Donor Advised Funds / Corporate Giving / Studies, News & Trends

Goldman Sachs Announces the Winners

July 18, 2018 | Sheldon Bart, Senior Associate

Goldman Sachs Gives

Goldman Sachs Gives is committed to fostering innovative ideas, solving economic and social issues, and enabling progress in underserved communities globally. Through a donor-advised fund, Goldman Sachs’ current and retired senior employees work together to recommend grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations to help them achieve their goals.


The Winners

The Solar Water Project won top honors last month at the 2018 round of Goldman Sachs Gives, a philanthropic competition in which teams of company analysts nominate and make presentations on behalf of worldwide charities.  The Solar Water Project uses solar energy to tap and filter water from underground deposits in Third World countries.  The charity was represented by a London-based Goldman Sachs team and received a first-place award of $150,000.

Six teams of presenters from seven different Goldman Sachs locations advanced to the finals this year.  A New York cohort had gotten behind the second-place winner, New Story, which received a $75,000 grant.  New Story somehow applies three-dimensional printing to the construction of small, but real houses in countries like Haiti, El Salvador, Bolivia and Mexico.  The beneficiaries are impoverished citizens who would otherwise dwell in makeshift hovels.

Finishing in third-place and supported by analysts working in Dallas and San Francisco was AnnieCannons, a nonprofit that enables survivors of human trafficking to launch careers as software professionals.  The charity received a grant of $50,000.

Finally, a special grant of $25,000 awarded by the votes of a live global audience went to Operation ASHA, an organization fighting tuberculosis in South and Southeast Asia.  Operation ASHA was sponsored by a Goldman group in southern India.



Goldman Sachs Gives was launched in 2007 with contributions of $87.5 million from the company’s 350 partners.  The firm’s asset management group managed the fund pro bono and anticipated growing it to $1 billion.  Eleven years later, that goal has been exceeded.  All told, Goldman Sachs Gives has awarded $1.3 billion in grants among 6,000 nonprofits in 80 countries.

The company is as guarded about its philanthropy as it is about its investment analytics.  The judges of the competition have not been identified, and a request for an interview has been declined.

According to a press release, the criteria by which this year’s entrants were evaluated included the “impact, scalability and uniqueness of the proposed project, the team’s analysis of the project goals and financials, and the strength of the organization’s leaderships and partnerships, among other variables.”

The best way to go about being considered is to recruit a Goldman Sachs senior employee to your Board and work through them.


What’s been your experience with this program or similar corporate competitions? Please let us know on our blog.

Laurence A. Pagnoni

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