A group of schoolchildren in white shirts and tan pants stand or kneel on a stage.
Photo by Carolina Dulcey.

Why I Give

Your support helps preserve Lincoln’s legacy and helps us inspire the next generation of leaders. When you support Ford’s Theatre, you become part of the family, while making an impact on your community and your nation.

Donations and membership further our mission of celebrating Lincoln’s legacy and exploring the American experience. Your support helps fund educational programs like the Oratory Festivals, giving children a place on our national stage. Your funding brings the American experience to life through our performances. And your generosity inspires visitors by exploring the importance of President Lincoln and his legacy through our exhibits.

A man in a grey suit stands next to a seated woman in a black dress.
Photo courtesy of Kortnee Kate Photography.

Frances and Craig Lindner

Craig Lindner has fond memories of attending shows and events at Ford’s Theatre as a child with his parents, Carl and Edyth Lindner.  Forty years later, the Lindner family’s commitment to Ford’s Theatre and the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln stands as strong as ever.  Frances joined the Theatre’s Board of Trustees in 2020. In March 2024, the Lindners made a transformational gift of $10,000,000 to name the new Frances and Craig Lindner Center for Culture and Leadership as part of the Ford’s campus expansion in the Lincoln’s Legacy, Our Legacy Campaign. 

Frances and Craig admire President Lincoln as a man of great accomplishments who embodied character qualities that made him an amazing person. The Lindners also respectfully nod towards fellow Trustee and previous Lincoln Medal recipient Marlene Malek who encouraged others to “not wait to give. Do not leave it behind but make it an active gift to send forward and do it with love.”  Ford’s Theatre Society is privileged to be the beneficiary of such love and action. 

A man and a woman in formal wear stand in front of a Ford's Theatre step and repeat.
Photo of Ray and Ghada Irani by James R. Brantley Photography.

Ghada Raslan Irani and Ray Irani

The Irani Foundation

Access to education and opportunity has inspired many of Ghada Raslan Irani and Ray Irani’s philanthropic decisions. Ghada joined the Ford’s Theatre Society Board of Trustees in 2011. Since then, the Irani Foundation’s support has helped make education and public programs available to engage students, teachers, history-lovers and life-long learners at Ford’s Theatre. 

The Irani Foundation made a $1,000,000 gift to the Lincoln’s Legacy, Our Legacy Campaign to advance Ford’s education mission to cultivate the voices of young people and educators by exploring Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and legacy through theatre, history and civics as well as teach oratory skills and strategies.  Ford’s is honored to have the Irani Foundation Director of Education guiding the Theatre’s vision, strategy and evaluation for all education and leadership programs.

Photograph of two men and two women posing together in formalwear.
Photo of the Spiegel family, courtesy of Eric and Doreen Spiegel.

Eric and Doreen Spiegel

Eric Spiegel first became involved with Ford’s Theatre Society when he answered a call from the new-at-that-time Director, Paul R. Tetreault to help him develop Ford’s strategic plan. Having just moved to the area, Eric was eager to get involved in a significant non-profit in D.C. The partnership blossomed and in 2006, Eric stepped onto the Ford’s Theatre Board of Trustees and was later tapped to serve as Chairman.

For Eric, Ford’s engagement was never a one-man show. Wife Doreen, son Allan and daughter Jessica have all joined in making Ford’s a family favorite for entertainment and personal support. 

When Ford’s started the quiet phase of the Lincoln’s Legacy, Our Legacy Campaign, it was no surprise that Eric and Doreen were at the front of the line to give. Champions and advocates of the unique space Ford’s Theatre holds at the intersections of history, theatre and education, the Spiegels believe in Ford’s mission first and foremost. In recognition of their long-standing appreciation for Paul, they were motivated to make a second, generous gift to the campaign to establish the Ford’s Theatre Society Director’s Programming Fund. This Fund will give the Ford’s Director discretionary funds for priority projects and leadership initiatives to further advance Ford’s mission and President

Campaign Donor List

  • B.J. and Jeannine Agugliaro
  • The Ahuja Foundation
  • Betsy O’Brien Anderson
  • Brian and Merry Anderson
  • Anonymous
  • Jean Baderschneider and Patrick MacAverey
  • Steven G. and Shirley A. Barry
  • James Beller and Christopher Wolf
  • Senator Roy Blunt and Mrs. Abigail Blunt
  • Marcia and Frank Carlucci Charitable Foundation
  • Centene Charitable Foundation
  • The Honorable Elaine L. Chao
  • Chevron
  • Sela and Art Collins
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Frank and Nancy DeGrace
  • Ray and Alysia Dempsey
  • District of Columbia
  • D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
  • Gloria Story Dittus
  • Mr. Rob Doerschner
  • Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Duncan III
  • James W. Dyer
  • Events DC
  • Karyn M. Frist Family
  • Bruce and Joyce Gates
  • General Dynamics
  • Michael R. Hemmerich
  • Robin Hickenlooper
  • The Honorable Sven Erik Holmes and Ms. Lois Romano
  • Jane and Bill Hoover
  • Irani Foundation – Ray and Ghada Irani, Trustees
  • The Honorable Alphonso Jackson and Mrs. Marcia Jackson
  • Helen and David Kenney
  • Dr. Michelle A. Krowl
  • Frances and Craig Lindner
  • David and Stephanie Long
  • Marlene A. and Frederic V. Malek Family
  • Kathleen K. Manatt
  • Merrill Family Foundation
  • Morgridge Family Foundation
  • Noémi K. Neidorff
  • Phebe N. Novakovic
  • Ovation
  • Phillips 66
  • Heather Podesta
  • The Embassy of the State of Qatar
  • Share Fund
  • Eric and Doreen Spiegel
  • The Honorable John Tanner and Betty Ann Tanner
  • Paul R. Tetreault and John Jeter
  • Rex and Renda Tillerson
  • The Honorable Michael R. Turner 
  • Iris Weinshall
  • Jon and Sandy Willen