Foundation History

Susie Tompkins Buell was the founder and co-owner of the Esprit clothing company, which was known for its revolutionary fusion of corporate mission with social responsibility. The Esprit Foundation was created in 1990 and supported a variety of organizations in areas such as at-risk youth, AIDS awareness and direct care, women’s issues and the environment.

When Susie Tompkins Buell left Esprit de Corp in 1996, she took the Foundation with her and eventually renamed it the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation. The Foundation retained the original mission and areas of funding, including a “women and girls lens”, which screened organizations for their inclusion of women and girls, not only as recipient of services but also for their representation on boards and staff.

Today the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation carries on the original spirit of innovation and social responsibility in its grant making interests and practices.