NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Schoepflin Investment Company; entrepreneur and investor
FUNDING AREAS: Environment, Education & Youth, Media
OVERVIEW: Hans Schöepflin launched the Panta Rhea Foundation in 2001, a family foundation which strives to create social change by supporting a broad spectrum of projects, including the environment; youth, arts, and education; corporate and market campaigns; and alternative media. In Germany, meanwhile, he launched the Schöepflin Foundation.
BACKGROUND: Hans W. Schöepflin studied in France and in the United States. He’s worked as a businessman and investor and is founder and president of Schoepflin Investment Company.
PANTA RHEA FOUNDATION: As one of Schoepflin’s earliest moves, he supported a campaign that fought the privatization of an aquifer in the Mojave Desert. Since then, Panta Rhea’s grantmaking has supported individual and organizational changemakers in California, nationally and internationally through various initiatives and strategies including “water governance, environmental health, youth leadership development, corporate accountability, project-based and arts-integrated education, creative arts and social change, investigative journalism and public media reporting, food justice, capacity building, and much more.” In 2015, Panta Rhea started to transition from a founder-driven organization to an institutional, board-stewarded one. The foundation’s board has expanded and will eventually become a non-family majority. In addition, Schoepflin’s youngest daughter is now board chair.
Panta Rhea’s Deeper Learning & Creativity Program is guided by “a vision of public education as a foundation for building democratic skills and practice, and as one that is inclusive and equitable for the diversity of learners who are our nation’s students.” Grantees have included California Alliance for Arts Education, 826 Valencia, and National Public Education Support Fund. Its Dignity, Freedom & Solidarity Program, meanwhile, is” a cross-program strategic initiative focused on community organizing, mobilization and advocacy for a just society for all.” The program is also interested in independent media and investigative journalism. Grantees have included Democracy Now, Color of Change, and National Domestic Workers Alliance. The Food & Democracy Program “holds a vision of food systems that foster thriving communities, promote dignity and equity, and regenerate natural resources.” Grantees have included Agroecology Fund, Los Angeles Food Policy Council, Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, and Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center.
SCHOEPFLIN FOUNDATION: The Schöpflin Foundation in Germany works in the areas of education, health and civil society and is “committed to helping young people and future generations create a self-reliant life for themselves.”
LOOKING FORWARD: Panta Rhea runs a dynamic grantmaking operation. Its active website is an important resource in keeping tabs on its changing giving strategy.
The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals but can be contacted at the address below:
Panta Rhea Foundation
1505 Bridgeway Suite 127
Sausalito, CA 94965
Fax (415) 331-0707