What New York Nonprofits Should Know about the Zegar Family Foundation

Even though Bloomberg L.P.’s co-founder, Charles Zegar takes a broad approach to his philanthropy, a lot of Zegar Family Foundation grants have been going to New York City organiations lately. The foundation awarded over $3 million in grants in 2012 and seems to be ramping up grant contributions since the foundation was established in 2007.

So while the foundation has an international grantmaking portfolio, we can’t help but notice how many sizeable grants are staying local (Read Zegar Family Foundation: New York City Grants). With that in mind, these are a few things that New York nonprofits should know about the Zegar Family Foundation.

Zegar Grantmaking is Incredibly Broad

Some foundations operate like uber-focused boutiques and others as all-encompassing generalists. The Zegar Foundation keeps its grantmaking focus broad and considers funding a little bit of everything. Funded science and medicine programs involve innovative research, and nutrition and health programs target underserved populations and fresh food choices. Education grants are focused primarily on higher education initiatives. Arts and culture grants take a historical education angle, and human services grants focus on helping disadvantaged people discover economic growth. New York nonprofits should be aware that conservation grants often have a global reach.

The Zegars Favor New York Museums and Fine Arts

On the local level, the Zegar Family Foundation has been a large supporter of the arts and museum culture in New York City. On the high end of grantmaking, the foundation recently awarded a $1.3 million to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. In more typical grant amounts, it awarded Synchronicity Fine Arts $30,000, Synchronicity Space $60,000, and The Anne Frank Center $3,600. Each of these awards was designated a general purpose contribution.

Unsolicited Ideas are Welcome, but Unsolicited Proposals are Not

Any unsolicited grant proposal you send to the Zegar Family Foundation will likely be rejected outright. However, the foundation welcomes new and innovative ideas from new organizations it hasn’t yet supported. Send your program idea or general inquiries to info@zegarff.org, but be patient, because Charles and Merryl don’t employ a foundation staff to handle these requests. 

(Read our profile of Charles Zegar)