Brothers Robin, Josh, and Dave McGraw are third generation stewards of their influential family foundation, which they took over after the passing of their father, Donald C. McGraw, Jr. The foundation was started by their grandfather Donald C. McGraw, long time President and CEO of McGraw Hill Publishing, who was the youngest son of founder James H. McGraw. Josh, Robin, and Dave didn’t inherit their responsibility of managing the foundation lightly, knowing that they had a noble history of giving to uphold.
“We’re trying to touch as many lives as we can in the best way,” says Dave. “We’re dedicated to taking care of our brothers and sisters who can’t take care of themselves.” The foundation’s responsiveness to the needs of education and literacy, the arts, and medicine highlight the family’s desire to respond to modern needs. Reflecting on the foundation’s growth and breadth of causes, Josh shares, “Our family believes that our father and grandfather would be proud of the foundation’s legacy and our positive impact addressing the most urgent needs of society.”
The inspiring giving of this foundation’s new generation has included many generous donations to the National MS Society. The family’s interest in supporting people with MS first began when Robin joined the Greater New England chapter of the Society as a board member. Several years later, the cause struck closer to home when Josh’s daughter was diagnosed with the disease. Dave’s daughter also received a diagnosis years later. These two cousins now have first-hand experience of the challenges that come with MS, as well as the uncertainty of what their lives will look like in the future.
With two of their family members living with MS, the McGraw brothers were motivated to become more deeply involved with the Society. Josh and his wife Sacha became active fundraisers in North Florida, fundraising for Bike MS since 2011 in honor of their daughter. Brothers Dave and Robin have also worked hard to raise MS awareness and encourage others to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them by giving back to the cause.
“Fundraising is about telling your story,” says Robin. “I have two nieces with MS and it means a lot for me to be able to figure out how to put an end to this disease. I will keep fighting until the mystery of MS is solved.”
With their most recent gift, the Donald C. McGraw Foundation aims to expand the number of effective treatments available to people living with MS, including those that can repair myelin and restore lost function. By furthering today’s exciting MS research momentum, the family hopes that a day will come when their help is not needed anymore.
The McGraw brothers realize that receiving FDA approval for new treatments can be a long process, but they’re encouraged by knowing that there are many more options available today than just ten years ago when Josh’s daughter was first diagnosed. They are committed to providing the support that allows researchers and scientists to keep plugging away so they can someday end this disease forever.
“Since we’ve started to support the Society, new medications have come out that have improved life for people with MS and helped to stop its progression,” says Josh. “We don’t have a cure yet, but the research we’ve helped to make possible has gone into developing these new drugs and therapies.”
Through the Donald C. McGraw Foundation, the McGraw family plays an essential role in helping to change what it means to live with MS. The outlook is positive thanks to their generous and steadfast support. The Society is grateful for their commitment to ending MS and inspiring others, through gifts of all sizes, to follow in their footsteps.
The lifetime giving to the Society of the Donald C. McGraw Foundation currently exceeds $3 million. Their recent gift of $1 million will help to advance MS research focusing on myelin repair.