OVERVIEW: The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is dedicated to supporting Jewish communities across America and around the world. Tulsa is the founders’ hometown, so their foundation also contributes to child development, child abuse, and community service causes in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At the end of a recent year, the foundation reported over $2.2 billion in assets and over $69 million in total giving.
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Jewish causes, child development, child abuse, community service projects in Tulsa
IP TAKE: If your nonprofit operates in Tulsa, your best bet for getting Schusterman support is in the areas of child protection, child abuse prevention, and youth development. Although this is a prominent education funder, Schusterman’s public education support has a national focus so you’ll be competing against all U.S. school systems for grants. But keep in mind that unsolicited applications aren't accepted at this time.
PROFILE: The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation makes community-based grants in Tulsa, Oklahoma, nationwide, and in Israel. But the city of Tulsa is most relevant to Schusterman grantmaking. Established in 1987, the foundation is committed to the hometown of its founders while running a multi-office global network of initiatives and entities. Today, the foundation has headquarters in Tulsa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and San Francisco.
Charles Schusterman is perhaps best known for building the massive oil and natural gas company, Samson Resources, from the ground up. The family sold most of Samson for $7.2 billion in 2011, and a couple billion of that went to the family foundation. The bulk of Schusterman giving is centered on Birthright Israel, Jewish charities, and child-focused programs in Tulsa. Young people and the Jewish community are at the heart of foundation giving.
Schusterman’s Tulsa grantmaking is committed to providing children with safe, secure, and supportive upbringings by stopping abuse, good education, and self-sufficiency. The foundation has supported Tulsa organizations and projects that do the following:
- Develop wide-ranging solutions to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect;
- Directly reduce the number of children affected by abuse or neglect;
- Provide safe, supportive environments for children and families affected by abuse or neglect; and
- Provide service opportunities and leadership development training for teens.
Check out the Local Initiatives page of the foundation website for the most up-to-date information.
Although this is a prominent education funder, Schusterman’s public education support has a national focus. Schusterman invests in the nationwide education reform movement to improve district and charter schools and education policy. The Jewish Community focus area has an even broader national and global focus. Engagement, service, and inclusivity are the key concepts behind Schusterman’s Jewish support.
Today, Charles Schusterman’s widow, Lynn, is worth an estimated $3.1 billion. She founded several other philanthropic initiatives like the ROI Community and the Jerusalem Season of Culture. And she’s also committed to giving at least half of her wealth to philanthropy by signing the Giving Pledge. At the end of a recent year, the foundation reported over $2.2 billion in assets and over $69 million in total giving.
Unfortunately for grantseekers, the Schusterman Family Foundation does not accept any unsolicited grant applications or proposals for funding. The foundation is currently looking to deepen its impact rather than just broadening it. However, the Schusterman staff still wants to hear your ideas. You can complete the foundation’s online contact form to pitch your program and share your vision. You can also follow the foundation on Twitter.
- Sanford R. Cardin, President
- Michael Dupont, Tulsa-based Program Associate
- Alana Hughes, Tulsa-based Chief Operating Officer
- Dennis Neill, Tulsa-based Senior Program Officer