The Scherman Foundation was established in 1941 by Harry Scherman, founder of the Book-of-the-Month Club, as a small family foundation. Since its inception, the Scherman Foundation has made more than 6,400 grants whose aggregate value exceeds $100 million. Its principal funding interests include the environment, human rights and liberties, peace and security, reproductive rights and services, the arts, and social welfare. Funding is concentrated on groups that promote leftist agendas in each of these areas.
The Scherman Foundation’s 2004 grants were apportioned as follows: $568,000 to the arts; $830,000 to environmental groups; $490,000 to human rights and liberties groups; $270,000 to “peace and security” groups; $460,000 for “reproductive rights and services”; $1,472,500 for social welfare; and $248,500 for miscellaneous recipients.
The Scherman Foundation is a member organization of both the Peace and Security Funders Groupand the International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG); the latter is a network of more than six-dozen grantmakers dedicated to funding leftist groups and causes.
Sandra Silverman, President and Executive Director of the Scherman Foundation, has in recent years contributed money to the political campaigns of John Kerry, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Ted Kennedy. In 2005 she was a signatory to a Statement reaffirming support for the resolutions of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt. At the ICPD, representatives from nations around the world “committed to an action plan to ensure universal access to reproductive health information and services, uphold fundamental human rights including sexual and reproductive rights, alleviate poverty, secure gender equality, and protect the environment.”
Among the many recent recipients of Scherman Foundation grants are the following organizations: ACORN (New York); Alliance for Justice; the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center; the Brennan Center for Justice; Catholics for a Free Choice; the Center for Community Change; the Center for Constitutional Rights; the Center for Reproductive Rights; the Council on Foundations; Earthjustice; Environmental Defense Fund; the Feminist Majority Foundation; Friends of the Earth; Greenpeace International; Human Rights First; Human Rights Watch; the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; the National Abortion Federation; the National Women’s Law Center; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Neighborhood Funders Group; the New Israel Fund; the Peace Action Education Fund; the Peace and Security Funders Group; People For the American Way; Physicians for Social Responsibility; the Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Population Connection; the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Sierra Club Foundation; the Tides Foundation and Tides Center; Trust for Public Land; Union of Concerned Scientists; U.S. PIRG Education Fund; and the World Wildlife Fund.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Scherman Foundation, click here.