Barra has been supporting innovation since 1963, when it was founded by the late Robert L. McNeil, Jr., former Chairman of McNeil Laboratories.
With our roots in the scientific method, we believe innovation is an intentional process that requires certain elements: clearly defining a problem, creating opportunities for idea generation, supporting risk-taking, selecting and supporting potentially transformative ideas and sharing learning.
We provide approximately $4 million in annual grants that are focused on supporting innovation in and across the fields Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services. And, we leverage a portion of our $90 million endowment through the practice of impact investing.
Beyond the dollars we grant and invest, we seek to connect people to resources and ideas in a way that will help further innovation in our region. We place a strong emphasis on learning, sharing and connecting. To that end, we make it a point to share the stories of Barra-funded changemakers in an effort to inform and inspire others to think—and act—differently.