One of the oldest American foundations, the Russell Sage Foundation was established by Mrs. Margaret Olivia Sage in 1907 for "the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States." In its early years the foundation undertook major projects in low-income housing, urban planning, social work, and labor reform. The foundation now dedicates itself to strengthening the methods, data, and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies. It also funds researchers at other institutions and supports programs intended to develop new generations of social scientists.
The Russell Sage Foundation is an operating foundation directly involved in the conduct and dissemination of social science research. In its effort to improve the social effectiveness of social research, the foundation
- Invites individual scholars and collaborative groups working in areas of foundation interest to participate in the foundation's Visiting Scholar Program to pursue their research and writing projects;
- Provides support for scholars at other institutions to pursue research projects that advance the Foundation's research programs;
- Ensures widespread access to the research that the foundation supports through its own book and journal publishing program;
- Sponsors special seminars and working groups aimed at developing new topics in social science;
- Participates in the planning of each study or program as an active partner and reserves the right to publish any resulting manuscripts;
- Collaborates with other foundations, granting agencies and academic institutions in studies of social problems.