The Parker Foundation was established in June 2015 through a $600 million gift by Sean and Alexandra Parker. The foundation builds upon the Parkers’ historical philanthropic support and capitalizes on their pioneering work in the fields of technology, media, company building, and public policy. Based in San Francisco, the foundation intends to aggressively pursue large-scale systemic change in three focus areas: Life Sciences, Global Public Health, and Civic Engagement.
Since 2005, Sean and Alexandra have been active donors to cancer research, global public health and civic engagement. In 2012, they pledged a $5 million grant to Stand Up to Cancer and the Cancer Research Institute to create the Immunotherapy Dream Team, uniting laboratory and clinical efforts that will lead to the immunological treatment, control and prevention of cancer. In April 2016, the Parker Foundation announced a $250 million grant to form the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.
The Parkers have also pledged $24 million to create the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford and made a $4.5 million grant to support the Malaria Elimination Initiative at the University of California San Francisco’s Global Health Group. Sean was ranked number 5 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2014 Philanthropy 50 list.
About Sean Parker
Sean Parker is a philanthropist and entrepreneur with a record of launching genre-defining companies and organizations. He is the founder and President of the Parker Foundation, which focuses on three areas: Life Sciences, Global Public Health and Civic Engagement. In April 2016, the Parker Foundation announced a $250 million grant to form the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which builds on Mr. Parker’s leadership in funding and promoting research into the relationship between the immune system and cancer. He helped to establish the Stand Up 2 Cancer and Cancer Research Institute's (CRI) Immunology Dream Team in 2012, and was honored by CRI with the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research in 2013. Mr. Parker was ranked number 5 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2014 Philanthropy 50 list. In 2016 he received the Pontifical Key Philanthropy Award from the Vatican, the Jefferson Foundation Award for Outstanding Public Service by a Private Citizen, and the Friends of Cancer Research Cancer Leadership Award.
Mr. Parker was the co-founder of Napster at age 19 and of Plaxo at 21. In 2004 he joined with Mark Zuckerberg to develop the online social network Facebook and served as Facebook's founding president, and in 2007 he co-founded Causes on Facebook, which registered 180 million people to donate money and take action around social issues. In 2014, he announced his backing of Brigade, an online platform for civic engagement. Mr. Parker is also chairman and founder of the Economic Innovation Group, based in Washington D.C. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Alexandra and their two children.
About Alexandra Parker
As a founding board member of The Parker Foundation, Alexandra Parker is an active philanthropist with a passion for supporting initiatives around the arts, education and conservation efforts. Her work is highly focused on causes that benefit children with the potential to make a difference in young lives now and in the future.
Based in San Francisco, The Parker Foundation was established in June 2015 through a $600 million gift by Alexandra and Sean Parker. With a mission to positively impact social, economic and environmental challenges, the foundation is dedicated to funding and implementing programs across three areas of focus: Life Sciences, Global Public Health, and Civic Engagement. Alexandra plays an instrumental role in the organization’s strategic, innovative approach to identifying and solving the biggest problems facing humanity today. Beyond Alexandra’s philanthropic work, she is an artist, musician and dedicated mother to two children.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the focus areas of The Parker Foundation?
The Parker Foundation will be focused on three areas: Life Sciences, Global Public Health, and Civic Engagement. We will only work in areas where we have unique insight – where we feel we have something valuable to bring to the table. The focus on these three areas builds on Sean’s philanthropic efforts over the last ten years.
How does The Parker Foundation decide what projects to fund?
We will only target very big specific problems that are “tip-able,” where we see a path to victory and where we can make a catalytic impact. We will choose the right problems, move quickly and spend big to solve them, leveraging the support of meaningful partnerships with other leaders so that our impact will be lasting.
Does The Parker Foundation accept grant proposals?
No. The Parker Foundation does not solicit grant applications.
What makes The Parker Foundation approach unique?
We will pursue complete solutions by acting as a bridge between the need for philanthropic investment, public policy expertise, science and technology, and all other capabilities to achieve our goals.