DeWitt and Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds Become The Wallace Foundation

July 07, 2003

DeWitt and Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds Become The Wallace Foundation

NEW YORK, N.Y., July 7, 2003 – The DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund have become a single organization with a new name – The Wallace Foundation – reflecting a merger of the two funds completed earlier this spring.

“Our new name continues to honor our founders and reflects our dedication to achieving broader impact through this unified, reorganized structure,” said M. Christine DeVita, president of the Foundation.

The change marks the culmination of a five-decade long evolution from a collection of small foundations established by the Wallaces with individual missions, to a single national foundation with $1.1 billion in assets and a single mission and approach: to enable institutions to expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people by supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices.

Three years ago, the two funds became known as The Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds, and continued the process of sharpening their focus from more than one hundred program areas to just three areas. The Funds also decided to manage their work through teams that combined expertise in program, evaluation and communications.

“Our commitment is to not only fund leading organizations in the fields we work, but to also inform policy and decisionmaking through synthesizing, publishing and sharing research, tools and effective practices that can have a positive effect on the major public systems in which we work, and, ultimately, on people’s lives,” DeVita said.

She added that the Foundation has three current objectives:

  • strengthen education leadership to improve student achievement;
  • improve after-school learning opportunities;
  • expand participation in arts and culture.

The Foundation’s Web site address is now