A Gift for a Better Future

For many years, Whitney MacMillan has been an active volunteer at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and together with his wife Betty, they have also been generous supporters. After serving for 12 years on the Board on Agricultural Science and the Division of Earth and Life Sciences Committee, Whitney knows firsthand the impact of the work of the Academies.

“The National Academy of Sciences is the leading science institution in the United States,” Whitney explains. “This is the reason we give money to the Academies.”

Most recently, Betty and Whitney decided to give a $1 million gift to fund an endowment at the National Academy of Sciences, the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Fund. Proceeds from the Fund will support timely projects, including studies and research, with an emphasis on activities initiated by the NAS. The MacMillans think unrestricted endowments are the most valuable asset for an organization and its leaders to have at their disposal. “We believe an endowment is to not-for-profits what working capital is to business,” says Whitney.

As the former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Cargill for 19 years, and a leading philanthropist, Whitney understands the needs of both for-profit and non-profit organizations, and the importance of collaboration and flexible resources to effect change.

“We are honored to help the NAS be proactive in ensuring that science and evidence are an important part of the decision-making process to better position the nation for a sustainable, prosperous future.”