Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder mostly supports early education and child care in New York City. Across the five boroughs, it also funds some other education, health and social services efforts.

FUNDING AREAS: Early education, child care, community college education, health, social services, children and youth

IP TAKE: Guttman is a local leader on the child care funding front in New York City and led a funders collaborative to support a research study on this niche topic. This is your go-to source for child care funding in the city right now.

PROFILE: The Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation was established by Charles Guttman, a local businessman, and his wife in New York, in 1959. Guttman was born to an immigrant family on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and founded The Paddington Corporation, which became the exclusive importer of Justerini & Brooks Ltd., a creator of fine wines and whiskeys.

This funder’s support goes towards programs that improve and expand educational opportunities and the delivery of health and social services for children, youth, and families in low income neighborhoods. But since 2014, this funder has really committed to early childhood education and child care. More specifically, it places special grantmaking emphasis on programs that improve quality, expand services and create a strong continuum of care for children ages 0-3 in low-income and high-need neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with large concentrations of public housing units often see Guttman’s support.

However, not all of Guttman’s support has gone to the city’s youngest residents. In fact, one of Guttman’s biggest commitments was when it gave $25 million (half its assets at the time) to the City University of New York (CUNY) to support community colleges. This initiative was all about boosting public school retention and graduation rates and helping community college grads to on to get bachelor’s degrees.

Pretty much all Guttman grantmaking stays in New York City because that’s where the founders spent their lives and contributed to charity during their lifetimes. These days, it does not even consider grant requests from organizations outside the five boroughs.

The foundation has reported over $23 million in assets and has given over $90 million to groups in the New York City area. Each year, the foundation awards about $2 million in grants. In a recent year, it gave $1,075,000 to child care and early education groups, $750,000 to place-based development efforts, and $295,000 to international aid. At this time, Guttman is no longer accepting proposals from organizations operating programs in Israel. A list of past grants can be viewed on the funder’s website.

The board meets four times per year to review proposals and makes a point to respond promptly to prospective grantee information requests and letters of inquiry. LOIs should be sent to the foundation’s executive director, Elizabeth Olofson, by mail or email to The foundation is run by a staff of three, consisting of an executive director, assistant executive director, and program officer. The staff can also be reached by phone at (212) 371-7082.


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