The Goldman Sachs Group has announced the establishment of Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor-advised fund to which Goldman partners will commit a portion of their overall compensation.
Individual accounts will be established within the fund for participating partners, who in turn will recommend charitable organizations around the world as possible recipients. According to the New York Times, if each of the company's approximately 350 partners contributes $250,000 to the fund, it will launch with $87.5 million, although Goldman executives expect the fund to grow to more than $1 billion over the next few years. The firm's asset management group will manage the fund for free, and the company will make a separate contribution to the fund beyond what it already commits to charitable causes.
Eventually, the fund will be open to a larger group of current and former Goldman employees. In addition, the company plans to increase its annual matching gift program from $10,000 to $20,000 for eligible employees other than partners, effective January 1, 2008. This year, more than 19,000 Goldman employees participated in the firm's Community TeamWorks program, which provides them with a day off to volunteer in team-based projects coordinated with local nonprofit organizations around the world.
The establishment of Goldman Sachs Gives comes at a time of tremendous wealth creation for Goldman employees. In 2006 the company chalked up $9.4 billion in profits, the New York Times reports, while during the first nine months of 2007 it earned $8.2 billion. "Goldman Sachs Gives marks an innovative step forward in Goldman Sachs' long tradition of charitable giving," said the company's chairman and CEO, Lloyd C. Blankfein. "Goldman Sachs has been fortunate to produce strong financial results in recent years, and we want to support nonprofit and other charitable organizations in a meaningful way."