Scherman Foundation: Grants for Public Health

OVERVIEW: The New York-based Scherman Foundation focuses its public health grants on women’s reproductive rights and justice.

IP TAKE: Scherman is an approachable funder. It tends to favor organizations in New York.

PROFILE: Established in 1941 by Harry Scherman—who, by the way, was the founder of the Book-of-the-Month Club—the Scherman Foundation supports six issue areas. In the public health space, giving centers on reproductive rights.

Scherman’s Reproductive Rights and Justice program demonstrates the foundation’s ongoing commitment to “protect and advance the rights of all women in the United States to access a full range of reproductive health care services, including abortion.”

Scherman funds groups whose work aligns with this mission, particularly those disproportionately impacted by what the foundation refers to as “regressive policies” regarding sexual and reproductive health justice and rights. As such, the foundation backs organizations running advocacy campaigns, leadership development, legal advocacy and litigation, and projects that leverage new and existing sexual and reproductive rights resources.

Grants are modest, averaging around $35,000 over two years. Scherman tends to award general operating support rather than the project-specific grants. The foundation does not make grants for research not directly connected to policies, direct service provision, or projects outside the U.S.

The Scherman Foundation’s reproductive rights grants are awarded from its Core Fund, which accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry throughout the year.


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