About Us :: Foundation Background

Clarence E. Heller established the foundation in 1982 to support nonprofit initiatives consistent with the broad philanthropic purposes he pursued during his lifetime. The original trustees of the foundation were Clarence Heller, his brother Alfred Heller, and his sister Elizabeth H. Mandell.

After Clarence Heller’s death in 1988, the founding trustees continued to incorporate his interests in the establishment of basic funding priorities for the foundation. With expanded board representation from the Heller and Mandell families, and the hiring of a staff, the foundation began full-time operation in November of 1990.

Since that time, the foundation has attempted to create a grantmaking program combining the focus necessary to have an impact, with the flexibility needed to address new issues as they arise.