Charleston's International African American Museum announced another $500,000 donation Thursday.
The Gilder Foundation, the charitable arm of philanthropists Richard Gilder and wife Lois Chiles, has pledged $500,000 to the museum's Founders Fund.
"The Gilder name has become synonymous with world-class institutions," former Joe Riley, a museum board member, said in the announcement, "It is an honor to have this support."
The Gilder Foundation's pledge was included in a previous estimate of how much money still needs to be raised for construction, so that amount remains at $9 million, according to the museum staff.
Gilder started a New York-based stock brokerage firm in 1968. It's now called Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. Chiles is an actress and former fashion model.
"Mr. Gilder’s charitable investment in our museum and memorial moves us forward decisively as we work to complete our fundraising," museum CEO Michael Boulware said in a statement. "He played a critical role in bringing the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to life, an institution that the IAAM greatly respects given its groundbreaking work in the history of slavery and abolition. We look forward to collaborating with Mr. Gilder and his organization."
The Gilder Foundation’s pledge will be recognized in a Center for Family History support room, which will be named the Gilder Foundation Study.
"Over the years, I have prioritized the support of historical institutions," Gilder said in a statement. "Study of the past is crucial to understanding the present and creating a better future. The IAAM and its Center for Family History will provide critical insight into our country’s history and connect individuals to their pasts in meaningful ways."
The museum has announced several major donations this year, including a $10 million grant from the Lilly Endowment last month. Others include $500,000 each from Benefitfocus co-founders Shawn Jenkins and Mason Holland, Wells Fargo and Michelin, and $250,000 each from AT&T, Bennett Hospitality and TD Bank.
Construction is scheduled to start in early 2018, with the opening planned for early 2020. The museum will be built next to the Maritime Center at Gadsden’s Wharf, where many enslaved Africans entered America.
A third of the museum's estimated $75 million cost will come from private donations, a third from the state and the rest from the city and county of Charleston.