The has announced a $20 million commitment from the , the giving vehicle of Silicon Valley investor .
The largest endowment gift ever to the ACLU includes an immediate gift of $5 million and a $15 million Moritz/Heyman Legacy Challenge that will match future planned gifts on a one-to-ten basis. The funds will be used to bolster the organization's efforts to protect immigrant communities, end the U.S. criminal justice system's reliance on over-incarceration, expand voting rights, and advance progress on other civil liberties issues.
"Michael and Harriet's gift is one of the largest in our ninety-eight-year history, and comes at a critical time when the rights of so many hang in the balance," said ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero. "The bequest challenge is a huge philanthropic opportunity that will give us the ability to sustain our advocacy and legal power for future generations, helping us yield as much as $20 for every $1 in matching funds." Based on previous bequest challenges, the ACLU projects that the Moritz/Heyman Legacy Challenge will lead to more than $300 million in new bequest gifts.
"The ACLU has consistently protected the rights of all people in America, especially the forgotten, downtrodden, and oppressed and is well-equipped to meet the challenges of our time," said Moritz, who signed the with his wife in 2012. "Harriet and I hope others interested in a legacy of justice and fairness will also help ensure the ACLU's work endures."
(Photo credit: University of California, San Francisco/Cindy Chew)