The Atlanta-based Goizueta Foundation is an independent private foundation established by Coca-Cola executive Roberto Goizueta in 1992. Its mission is “to assist organizations that empower individuals and families through educational opportunities to improve the quality of their lives.” In 2003 the Goizueta Foundation reported assets of more than $499 million, which placed them third in a list of Georgia’s top fifty foundations. It also ranked seventh in terms of total giving.
As an immigrant, Roberto Goizueta was appreciative of the freedom that the United States offered him as well as the opportunities for advancement that he enjoyed. He believed that America’s future was in its youth and that the strength of youth depended on the strength of families. He wanted the foundation to reflect these values, as well as the values of civic involvement and philanthropy that were a tradition for the Coca-Cola Company’s leadership.
Since Goizueta’s death in 1997, the work of the foundation has been managed by his widow, Olga, and their three children, along with Joseph W. Jones (until his death in 2005), who was a senior vice president of Coca-Cola and a member of its board of directors. The trustees have aimed for the foundation to follow Goizueta’s philanthropic vision, and they have aimed to support efforts that bring about sustainable change and have a long-term impact in the community.
Unlike some other private foundations, the Goizueta Foundation works closely with potential grantees as they develop proposals and project plans. This partnership and close communication comes after a two-step screening process by which the foundation identifies organizations whose missions and programs meet the goals of the foundation. Of the many organizations that contact the foundation about support, very few are invited to submit full proposals.
Funds from the Goizueta Foundation support program expenses as well as endowments. A particular area of interest in recent years has been funding scholarships for Hispanic students. Georgia higher education institutions that have received such grants include Emory University, University of Georgia, Georgia Southern University, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Brewton-Parker College, Reinhardt University, and Oglethorpe University. Other nonprofit organizations that have received major Goizueta Foundation grants include the Girl Scouts and Junior Achievement.