After the Schusterman family sold most of the oil and natural gas company, Samson Resources, for $7.2 billion in 2011, the family foundation saw a $2.3 billion jump in assets. But unfortunately for Tulsa residents, not all of this money is staying local. In addition to supporting Charles and Lynn’s hometown, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation also awards grants nationwide and in Israel.
That said, plenty of money is focused in Tulsa, and here are three things that local nonprofits should know about Schusterman’s grantmaking in the city.
Preventing Child Abuse is Top Priority
Schusterman’s Tulsa program is founded on the principle that every child has the right to a safe, secure, and supportive upbringing. This translates into support for child advocacy, child abuse prevention, and youth development programs in the city.
Oklahoma ranks among the highest in the U.S. for instances of child abuse and neglect, and a report released by the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths put Oklahoma in the top five states for the rate of child abuse and neglect deaths.
At-risk children in both Tulsa and Israel are a top priority. Schusterman also funds leadership development and service opportunity programs for Tulsa teenagers.
Education is a Priority, but a National One
The Schusterman Family Foundation does support organizations focused on promoting education in the founder’s hometown of Tulsa. However, the foundation’s education initiative has a national focus, so you could likely be competing with schools and programs in all 50 states.
Schusterman invests in the nationwide education reform movement to improve district and charter schools and education policy. High school dropout rates, literacy, and STEM education are also on Schusterman’s radar.
Examples of public benefit programs and organizations that Schusterman has supported in the past are Teach for America, KIPP, Birthright, BBYO, and Moishe House. The foundation also likes to launch and fund platform organizations, like Repair the World, and the Israel on Campus Coalition, to advance and build capacity within an entire field.
Unsolicited Applications Aren’t Accepted
The Schusterman Family Foundation has very specific things in mind for funding, and it’s looking to deepen its impact rather than spreading its support out too thin.
Although you can’t directly apply for a Schusterman grant or even submit an initial letter of inquiry, you can contact the staff to share your program idea or information about what your organization is doing. The best way to get in touch is by filling out the foundation’s online contact form.