In 1948 Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation master soapmaker from a German-Jewish soapmaking family founded Dr. Bronner’s, which would eventually become the top-selling natural soap brand in the United States. He used the labels on his superb ecological soaps to spread his message that we must realize our unity across religious & ethnic divides: “We are All-One or None!”
Emanuel Bronner ran Dr. Bronner’s as an activist-oriented company, dating back to the 1940s when he would give passionate speeches, first on street corners, and then in crowd-filled auditoriums, calling on the human race to unite, all the while selling his Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap on the side. Carrying forward that same spirit of social engagement into the next generation, his sons Ralph and Jim began focusing their attention on meeting the needs of the communities where they lived, actualizing the ideal of human unity in their own lives by sharing company profits generously with the workers, and dedicating their time, talent, and financial resources to serving others. Their spirit of service and generosity is epitomized by their donation of a 1,200-acre parcel of wilderness worth $1.4 million to San Diego County Boys & Girls Club in 1998.
The Family Foundation was established in 2003 as a new avenue by which current and future generations of the Bronner family could carry on this legacy of activism and community service.
Dr. Bronner’s Family Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 grantmaking organization which administers the philanthropic giving directed by members of the broader Bronner family. In addition to being a vehicle for private philanthropic activities through which members of the Bronner family serve their communities, the Foundation houses the Migration Justice Initiative, a public-facing funding program established in 2019 to address the suffering, injustice, and human rights violations endured by refugees and migrants around the world. The Foundation also serves to facilitate select Dr. Bronner’s cause partnerships in collaboration with the company’s Constructive Capital corporate giving program.
The Foundation is run by a Board of Directors composed of Dr. Bronner’s executives and The Family Foundation’s Executive Director, Kris Lin-Bronner.
The Family Foundation Staff
Chief Grants Officer,
Migration Justice Initiative
Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Bronner’s
Dr. Bronner’s: Family Soapmakers since 1858
Dr. Bronner’s is the top-selling natural soap brand in the United States, and is the source of funding of Dr. Bronner’s Family Foundation. Now under the leadership of the family’s fifth generation of soapmakers, the company strives to make better products and produce them under better conditions than what is currently the norm in our economic system. Through its regenerative organic and fair trade sourcing programs, the company ensures that all the farmers and workers in its supply chains make a living wage and are able take care of their land and communities in a way that regenerates rural economies and promotes biodiverse farming ecosystems.
As the fighting soap company, Dr. Bronner’s leverages organizational resources including finances, staff, communication platforms and industry relationships to advance progressive social change. Dr. Bronner’s has fought to raise the minimum wage; reform our nation’s devastating drug policy; integrate psychedelic therapy to heal hearts and minds; expose and transform industrial agriculture to a model that is regenerative and fair, and legalize hemp farming in the United States. Dr. Bronner’s caps executive compensation at five times the lowest-paid fully-vested position, and dedicates all profits not needed for the company to organizations, campaigns, and people working for a better world. The company’s support for these causes is also integrated across brand values and company culture. Donations made by the company directly comprise the majority of its giving and philanthropic work each year.