eventually began working for Loeb Rhoades, a Wall Street investment firm. Although he always disapproved of the market mechanism and the faith people had in it to reflect and enhance the U.S. economy, he found it intellectually fascinating and was very successful. In 1956, while recuperating from knee surgery, Dan decided to work at home permanently. He built an office in the barn located behind his house in Scarsdale, New York; this office became the headquarters of the DJB Foundation

The DJB Foundation was created in 1948 by Daniel Bernstein as a holding operation for the inheritance received from his father until he sorted out what should be done with it. He continued to work in the stock market to earn a living but he used the Foundation funds and his own funds when limited by the tax laws to give to his causes and beliefs. The legal limitations imposed on tax-exempt funds were an obstacle to Dan and reform-minded individuals but he overcame that obstacle by using his own private funds, capital and income, to meet the needs for which foundation money could not be used.

When Dan died in 1970 at the age of 51, approximately $5 million of his estate went to the DJB Foundation. This sum was substantially all of the Foundation's capital, as at his death it had about $100,000. The Foundation now began its most active period. The Board of the Foundation consisted of four members: Carol Bernstein, his widow; Stephen R. Abrams, CPA, longtime friend and colleague; Robert S. Browne, president of the Black Economic Research Center and widely recognized for his knowledge of Southeast Asia and the domestic economic scene; and newly appointed member, W. H. Ferry, whose imagination and judgement Dan had long admired and who later became Carol's husband in 1973. Vincent F. McGee, Jr., joined the Foundation as its executive staff member in the beginning of 1973.

The board adopted the following operating practices: spend capital as well as income and use the money within ten years, concentrate on groups generally ignored by conventional foundations because they were controversial, operate on a nationwide scale despite their modest resources, give when small grants could make a difference, make grants without imposing their own ideas (no strings attached), not jeopardize the Foundation's several million dollars by grants that could be challenged by the tax authorities. The board members believed that real change must come from the roots of American society, thus they concentrated on aid to small groups organized to help themselves and to resist corporate and official power.

With these principles, the Board followed Dan's philosophy and focused its giving in support of those who were perceived to be victims of government vindictiveness or neglect. The recipients of its grants were generally controversial groups such as anti-Vietnam War supporters, progressive political groups, and organizations interested in minority rights and education. The foundation helped to fund legal defense programs, clinics, community organizations in urban ghettos and barrios and in the impoverished rural areas of the South and West, and Native American rights groups. Public foundations such as the Regional Young Adult Project, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, and the Youth Project, were used as approved channels to get money to controversial causes without being challenged by the tax authorities.

With its funds virtually exhausted by 1975, the board members of the DJB Foundation more than achieved its ten-year goal of depleting its resources in only four years. The Foundation is still in existence but operates on a much smaller scale than during its most active period which is represented in the records.

RELATED MATERIALS

The Carol Bernstein Ferry and W.H. Ferry Papers, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

The Carol Bernstein Ferry and W.H. Ferry Oral History, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The collection consists of two series: Business Records, 1971-1975, and Grant Files, 1971-1975. These record document DJB Foundation's most active period, which followed Dan's death in 1970 and the approximate $5 million given to the Foundation from his estate.

The Business Records, 1971-1975, contain summary financial information about the DJB Foundation. The DJB Foundation Report, 1971-1975, is the only report published by the Foundation. It includes the Foundation's philosophy of giving, and a summary of its grants describing the recipient and its purpose along with a listing of donations, 1971-1975. Also within the business records are the accounting records of 1973 prepared by Ferro, Berdon and Company that include financial statements and the accountant's report summarizing the Foundation's financial status for the year.

The Grant Files, 1971-1975, include information pertaining to organizations given donations by the DJB Foundation. The files demonstrate the process used by the board members in its grant approval process. Each file usually contains the paperwork on the IRS tax-deductibility status of the recipient organization, correspondence, a proposal describing the proposed project for funding, and documented proof of the work accomplished with the donation. Additional documentation in some files includes printed prospectuses and agendas, newsletters, articles, handwritten letters, and photographs. While the Grant Files give insight into how the DJB Foundation dealt with requests, the records do not contain all the files of organizations and individuals who received funds. The series list contains the names of the organizations and individuals documented in the collection. For a complete listing of donations made by the Foundation, consult the Report of the DJB Foundation, 1971-1975 found in the Business Records of the collection.

Contents Box Folder
Business Records, 1971-1975    
Report of the DJB Foundation, 1971-1975 01 01
The DJB Foundation Financial Statements and Accountants' Report, 1973 01 02
     
Grant Files, 1971-1975    
Black Mesa Defense Fund, 1971 01 03
Black Servicemen's Caucus, 1973 01 04
Black World Federation/The Black Scholar, 1971-1973 01 05
Board of Studies in History of Consciousness, 1973 01 06
Boy's Club of Southern Marin, 1973 01 07
Bread and Butter Fund, 1971 01 08
Brockton Law Services, 1972 01 09
Buffalo Prison Project, 1974 01 10
Cage Teen Center, 1972-1973 01 11
California Homemakers Association, 1974 01 12
California Indian Legal Services, 1971 01 13-14
California Province of the Society of Jesus, 1972 01 15
California Public Interest Law Center, 1973 01 16
The Cambridge Institute, 1972 01 17
Campaign Finance Litigation Project, 1972-1974 02 01
Cannery Workers Committee, 1971, 1973 02 02
Capitol Hill News Service, 1974 02 03
Carolina Action, 1974 02 04
Center for Alternative Education, 1971 02 05
Center for Analysis of Public Issues, 1974 02 06
Center for Community Change, 1972 02 07
Center for Community Economic Development, 1972-1973 02 08
Center for Constitutional Rights, 1971-1974 02 09
Center for Defense Information, 1971-1975 02 10-13
Center for International Studies, 1971-1974 02 14
The Center for National Policy Review, 1971 02 15
Center for National Security Studies, 1974 03 01
Center for New Corporate Priorities, 1971 03 02
Center for New Schools, 1972 03 03
Center for Rural Studies, 1972-1973 03 04
Center for the Study of Criminal Justice, 1974 03 05
Center of Metropolitan Mission In-service Training, 1973 03 06
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, 1972-1974 03 07
Central West Alabama Legal Service Center, 1974 03 08
Change for Children, 1973 03 09
Chicano Communications Center, 1971-1973 03 10
The Children's Foundation, 1973-1975 04 01
Chinatown Co-op Garment Factory, 1973 04 02
Church World Service, 1971 04 03
Citizens Communication Center, 1971 04 04
Citizens Energy Conference, 1973 04 05
Citizens' Inquiry on Parole and Criminal Justice, 1973 04 06
Civil Liberties Legal Defense Fund, Inc., 1974-1975 04 07
Clay County Community Development Program, Inc., 1973 04 08
Clay County Community Federal Credit Union, 1974 04 09
The Clinton Program, 1971-1972 04 10
Coalition of Concerned Black Americans, 1972-1974 04 11
Colonias del Valle, Inc., 1972 04 12
Columbia G.I. Office, 1973 05 01
Columbus Trust, 1971 05 02
Committee for the Development of Mass Communications, 1974 05 03
Committee for Environmental Information, 1971 05 04
Community Law Center, Inc., 1972-1975 05 05-07
Community Legal Action Workshop, 1973-1974 05 08
Community Radio Workshop, Inc., 1972 05 09
Community Rundown, 1973 05 10
Congreso Obrero, 1973 05 11
Congress of African People, 1973 05 12
Connecticut Citizen Research Group, 1973-1974 05 13
Connections Guidance Center, 1972 05 14
Constitutional Litigation Clinic, 1971-1975 05 15
Council of the Southern Mountains, Inc., 1971-1972 05 16
Council on Economic Priorities, 1971-1975 06 01-02
Criminal Jury Trial Rights Project-National Lawyers Guild, 1974 06 03
Crystal City Legal Aid Association, 1972 06 04
Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University (D-Q University), 1971 06 05
Delta Coalition for Better Broadcasting, 1974 06 06
Delta Housing Development Corp., 1974 06 07
Delta Legal Assistance Center, 1973 06 08
Delta Ministry, 1971-1972 06 09
Delta Regional Law Firm, 1974 06 10
Delta Valley Federal Credit Union, Inc., 1974 06 11
East Harlem Block Schools, 1972 06 12
East Harlem Environmental Extension Service, Inc., 1972 06 13
East Harlem House, 1974 07 01
East Harlem Redevelopment Project, 1972 07 02
East Harlem Tenants Council, Inc., 1971 07 03
East Los Angeles Community Union, 1971 07 04
East Tennessee Research Group, 1974 07 05
Eastern Farmworkers Assn., 1975 07 06
Eastern Kentucky Resource Center, 1974 07 07
The ECOS Project, 1971 07 08
Ecumenical Ministry in the Haight Ashbury, 1972-1974 07 09
Education and Training for Cooperatives, Inc., 1971 07 10
Electricity and Gas for People, 1974 07 11
Emmaus House, Inc., 1971 07 12
Escuela de la Raza Unida, 1974 07 13
Escuela y Colegio Tlatelolco, 1973-1974 07 14
Escuela y Colegio Tonantzin, 1973 07 15
Eugene Friends Meeting, 1971 07 16
Exploratory Project for Economic Alternatives, 1972-1974 07 17
Fannin County Taxpayers Association, 1974 07 18
Farm Labor Organizing Committee, 1973-1974 08 01-02
Federation of Southern Cooperatives, 1973-1975 08 03
Fellowship of Reconciliation, 1971-1974 08 04
Feminist Education Foundation, 1972 08 05
The Fortune Society, 1971-1974 08 06
Freedom Village, Inc., 1971-1973 08 07
Fund for Class Action Costs, 1974 08 08
Fund for Investigative Journalism, 1971, 1974 08 09-10
Germantown Area School Program, 1971 09 01
The G.I. Office, 1973 09 02
G.I.'s in Germany, 1973-1974 09 03
Givat Haviva Educational Foundation, 1971-1973 09 04
Goddard-Riverside Community Center, 1975 09 05
Grand Jury Educational Fund, 1974 09 06
Greene County Development Center, 1973-1975 09 07
Gulf Boycott Coalition, 1973-1974 09 08
Harlem School of the Arts, 1971 09 09
Harlem Philharmonic Symphonic Society, Inc., 1971-1972 09 10
Health Policy Advisory Center, 1972-1975 09 11-12
Highlander Research and Education Center, 1972 10 01
Hispanos Unidos de Park Slope, 1972 10 02
Home Co-op, 1974 10 03
Household Technicians of San Francisco, Inc., 1974 10 04
Illinois Congress of Ex-offenders, 1973 10 05
Independence High School, 1972 10 06
Indochina Curriculum Group, 1974 10 07
Indochina Information Project, 1972-1975 10 08
Indochina Resource Center, 1971-1975 10 09-11
Industrial Areas Foundation, 1973 10 12
Inmates Communication Workshop, 1973 10 13
The Inner City Fund, 1972-1974 10 14
Institute for Neighborhood Studies, 1972, 1974 10 15
Institute for Policy Studies, 1972 11 01
Institute for Regional Education, Inc., 1974 11 02
Institute for Social Analysis, 1972 11 03
Institute of the Black World, Inc., 1971-1972 11 04-05
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, 1974 11 06
Internews, 1972-1974 11 07
Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, Inc., 1971-1972 11 08-09
Intertribal Friendship House, 1971 11 10
La Clinica de la Gente, 1972-1975 12 01
La Clinica del Pueblo de Rio Arriba, 1971, 1974 12 02
La Cooperacion del Pueblo, 1971-1974 12 03
La Flore County Area Cooperative, 1972 12 04
La Gente, Inc., 1972 12 05
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., 1974 12 06
La Puerta, 1973 12 07
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law, 1973 12 08
Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee, 1971 12 09
League to Improve the Community, 1973 12 10
Legal In-service Project, 1972-1974 12 11
Los Angeles Black Service Center, 1971 12 12
Mafundi Institute, 1972 12 13
Malcolm X Liberation University, 1973 12 14
Mannes College (School) of Music, 1971-1973 12 15
Marin City Community Organizers, 1974 12 16
Martin Luther King, Jr. Foundation, Inc., 1971 12 17
Martin Luther King, Jr. Workers Conferences, 1975 12 18
Massachusetts Community Center, 1974 12 19
Massive Area Redevelopment Committee, 1973 13 01
Media Access Project, 1971-1974 13 02-03
Metropolitan Urban Service Training, Inc., 1971 13 04
Mexican American Council on Education, 1973 13 05
The Midwest Academy, Inc., 1973 13 06
Midwest Association for Sickle Cell Anemia, Inc., 1972 13 07
Miles College, 1972 13 08
Mile Square Federation, 1973-1974 13 09
Milwaukee Urban Research Project, 1974 13 10
Minority Control Fund, 1972-1973 13 11
Mississippi Audio Visual Rural Information Center, 1974 13 12
Mississippi Prisoners' Defense Committee, 1974 13 13
Mississippi State Association of Cooperatives, 1972 12 14
Mountain People's Rights, Inc., 1971-1972 13 15
Movement for Economic Justice, 1973-1975 14 01
National Conference of Black Lawyers, 1971-1974 14 02
Offender Aid and Restoration of New York City, Inc., 1973-1974 14 03-04
Open Channel, 1972 14 05
Organizers Fund, 1974 14 06
Pacific Counseling Service, 1972-1974 14 07-08
Pacific News Service, 1973-1975 14 09
Pacifica Foundation WBAI-FM New York, 1971-1972 14 10
Pan African Skills Project, 1972-1973 14 11
Parents Activities Association, Inc., 1972 14 12
Parole Litigation Project, 1974 14 13
Penal Reform Institute, 1972 15 01
Penn Community Services, Inc., 1971-1975 15 02-04
Peoples Bicentennial Commission, 1972-1975 15 05-06
Peoples Foundation for Community Development, 1974 15 07
People's Union Farm, 1971 16 01
Philadelphia Clearinghouse Project, 1974 16 02
Philadelphians for Equal Justice, 1974 16 03
Phoenix House Foundation, Inc., 1972 16 04
Pilipino Bayanihan, Inc., 1973-1974 16 05
Pilipino Organizing Committee, 1973 16 06
Pitt River Nation, 1971-1973 16 07
Planned Parenthood, 1972 16 08
Potrero Hill Youth Legal Center, 1973 16 09
Prison Art Program, 1973 16 10
Prison Law Project, 1971-1973 16 11
Prison Reform Task Force, 1974 16 12
Prisoner Visitation and Support Committee, 1973-1974 16 13
Prisoners' Union, 1972-1973 16 14
Program for Economic Justice, 1974 16 15
Project of Amnesty, 1972-1974 17 01
Project on Educational Testing, 1973 17 02
Project Spa, 1972 17 03
Public Advocates, Inc., 1974 17 04
Public Art Workshop, 1972 17 05
Public Law Education Institute, 1971-1973 17 06
Public Media Center, 1974 17 07
Puerto Rican Organizers Training Center, 1973 17 08
Putney School, 1971-1973 17 09
Ravenswood School Project, 1974 17 10
Redevelopment Media Project, 1971 17 11
Regional Young Adult Project, 1971-1976 17 12-13
Rent Control Project, 1974 17 14
Research Institute for Educational Problems, 1971-1972 18 01
Return Surplus Lands to Indians Project, 1971 18 02
Rising Up Angry, 1974 18 03
Rural Advancement Fund of the National Sharecroppers Fund Inc., 1971-1973 18 04
Rural Mission, Inc., 1971-1974 18 05
San Francisco Community Service Fund, 1973-1974 18 06
San Francisco Consumer Action, 1973-1974 18 07
San Francisco Neighborhood Housing Corporation, 1973 18 08
San Francisco Newsreel, 1972 18 09
Sane Educational Development Fund, Inc., 1972-1973 18 10
Save Our Cumberland Mountains, 1974 18 11
Scarsdale United Fund, 1971-1973 18 12
Scientists' Institute for Public Information, 1971-1974 18 13
South East Alabama Self-Help Association, Inc., 1971 18 14
Southern Broadcast Media Project, 1973 18 15
Southern Education Program, Inc., 1971 18 16
Southern Resource Center, 1974 18 17
The South Forty Corporation, 1974 18 18
South Texas Project, 1975 19 01
Southwest Alabama Farmers Cooperative Association, Inc., 1973 19 02
Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc., 1973 19 03
Southwest Research and Information Center, 1972-1975 19 04
Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, 1974 19 05
Southwestern Indian Development, Inc., 1971-1974 19 06
Southwestern Institute, 1971-1972 19 07
Street Sweepers Fund, 1972 19 08
Student Press Law Center, 1974 19 09
Suburban Action, 1971-1974 19 10
The Support Center, 1974 19 11
Tax Analysts and Advocates, 1972-1976 19 12
Texas Institute for Educational Development, 1972-1974 20 01
Town of Mound Bayou, 1971-1976 20 02-03
Twice Born Men, 1973-1974 20 04
Union of Vietnamese in the U.S., 1973 20 05
United Church of Christ Office of Communication, 1974 20 06
United Farm Workers Cooperative, 1972 20 07
United Front Press, 1973-1974 20 08
United Methodist Church Board of Church and Society, 1971-1972 20 09
United Projects, 1973 20 10
U.S. National Student Association, 1971-1974 20 11-12
United States Servicemen's Fund, 1971-1972 21 01
Urban Policy Research Institute, 1971-1975 21 02-04
Venceremos Brigade, 1973 21 05
Video Chinatown, 1972 21 06
Vietnam Era Veteran National Resource Project, 1973 21 07
Voter Education Project, Inc., 1973 21 08
Washington Area Military and Draft Law Panel, 1972-1974 21 09

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