The Independence Foundation was "founded in 1932 by steel maker William H. Donner, who wanted to spur cancer research after the death of his son in 1929. The first charter, founding the International Cancer Research Foundation with assets of $2 million, was dedicated to cancer and medical research. By the end of the Second World War, Mr. Donner recognized that government would dominate medical research and he pulled his foundation back from this area, changing its name to the Donner Foundation. Mr. Donner looked at the world of college education and decided that there were many substantial grant programs, but found little available at the pre-college level. Thus began the Foundation's long involvement in secondary education."
"William Donner died in 1954 at the age of 96 and the directorate fell to his children and grandchildren. In 1960, there was a split - $44 million in assets divided equally, with the newly formed Donner Foundation moving to New York and the original Philadelphia-based foundation changing its name to the Independence Foundation."
Offices at the Bellevue
200 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102