Why We LIFT: A Conversation with Jonathan and
Jeannie Lavine

By LIFT on January 25, 2018

Categories: First Person Perspective, Real Stories


This past fall, LIFT had the honor of launching The Lavine Family Innovation Fund, dedicated to creating actionable and impactful solutions that empower families to achieve economic and social mobility. The fund, named in honor of Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine, was made possible by a $4 million gift the largest in LIFTs history. We caught up with Jonathan and Jeannie to learn more about why they LIFT:

LIFT: What drove you to support LIFT?

Jonathan: We have been a champion of LIFT’s work for more than eight years. During that time, we’ve witnessed the life-changing impact LIFT has on its members and the communities it serves across the U.S. Jeannie and I want to level the playing field for parents from all walks of life who simply want a shot at building the best possible life for themselves and their children. Not only do we believe in LIFT’s mission and Kirsten Lodal’s vision, but we also subscribe to the notion that ‘to whom much is given, much is required’. So, working with LIFT to provide support for hardworking parents across the country fits perfectly into what we’re trying to accomplish.

LIFT: What are your hopes for The Lavine Family Innovation Fund?

Jeannie: We want this fund to be the wind in LIFT’s sails as they embark on the next four years of transforming the lives of families living in poverty. Jonathan and I made our first philanthropic gift together 25 years ago to a then small nonprofit that we’ve watched bloom into one of our country’s leading NGOs. We know that this fund will empower LIFT to expand and deepen its services while driving more meaningful change with families by providing them with the resources they need.

LIFT: Why do you LIFT?

Jonathan: It’s simple — we’re parents. We know the challenges of raising a family, and we’re even more aware of the fact that so many parents are strapped for resources and are barely making ends meet. Jeannie and I are extraordinarily fortunate to be in the position to give back to families who need our support, and we never want any parent to feel like they’re in this alone.

We LIFT because we should and, fortunately, we can.