The Achelis and Bodman Foundation was established on November 25, 2015, from the merger of The Achelis Foundation and The Bodman Foundation, which were established in 1940 and 1945, respectively. At the time of the merger in 2015 the combined assets of the Foundation were approximately $105 million.
The Achelis Foundation
The Achelis Foundation was founded by Elisabeth Achelis in 1940. Miss Achelis was born in Brooklyn Heights in 1880 and moved to Manhattan in 1901 where she resided until her death in 1973. Her father, Fritz Achelis, was the president of the American Hard Rubber Company, which produced a variety of products under the “Ace” trademark, including combs and bowling balls.
The charter of The Achelis Foundation states that its mission is “to aid and contribute to charitable, benevolent, educational and religious uses and purposes for the moral, ethical, physical, mental and intellectual well-being and progress of mankind; to aid and contribute to methods for the peaceful settlement of international differences; to aid and contribute to the furtherance of the objects and purposes of any charitable, benevolent, educational or religious institution or agency; and to establish and maintain charitable, benevolent and educational institutions and agencies.”
From its founding through 2015, The Achelis Foundation made grants totaling over $48 million.
The Bodman Foundation
The Bodman Foundation was established by George M. Bodman and his wife, Louise Clarke Bodman, in 1945. Mr. Bodman was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1882 and died in 1950. Mrs. Bodman was born in Chicago in 1893 and died in 1955. The Bodmans lived for much of their lives in New York City and Red Bank, New Jersey, and were generous supporters of numerous cultural, civic, and service organizations.
During his working career Mr. Bodman was a senior partner at the investment banking firm of Cyrus J. Lawrence & Sons. During World War I he headed the Intelligence Service of the War Trade Board. During World War II, he served as the executive assistant to the Red Cross Commissioner for Great Britain and was regional director in charge of American Red Cross Club operations in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Mr. Bodman was educated at the Hill School in Pennsylvania and Yale University.
The Bodman Foundation’s Certificate of Incorporation states that its funds are to be used for “the aid, support or benefit of religious, educational, charitable, and benevolent objects and purposes for the moral, ethical and physical well-being and progress of mankind.”
From its founding through 2015, The Bodman Foundation made over $109 million in grants.