Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation typically prioritizes New York organizations and those in New Jersey.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health organizations and medical research, human services, and Jewish organizations.

IP TAKE: The Coopermans give big to a few institutions, especially in education and health. The foundation does not maintain a website or provide guidelines for grantseekers. 

PROFILE: Founded in 1981,the Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation was founded by Leon G. Cooperman, founder and chairman of the hedge fund firm Omega Advisors. The son of a plumber, Cooperman attended public schools in Bronx before being accepted at Columbia Business School and working for Goldman Sachs after graduating. He worked at Goldman Sachs for 25 years before founding Omega Advisors. Unfortunately, the funder prefers to maintain a low public profile, does not maintain a website, and provides no clear way of contacting it. The foundation held over $263 million in assets in 2016 and gave away almost $15 million. Tax filings suggest it prioritizes education, health, performing arts, and Jewish causes.

The foundation prioritizes grantmaking for higher education. Hunter College, the Coopermans’ alma mater, receives funding each year including grants toward the Leon and Toby Cooperman Library and the establishment of a  scholarship fund. Cooperman also supports Columbia Business School. In 1995, the foundation endowed the Leon Cooperman Professorship of Finance and Economics at Columbia.

With regard to K-12 education, the foundation has funded organizations like Harlem Children's Zone, Harlem Village Academies, and Prep for Prep. It has also funded ECLC, a school for the learning disabled in Chatham, N.J.

The foundation also supports health organizations, including several in the New York area. Leon Cooperman serves as vice chairman of the board at the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a past grantee. The goal of Damon Runyon is to find "early career scientists in cancer research" and facilitate bold and innovative thinking. Other past grantees include the Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation, the Lymphoma Research Foundation, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Lenox Hill Hospital, and NYU Medical Center.

The foundation also funds Jewish causes and has given to United Jewish Appeal and other organizations. Finally, it gives to the Robin Hood Foundation.

Grants typically range from just a few thousand to $500,000, and the foundation does not appear to accept LOIs.


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The Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation
P.O. Box 2369
Clifton, NJ 07015
Telephone: (973) 778-8885