Swartz Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Swartz Foundation was formed by Sidney Swartz's portion of the Timberland Company fortune. The foundation contributes almost exclusively to Jewish-related causes and medical research institutions in the Boston area.

FOCUS AREAS: Jewish causes, health, medical research

IP TAKE: This foundation maintains a low profile and does not have a website to guide grantseekers.

PROFILE: Established in 1994, the Swartz Foundation is the foundation of Sidney Swartz and his wife, Judith. The foundation's donor, Sidney Swartz, is the son of the shoe-making entrepreneur who started the Timberland Company. Sidney's father started off his career in the shoe business by becoming an apprentice stitcher in Boston. When Sidney took over the family business, he had enormous success transforming Timberland into a lifestyle brand that also makes clothes, watches, glasses, and leather goods. Foundation interests include Jewish causes, health, and medical research.

The Swartz Foundation does not have a website or any published guidelines for grantseekers. The vast majority of Swartz Foundation funds go to Jewish temples and Jewish-based organizations in the Boston area. Medical research organizations also receive a good portion of Swartz grants each year. One of the couple's high-profile grants was a $50 million award to create an emergency medicine center at Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, which was named after them. Many past grants in the Boston area have gone to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.

Foundation grants range in size from $32,000 to $3.2 million each. Swartz does not typically give out a lot of grants each year, but the grants are often large when they are awarded. Learn more about foundation giving in the funder’s tax records. Overall, foundation giving is focused on Boston. The foundation does consider other nonprofit organizations in the city for grants, but recipients are almost always rooted in the Jewish faith.

This foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits, as it only funds pre-selected organizations. For more information, contact Ropes & Gray's Robert Shapiro at 617-951-7000.


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