September 24, 2023
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Sage Publications gives $36M to McCune Foundation


Sage Publishing, a Thousand Oaks-based academic publisher, announced Feb. 3 that it has donated $36 million to the foundation established by the company’s owner, Sara Miller McCune.

The donation came in two pieces: $35 million at the end of 2021, to fully fund the foundation’s endowment, and another $1 million toward its operations for 2022.

Sara Miller McCune

The McCune Foundation was established in 1990 by Sara Miller McCune and her late husband and fellow Sage co-founder, George McCune. Its giving is focused on grants to community service and public benefit organizations in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, with an emphasis on social justice causes.

The $36 million from Sage is a game-changer for the McCune Foundation; at the end of 2019, the last year for which tax documents are publicly available, the foundation had assets of about $1.7 million, and in recent years it has distributed around $1 million a year in charitable donations.

With a $35 million endowment, the foundation will become one of the 25 largest in the tri-county region when ranked by total assets, according to Business Times research from December.

Sara Miller McCune is a Montecito resident and turned 80 last year. In December, Sage announced she had signed over her voting shares and control of Sage Publications to an independent trust, though she retains 80% of the company’s non-voting shares and continues to participate in board meetings. The succession plan will eventually lead to Sage being owned by a number of institutions of higher education.