Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and Cloudera Foundation announce historic merger

Categories: Announcements , Emergent AI + Society , Tech for Good

Move Embeds Data Expertise in $1.5 Billion Patrick J. McGovern Foundation to Lead Innovation in Data Science and AI for Nonprofit Sector

BOSTON — Today, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and Cloudera Foundation announce a historic philanthropic merger that will launch a groundbreaking initiative to accelerate data and AI maturity within nonprofits leading social change around the globe.

In a definitive agreement signed March 30, Silicon Valley-based Cloudera Foundation will merge its staff, $9 million endowment, and $3 million of existing grants into the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, a global $1.5 billion data science and AI philanthropy. The move — rare in the philanthropic sector — accelerates the creation of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation’s Data and Society program, a first-of-its-kind initiative that will enable the nonprofit sector to leverage the transformative potential of data science and AI for impact. Data and Society is a key pillar of the foundation’s strategy to foster an equitable, sustainable, and thriving world enabled by data and AI. 

Vilas Dhar, President, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

“Data science and AI-based tools, deployed with purpose and social conscience, could improve nearly every part of the human experience. Enabling civil society to access these technologies will unlock transformational approaches to many of the world’s greatest challenges,” said Patrick J. McGovern Foundation President Vilas Dhar. “I am honored by the trust of the Cloudera Foundation Board and leadership in joining us to create a new public resource that empowers data maturity in the civil sector. Backed by philanthropic capital and deep technical expertise, we are working together with social changemakers to advance a tech-enabled, human-centered future.”

The Cloudera Foundation was established in 2017 by the enterprise data company Cloudera, Inc. to provide access to technology, data expertise, and technical support to build data capacity in the civil sector. This approach has been piloted with seven social change organizations. Now, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation will broaden, strengthen, and scale the approach to deliver global impact, serving up to 100 nonprofits addressing the breadth of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

“Our missions couldn’t be better matched,” said Mike Olson, co-founder of Cloudera, Inc. and chairman of the Cloudera Foundation.  “We have seen how data and analytics enable nonprofits to work more effectively and increase their impact. With the leadership and resources of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, our team can do even more to help mission-driven organizations change the world.”

“We have seen how data and analytics enable nonprofits to work more effectively and increase their impact. With the leadership and resources of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, our team can do even more to help mission-driven organizations change the world.”

Mike Olson, Co-founder of Cloudera Inc. and Chairman of the Cloudera Foundation

Nonprofits face significant barriers to using advanced data analytics, machine learning, and AI tools to drive strategy, growth, and impact. The gaps in knowledge, culture of data use, and technical expertise translate to opportunity costs in efficiency, impact, and ability to scale solutions. Early adopters that have worked with the Cloudera Foundation and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation have demonstrated the benefits of organizational integration of data and AI tools to understand complex challenges, guide strategy, support programming, and accelerate positive outcomes.

“Accurate, reliable, and timely data, combined with AI, can play a critical role to advance our understanding of global problems and drive effective action. Through WRI’s Data Lab and Resource Watch, we are learning how to better leverage this information to develop solutions to complex, urgent challenges, like climate change,” said Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute. “Today’s announcement underscores the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation’s commitment to advance non-profit capacity to use data and artificial intelligence for sustainable solutions for people and the planet.” 

Cloudera Foundation’s CEO Claudia Juech will direct activities around data enablement for nonprofits as Vice President of Data and Society at the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation. With an industry-leading team of data scientists, technical experts, and program managers,

Data and Society will offer a range of sector-building data and AI services including:

Claudia Juech
Claudia Juech, Vice President,
Data and Society
  • Accelerator partnerships to equip organizations with tools and expertise to extract actionable insights from datasets
  • Multi-year partnerships with nonprofits that focus on holistic development of data maturity
  • Public workshops, convenings and thought leadership for the civil sector

With the Data and Society team, nonprofits will have access to technical experts committed to the use of technology for social good,” said Juech. “We are prepared to meet nonprofits where they are in each of their data journeys and work alongside them to develop data maturity. We are eager to create and share a portfolio of use cases to provide practical examples of what’s possible in the field of data and AI for social change, guided by equity and the ethical use of data.”

The transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. The definitive merger agreements were advised by Venable LLP for the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and by Adler & Colvin LLC for the Cloudera Foundation.

The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation is a global philanthropy bridging the frontiers of artificial intelligence, data science, and social impact to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all. With more than 130 grants around the globe, the Foundation’s work spans climate change, digital health, social justice and pandemic response, tech education and workforce development, and data and AI ethics. 

The Cloudera Foundation is a Silicon Valley-based private philanthropy established by Cloudera, Inc., the enterprise data cloud company. The foundation works to enable nonprofits worldwide to use advanced data analytics and machine learning to improve people’s lives and protect the planet. The foundation team collaborates with nonprofits to build their data engineering capacity through direct access to technology, data expertise and technical support. 

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