DreamWorks founders give $90 million to Motion Picture & Television Fund

DreamWorks SKG founders Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen are each donating $30 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, giving a major boost to the fundraising campaign for one of Hollywood’s oldest charities.

The total commitment of $90 million is part of a campaign launched earlier this year to raise $350 million for the fund and to support its charitable operations, including a nursing home for retired entertainment industry workers that was once slated for closure.

The campaign followed a decision by the fund’s board to re-admit patients to the nursing home, which was established to care for retiring actors and other performers. The board sparked a furor in Hollywood when it announced plans in January 2009 to shut down the nursing home because of heavy financial losses.


But fund executives said cost-cutting and fundraising efforts made it possible for the charity to operate a smaller nursing home with about 40 residents instead of the more than 130 it had in 2009. The fund also has partnered with UCLA Health System to operate a geriatric psychiatric unit at the skilled nursing home.

The donation was announced Tuesday morning by George Clooney, an MPTF board member and co-chair of the fundraising campaign, which is part of an effort to secure long-term funding for an organization that has faced steep financial challenges in recent years. Other high-profile donors have included Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp., and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, who contributed $30 million to the fund in June, and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which in July pledged $20 million to the charity.

“Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen are each legendary for their philanthropy and individually have made immeasurable impact on charities and organizations ranging from arts and culture, healthcare, education, film preservation and social services in our Hollywood community and around the nation,” Clooney said. “And now for them to make this unified commitment to MPTF only adds to that incredible record of generosity.”
Katzenberg, chairman of the MPTF Foundation, indicated that the MPTF campaign was initiated by the board to make sure that funding for the charitable programs and services that have been aiding the industry for over 90 years would be secure in the future.

“Marilyn and I are so happy to join together with my partners and friends, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, to support our industry’s most important and valuable charitable organization,” Katzenberg said. “Hopefully, with this gift, the MPTF will get even closer to reaching its ambitious goal for its endowment campaign.”

Added Spielberg: “It becomes very personal when someone you know or have worked with is cared for at ‘the Home’ or a crew member is helped financially by MPTF. The mission ‘we take care of our own’ is suddenly very real and tangible, and so this new donation is an extension of what we have been doing for a number of years to support that mission.”

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