About the Foundation

The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation is an independent private foundation that seeks to improve the quality of life in Georgia by investing in health, education, economic opportunity and community vitality.

Legacy of “Mr. Anonymous”

The Foundation’s grantmaking is inspired by the legacy of Robert Winship Woodruff, longtime leader of The Coca-Cola Company. A generous and influential civic leader, Mr. Woodruff established the Trebor Foundation in 1937 and made many gifts that greatly enriched his hometown of Atlanta.

Mr. Woodruff lived by the creed “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit,” and he often gave anonymously. Only upon his death in 1985 was Trebor (“Robert” spelled backwards) renamed the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

Robert W. Woodruff Foundation

The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation is the beneficiary of the estates of Mr. Woodruff and his wife, Nell Hodgson Woodruff. It has awarded more than $2.8 billion in grants since inception. Grants are generally limited to organizations located and operating in metro Atlanta, although we will occasionally consider grants to significant institutions and initiatives in communities throughout Georgia.

The Woodruff Foundation shares an office and staff with the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, Lettie Pate Evans Foundation and Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, though each is governed by its own board and charter. This arrangement came about through the friendship and business relationship between Mr. Woodruff and Mrs. Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, the wife of one of the original Coca-Cola bottlers and the first woman to serve on The Coca-Cola Company’s board of directors. Grant proposals addressed to the Woodruff Foundation may also be considered by the Whitehead and Evans Foundations.

Our Work

The Foundation makes grants in six broad program areas: health, education, environment, human services, arts and culture, and community development. The Foundation is responsive to the needs of the community and typically makes grants to well-established institutions and projects with strong leadership and a broad base of support. We seek to help organizations with a proven track record of success stretch further to seize new opportunities or to meet extraordinary needs.

Generally, the Foundation prefers not to be the only funder for a project, but to participate with the community in supporting initiatives led by others. The Foundation will occasionally make leading grants when the need is great and the initiative is compelling. Learn more about our grantmaking here.

Governance

The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees, which sets policies and makes decisions regarding the Foundation’s operations, grantmaking, management, investments and governance.

Articles of Incorporation Provides specific purposes for the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation as a Georgia corporation and private foundation.

Bylaws Lists the rules that guide the Board of Trustees in managing the Foundation’s operations.

Statement of Principles Serves as a guide for everyday professional conduct for the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and staff.

The Foundation would like to extend a special thanks to the following for providing images for this website: Agnes Scott College, Atlanta Botanical Garden, The BeltLine Partnership, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Central Atlanta Progress, Emory University, KIPP Metro Atlanta, Richard T. Bryant and the Woodruff Arts Center. The use of any images on this site is expressly prohibited without the written consent of the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.