Inside Real Estate Mogul Frederick Elghanayan’s Grantmaking in New York


Renting an apartment in New York City is a rite of passage for many people, and TF Cornerstone has connected many people to rentals in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens over the years. This privately-held, vertically-integrated real estate development company is the creation of Frederick Elghanayan, who is known in New York not only for his professional work, but also for his philanthropy.

Here’s an overview of the recent philanthropic work of Frederick Elghanayan and his wife, Diana. The couple established the Corner Foundation in 2015 to channel their charitable efforts.

Low accessibility and transparency

The Corner Foundation is a low-key funder that lacks a website. Transparency is limited when it comes to this foundation, which quietly gives away modest grants and typically sticks to nonprofits with which it is already familiar. According to recent tax records, the Corner Foundation does not accept unsolicited funding requests and does not make its officers or directors accessible to the public. Frederick Elghanayan leads the foundation as its president, with Diana Elghanayan as the director/secretary/treasurer and both Zoe and Ariel Elghanayan as additional directors.

Four big focus areas

Although the Corner Foundation does not publicly share information about its guidelines and grantmaking strategies, a few issue areas have emerged as priorities. The foundation often awards grants to human service organizations that address food and housing needs in New York City. It also supports local museums and theater groups, as well as educational organizations, including charter schools. The Elghanayans identify with the Jewish faith, and their foundation grants also support Jewish organizations, such as synagogues and Hillel groups.

Typical grantees

In a recent year, the Cornerstone Foundation awarded less than a million dollars in total grants, and most of these grants were in the $1,000 to $50,000 range. Almost all grants go to groups based in and/or serving New York City, such as Henry Street Settlement, Signature Theater and Friends of New York City Nurse-Family Partnership. Diana Elghanayan has served as the vice president of Citizens’ Committee for Children, and that organization also frequently receives Corner Foundation grants. Examples of other recent grantees are Covenant House, City Harvest, Citymeals on Wheels, Art Connects NY and Bottomless Closet.

For more information about this funder, see IP’s full profile of the Corner Foundation, which is part of our New York City and Tri-State Funding Guide.