HISTORY & MISSION - Stavros Niarchos Foundation


The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. SNF funds organizations and projects worldwide that aim to achieve a broad, lasting, and positive impact for society at large, and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.

Since 1996, the Foundation has committed $3.4 billion through over 5,200 grants to nonprofit organizations in more than 135 countries around the world.

In 2021, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) celebrated its 25th anniversary. Explore some of the key goals that have guided the Foundation’s global grantmaking on this special anniversary microsite.

SNF regularly makes grants around the world.

Some of the Foundation’s international landmark gifts include the following:

In 2016, SNF announced the commitment of $150 million to establish the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore, Maryland, a multidisciplinary center that explores and promotes civil discourse and civic engagement worldwide. The SNF Agora Institute holds a range of public events including talks and seminars and an international event as part of the Foundation’s SNF Nostos and SNF Conference.

SNF’s grant to JHU follows a landmark grant of $75 million to The Rockefeller University, a world-renowned academic and medical research institution in New York, to create a new and expanded university campus, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-David Rockefeller River Campus (SNF-DR), which opened in May 2019.

In keeping with the Foundation’s long-standing and extensive commitment to libraries worldwide, SNF also made a transformational grant of $55 million for the complete renovation of New York Public Library’s Mid-Manhattan central circulating branch and the creation of an endowment in support of its public programs. The library officially re-opened in June 2021 as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL).

In April 2020, building on the Foundation’s longstanding focus on health and commitment to supporting organizations that serve the most vulnerable populations, SNF announced a $100 million global initiative to help alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Greece, some of SNF’s landmark grants include:

Major grant initiatives totaling approximately $380 million, Grants Against the Greek Crisis and Recharging the Youth, responded to urgent local needs by providing relief against the severe effects of the country’s socioeconomic crisis beginning in 2012.

In September 2017, SNF announced a new grant initiative to expand its support of the health sector in Greece and abroad, with a current budget of about $750 million. Since 1996, SNF has already provided grants of more than $145 million for the support of health programs in Greece. As part of the new Health Initiative, SNF will fully fund major infrastructure projects throughout the country, all designed by the renowned architectural firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW). This initiative also aims at enhancing the National Center for Emergency Care’s (EKAV) air ambulance services and includes the procurement of new medical equipment and the implementation of education-related programs. On March 21, 2018, SNF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Greek State regarding the implementation of the grant initiative.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is an environmentally sustainable public space for expression, culture, and recreation, envisioned and made a reality by the Foundation through a grant initiative totaling $750 million. Also designed by Renzo Piano and RPBW, following completion, it was delivered to the Greek state and the public in February 2017. This international destination and cultural hub includes the new homes of the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, as well as Stavros Niarchos Park. Through ongoing operating and programming support from SNF, the SNFCC continues to fulfill its role as a truly public space, open and accessible to all.

Every year, SNF organizes SNF Nostos, including the SNF Run and SNF Conference, at the SNFCC. In addition to this annual gathering, SNF is committed to fostering regular opportunities for discussion and dialogue and offers the monthly SNF Dialogues series in an effort to strengthen public discourse by presenting—live and online—individuals who inspire with their work and a forum for people to engage with them.

SNF is honored to have received recognition for its work from a number of organizations. Read more about awards and honors.

SNF does not engage in any business activity in Greece or abroad, and it is audited by Deloitte. SNF, in collaboration with its auditors, Deloitte, periodically performs sample grantee audits in relation to the financial management of the Foundation’s grants.