Venable Represented Patrick J. McGovern Foundation in its Historic Philanthropic Merger with Cloudera Foundation

3 min

Venable LLP represented the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation in its merger with the  Cloudera Foundation, which will launch a groundbreaking initiative to accelerate data and AI maturity within nonprofits leading social change around the globe.

In a definitive agreement signed March 30, Silicon Valley-based Cloudera Foundation will merge its staff, $9 million endowment and $3 million of existing grants into the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, a global $1.5 billion data science and AI philanthropy. The move -- rare in the philanthropic sector -- accelerates the creation of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation’s Data and Society program, a first-of-its-kind initiative that will enable the nonprofit sector to leverage the transformative potential of data science and AI for impact. Data and Society is a key pillar of the foundation’s strategy to foster an equitable, sustainable and thriving world enabled by data and AI. The transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

The Cloudera Foundation was established in 2017 by the enterprise data company Cloudera, Inc. to provide access to technology, data expertise and technical support to build data capacity in the civil sector. This approach has been piloted with seven social change organizations. Now, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation will broaden, strengthen and scale the approach to deliver global impact, serving up to 100 nonprofits addressing the breadth of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“Data science and AI-based tools, deployed with purpose and social conscience, could improve nearly every part of the human experience. Enabling civil society to access these technologies will unlock transformational approaches to many of the world's greatest challenges,” said Patrick J. McGovern Foundation President Vilas Dhar. “I am honored by the trust of the Cloudera Foundation Board and leadership in joining us to create a new public resource that empowers data maturity in the civil sector. Backed by philanthropic capital and deep technical expertise, we are working together with social changemakers to advance a tech-enabled, human-centered future.”

Robert L. Waldman, co-chair of Venable’s Business Division who represented the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, said, “A merger of two foundations with aligned missions is novel and has the potential to do a great deal of social good, particularly in the effort to bring data science and AI to nonprofits that may not have access to or taken advantage of these tools. We are honored to be a part of this historic merger.”

Other members of the Venable team who worked on the merger included Yosef Ziffer, Ha Kung Wong, and Nikki Hasselbarth.