Atlanta based Diana Blank has long been dedicated to making a positive impact in areas such as healthcare, education, and the arts.
Here are some notable examples of her philanthropic activities: she has shown a deep commitment to improving healthcare access and services. She has made significant contributions to healthcare organizations, including the Grady Health System in Atlanta. Her support has helped enhance patient care, expand medical facilities, and provide resources to underserved communities.
Recognizing the importance of education, Diana Blank has been actively involved in supporting educational initiatives. She has contributed to educational institutions, including Emory University and the University of Georgia, to enhance academic programs and promote research. Her philanthropy has also included scholarships and grants to help students pursue their educational goals.
She is passionate about supporting the arts and preserving cultural heritage. She has made substantial donations to cultural organizations, such as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art. Her contributions have played a vital role in promoting arts education, supporting exhibitions, and expanding access to artistic experiences for diverse audiences.
Diana Blank has demonstrated a deep commitment to community development by supporting various projects aimed at improving local neighborhoods. She has contributed to initiatives focused on affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, and community engagement.
Diana has also been involved in philanthropic efforts that empower women. Through her support for organizations like Women’s Foundation of Greater Atlanta and CARE, she has helped advance women’s rights, support economic empowerment, and address gender-based inequalities.
One of her most recent projects at Georgia Tech created the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design. It’s a “living building,” which means it produces more energy and water than it consumes. Diana committed $30 million to this project.
Nonprofits frequently straddle the line due to their limited cash reserves. Blank’s Kendeda Fund acted in response to that.
Only 34 such structures exist throughout the entire globe, but environmentalists see a time when the living-building standard would surpass the 25-year-old LEED certification as the gold standard for environmentally friendly building. According to Shan Arora, the building’s director, LEED buildings lessen the environmental harm caused by a building, whereas living buildings aid in repair. “We’re not discussing less problematic structures. We’re discussing structures that are beneficial actively.
Blank was motivated to demonstrate that such an engineering accomplishment was feasible in the Southeast a decade ago after visiting the Bullitt Center, a living structure in the cold, rainy, and environmentally progressive Seattle. This was despite the region’s hot, humid, and less environmentally friendly political atmosphere.
Georgia Tech received a $25 million gift from Blank’s charity, the Kendeda Fund, towards the construction. The largest grant in Kendeda’s ten-year spend-down, which should be finished by the end of the year, is that one. Significantly, Kendeda added $5 million to sponsor a program that will describe the history of the building, encourage others, and aid in the launch of comparable projects.
Diana Blank, a philanthropist from Atlanta, was once Arthur Blank’s spouse.
In addition to owning the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League and Atlanta United of Major League Soccer, Arthur is a co-founder of Home Depot.
After their divorce in 1993, Diana made the decision to concentrate on philanthropy and founded the Kendeda Fund, which bears the names of her three children. The only financial support for Kendeda comes from Diana.
Grants are available from the Kendeda Fund with an emphasis on Montana and Atlanta and stress “issues of equity, livability, and improved connections to the natural environment.” They also offer a program for veterans and one to prevent gun violence.
The fund has given out awards totaling well over $900 million since 1993.
Some of the grants are: To the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: $4 million, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – $20 million. $30 million for Georgia Tech’s Living Building Challenge and others.
It’s important to note that Diana Blank made all of her contributions in total anonymity until the Atlanta Business Chronicle interviewed her in 2015. Only then was it made public who the generous benefactor was.
Many philanthropists make the pledge to donate their riches, but many don’t always follow through.
Diane Blank is different from most benefactors. Instead, she is committed to donating as much as she can during her lifetime. To that purpose, by the end of 2023, the Kedenda Fund will have distributed most of its resources.
Diana Blank plans to complete additional commitments, bringing her fund’s overall philanthropic distribution to more than $1.4 billion.