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.

Businessman Robert F. Smith outside on a soccer field giving a kid a high five

“There’s nothing greater than liberating the human spirit.”

-Robert F. Smith

Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners

Giving Back

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.’”

Philanthropist Robert F. Smith outside with a large group of African American children

Smith aims to encourage outdoor preservation and access by working with organizations like Lincoln Hills Cares.


Smith is committed to creating philanthropic infrastructure that allows underserved communities to heal, grow, find strength and renew their purpose. He purposefully invests his resources in organizations that are pursuing innovative solutions and building towards a better, more equitable, future.

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.

Community leader Robert F. Smith headshot speaking at an event
Robert F. Smith standing outside of the Robert Frederick Smith Family Pavilion at the National Museum of African American History and Culture
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Watch conversations, speeches and profiles of Robert F. Smith to learn more about his life, philanthropy and thought leadership.