OVERVIEW: The Bauman Foundation is a progressive funder that invests in economic justice, particularly through federal tax policy and income inequality; government and corporate accountability, specifically through efforts to promote an open, responsive government; and non-partisan civic engagement in the political process.
IP TAKE: This foundation focuses on funding efforts towards systemic change, and works with already-established (mostly policy) partners in the fight for a democratic society.
PROFILE: Established in 1987, the Bauman Foundation honors the memory of New York businessman/philanthropist Lionel Bauman who launched the foundation to spearhead “systemic progressive social change” through the “the intersection of health and environment.” From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Bauman Foundation makes several millions of dollars in grants a year. His daughter Patricia leads the foundation, and environmental conservation remains an inseparable part of its vision for a better society.
While the foundation invests in the environment's relationship to human health, it does not name other areas of interest or maintain dedicated conservation programs preferring a broad approach. Many of Bauman's environmental grantees focus on combating urban pollution and/or reducing the public's exposure to toxic chemicals. Also, organizations that bring ecological activists and activists from other sectors, such as labor, together also usually get extra consideration. The foundation largely prioritizes groups that seek to influence communities and lawmakers and get new programs, laws, and protections up and running.
Grants range widely, from $1,000 to over $200,000. Past grantees include the Center of American Progress, Open Space Conservatory, and the Phi Beta Kappa Society, among many others. Its website features a great list of all of their past grantees.
Bauman does not accept unsolicited proposals or unsolicited letters of inquiry.
Patricia Bauman, President
Gary D. Bass, Executive Director