What Philadelphia Grantseekers Should Know About the Alan and Jill Miller Foundation

The National Museum of American Jewish History is one organization supported by the Millers. 4kclips/shutterstock

The National Museum of American Jewish History is one organization supported by the Millers. 4kclips/shutterstock

In Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, just a few miles northwest of Philadelphia, there’s a philanthropy-minded couple making an increasing number of multimillion-dollar gifts to local causes.  Alan and Jill Miller have historically been quiet philanthropists, even after setting up their family foundation in the 1990s. Yet we can’t help but notice that the couple’s grantmaking has been more prominent and their charitable assets growing.  

If you’re a Philadelphia-area grantseeker and are not yet familiar with the Millers, here are a few key points to know.

Much Giving Is for Higher Education and Jewish Causes

Although much of the couple’s wealth stemmed from Alan Miller’s position as founder, chairman, and CEO of Universal Health Services, health has not been the one and only funding priority for the couple. In fact, the Millers often channel their energy into higher education and Jewish causes. Alan has been a loyal supporter of his alma maters, the University of Pennsylvania and the College of William and Mary. The couple has also steadily supported the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the National Museum of American Jewish History, and other Jewish-focused efforts.

Other Interests are Health and the Arts

However, the Millers have a variety of interests, and some funding does go to health organizations. In fact, the couple supports the Universal Health Services Foundation, which provides emergency relief for people suffering from natural disasters. Jill once served on the board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and was a planning committee member for the Rena Rowan Breast Cancer Center at Penn Medicine. She also serves on the board of the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, an organization that recently received a $4 million donation from the couple.

The Millers also strongly support the arts, with personal affiliations that include the National Museum of American Jewish History and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Perhaps most significantly, the Millers gave $8 million last year to the Museum of the American Revolution to help share their love of history with others. This money went towards a theater for George Washington’s Revolutionary War tent at the museum.

“I’ve always been interested in history,” said Alan Miller. “I went to the College of William and Mary, and so did George Washington. Thomas Jefferson went there, too. What people don’t realize fully is that they took on the most formidable army in the world at the time. Had they lost, they would’ve been humiliated, likely tortured and made examples of.”

Philadelphia Is a Significant Grantmaking Site

The Millers are deeply involved in the Philadelphia community though their work, board memberships, and grantee relationships. The bulk of their family foundation grantmaking centers on Philadelphia and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic region. Other sites of Miller Foundation grantmaking include Alexandria, Virginia, Williamsburg, Virginia, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.

Unsolicited Funding Requests Are Welcome

Although the Alan and Jill Miller Foundation does not have a website or make itself particularly accessible to Philadelphia-area grantseekers, the couple is open to receiving unsolicited funding requests. Local grantseekers should submit funding requests in writing, by mail, directly to Alan Miller. There are no specific guidelines, deadlines, or restrictions on Miller grants. In 2018, the couple’s foundation had over $14.3 million in total assets, up from $11.7 million in 2017.

Head over to our Philadelphia Funders Guide to learn more about the Alan and Jill Miller Foundation and other locally focused grantmakers.