The ULI Foundation Celebrates a Half Century of Impact

When the ULI Foundation began in 1970 with the generous financial investment by each of its 17 original Governors, it was with the specific intention to strengthen and promote ULI’s capacity to enact transformative leadership in support of its mission. ULI’s global focus and our contemporary economic challenges have made the pursuit of this aspirational goal more important than ever for our present and future cities.

Today, communities worldwide are facing a host of challenges on a scale unprecedented in human history—from urban rejuvenation and resilience to housing, infrastructure, economic development, and public health. ULI is the sole global organization with the expertise to improve the lives of millions of people for generations, and the ULI Foundation ensures that the Institute can achieve its mission to create and sustain vibrant communities.

Dedicated to expanding ULI’s research capabilities and providing an easily accessible pool of knowledge on real estate and land development, the ULI Foundation’s work to ensure the success and growth of the Institute’s present and future work through all economic cycles has never wavered.

Through investments in the ULI Foundation, the generosity and altruism of our donors have made possible the evolution of thousands of communities and the improvement of millions of lives. Philanthropic investment in the ULI Foundation continues to meet those needs and opportunities with a global-scale leverage not found anywhere else.


  • “By being part of ULI, we are embracing a cause that is noble, transformative, and profound.”

    – Former ULI Foundation Chairman Jim Curtis

As the Foundation has grown over the last half century, so has ULI’s impact. In 1995, as the Foundation celebrated 25 years, it had provided a total of $4 million for ULI’s education and mentorship programs and industry-enhancing centers and initiatives. On our 50th anniversary, that investment grew to exceed $136.5 million in philanthropic support for ULI’s mission-driven programs, centers, and initiatives across the Institute and the world.

  • Philanthropic investments have supported nearly a quarter of recent advisory panels that tackle challenges ranging from economic development to sustainability and climate change mitigation, enabling ULI to bring best practices and actionable solutions to communities with great need.
  • Our education and mentorship programs—UrbanPlan, ULI Learning, University Connections, the Women’s Leadership Initiative, the Young Leaders Group, and the Real Estate Diversity Initiative, for example—seek to attract the most diverse, committed, and creative people into our profession and equip them to positively transform the built environment.
  • Our global centers and initiatives—the Terwilliger Center for Housing, the Urban Resilience program, the Building Healthy Places Initiative, and the Curtis Infrastructure Initiative, for instance—provide cutting-edge research and actionable best practice solutions that inspire lasting change.

Many who care deeply about the future of the built environment have invested in the ULI Foundation. The Foundation partners strategically with individuals, institutions, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations that share our vision for equitable and sustainable development and best practices in land stewardship.

As one of our most committed supporters, former ULI Foundation Chairman Jim Curtis, said, “By being part of ULI, we are embracing a cause that is noble, transformative, and profound.”

For the 50 years of our history, the ULI Foundation’s visionary mission has been to strengthen, grow, expand, and anchor ULI as the global leader in real estate and responsible land use.

Donor support enables ULI to go farther, reach higher, do more—to develop and implement the innovative, results-oriented solutions to the extraordinary challenges facing cities today. Together, we have an unparalleled opportunity to make a visible difference in the lives of millions of people worldwide, in our next 50 years and beyond.

To find out more about how philanthropic gifts support ULI’s mission-driven work, please visit the ULI Foundation website.


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