These are uncertain times for Condé Nast. McKinsey consultants are now scouring company budgets looking for fat to trim. And staffers are now getting acclimated to a world in which they're expected to subsist on room temperature Poland Spring, not chilled Fiji water or sparkling citrus beverages in round little bottles. It hasn't been a walk in the park for Condé Nast chairman Si Newhouse, of course. Over the past year, he's probably seen several billion dollars of his net worth evaporate. And his private foundation—a vehicle he's used over the years to shower hundreds of millions of dollars on art institutions, hospitals, libraries, and his alma mater, Syracuse University—hasn't been immune either.
The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation sustained more than $5 million in losses in 2008, which is probably to be expected when you park some of the money you plan to eventually give to charity in mortgage-backed securities issued by Goldman Sachs.
And yet unlike the many moguls who have been using the economic downturn to reduce their charitable spending—or stop donating altogether— Newhouse is giving more. In 2007, Newhouse gave away a total of $11.98 million to charity. In 2008, he handed out $12.5 million to more than 300 non-profit groups. Just like Town Cars for top editors and $50,000 Vogue fashion shoots, there are some things that even the deepest recession in a century can't touch, apparently.
The full list of recipients of Newhouse's largesse is below.