Drummond Pike: Innovator, Risk Taker, Pioneer

February 22, 2011

By Andrea Cohen 

Drummond Pike

Drummond Pike founded Tides in 1976 and served as Tides CEO until he stepped down recently (fall 2010) to pursue other projects.

Tides—which oversees the Tides Foundation, the Tides Center, and Tides Shared Spaces—has helped increase the capacity and effectiveness of thousands of social change organizations. Tides provides fiscal sponsorship for more than 200 nonprofit projects across the country, launches and operates green nonprofit centers, and has managed philanthropy for hundreds of donor advised funds, funder collaboratives, and regranting programs. Over the past decade, Tides has administered well over $1 billion in grants and programmatic activity, and is often among the top 100 largest charities in the U.S.

Pike helped pioneer fully staffed donor-advised funds in philanthropy and has supported grassroots and public interest organizations through environmental and social change philanthropy throughout his career. Pike also founded The Advocacy Fund as a platform to support legislative advocacy initiatives on climate change, immigration reform, social security, and other issues. Prior to founding Tides, Pike served as executive director of the Shalan Foundation. He also co-founded and served as associate director for the Youth Project in Washington, D.C., and was among the founders of Working Assets (now Credo Mobile).

UCSC provided excellent preparation for an innovator, says Pike. "It gave me and others an opportunity to create things from scratch—an underground newsletter, The Stevenson Libre, the Inter-College Board, and the office of Campus Representative, none of which existed before we arrived in the fall of 1966. I've been creating and building organizations ever since." He adds, "UCSC also challenged me to think critically and to express myself in both spoken and written forms—skills that have served me invaluably over the years."

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