Robert F. Smith’s Philanthropy
Robert F. Smith is a philanthropist and entrepreneur committed to uplifting the human spirit, particularly in underrepresented communities. Smith’s work individually and in conjunction with the Fund II Foundation has helped fund racial equity and educational reform initiatives, outdoor access and historic preservation efforts, as well as internships and career pipeline opportunities for African Americans and other marginalized groups.
“There’s nothing greater than liberating the human spirit.”
-Robert F. Smith
Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners
Smith hopes to inspire a legacy of giving through his efforts, with each generation stepping forward to become community leaders and philanthropists who pass the initiative on to those who follow. “One of the benefits…is I now have the ability…to inspire some people, some young people, African Americans, to actually say ‘I can now go do this,’” Smith said in a conversation with the Columbia Black Business Students Association at his alma mater Columbia Business School. “I realized that part of my role and responsibility now…is I have to give some of these young people someone they can look to and say, ‘Ok, if that guy could do it, I could do it.’”
Smith aims to encourage outdoor preservation and access by working with organizations like Lincoln Hills Cares.
As the founding director and President of Fund II Foundation, a charitable organization providing grants to nonprofits, Smith is specifically focused on addressing racial inequity in the United States. Since 2014, Fund II Foundation has awarded funding to institutions supporting equity and access in historic preservation, the outdoors, STEM and art education.
As a husband, father and Black man attuned to his cultural heritage and history, Smith has also contributed to such organizations that reflect his values and legacy.
News & Updates
SHRM partnered with NACD to launch a program to increase board representation among diverse groups of individuals in the country.
Watch conversations, speeches and profiles of Robert F. Smith to learn more about his life, philanthropy and thought leadership.