Schooner Foundation

Schooner Foundation


* Assets: $163,668,200 (2017)
* Grants Received: $0 (2017)
* Grants Awarded: $9,099,896 (2017)

In 1996, businessman Vincent Ryan, founder of the Schooner Capital LLC investment company, created the Ryan Family Charitable Foundation (RFCF) to serve as his firm’s conduit for philanthropic giving. Eventually, RFCF changed its name to the Schooner Foundation (SF).

This progressive family foundation provides its grantees with funding for advocacy, capacity building, and technical assistance. Grant recipients are mostly left-wing organizations whose work is related to human rights, international peace and security, women and girls, economic opportunity, arts and museums, education, the environment, healthcare, higher education, and human services.

SF’s geographic areas of focus include North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Central/Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. But while the Foundation operates on a global scale, a large proportion of the grant money it awards is earmarked for recipients located in its home city of Boston, Massachusetts. SF’s grantmaking in the United States is heavily weighted toward such causes as progressive media, campaign finance reform, the green economy, and leftist initiatives in investigative reporting and judicial reform.

SF is a member organization of both the Peace and Security Funders Group and the International Human Rights Funders Group, the latter of which is a network of grantmakers dedicated to funding progressive groups and causes.

Noteworthy recipients of recent Schooner Foundation grants include the ACLU Foundation of Tennessee, the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, the Brennan Center for Justice, Center for Community Change, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Free Press, Grantmakers Without Borders, Green For All, Harvard UniversityHuman Rights Watch, the Hunt Alternatives Fund, the Institute for America’s Future, the J Street Education Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, Media Matters For America, The Nation Institute, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Nature Conservancy, the New Organizing Institute Education Fund, Physicians for Human RightsPlanned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, the Ploughshares Fund, The Progressive, the Proteus Fund, State Voices, the Tides Foundation and Tides Center, and USAction.

To view a list of additional key grantees of the Schooner Foundation, click here.

In addition to his work with the Foundation, SF founder Vincent Ryan has also served as advisory board chairman of the Carr Center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; board member and director of Continental Cablevision; chairman and director of Iron Mountain Inc.; trustee of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; director of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts; founder of National Hydro and Arch Mobile Communications; director of Physicians for Human Rights; director of Survivor Corps (formerly, Landmine Survivors Network); and board of associates member of the Whitehead Institute. Since SF’s inception, Ryan has played a large role in determining how the Foundation’s grants are allocated. His leftist political orientation is reflected in the fact that he has made hundreds of political contributions to Democrats such as Tammy Baldwin, Cory BookerSherrod Brown, Tom Daschle, Howard Dean, Chris Dodd, Al FrankenAlan GraysonTom HarkinTed KennedyJohn KerryBarack ObamaNancy PelosiKen SalazarBernie SandersCharles SchumerJoe SestakTom Udall, and Elizabeth Warren. He has also given money to organizations like Act Blue, the Council for a Livable WorldDemocracy For America, the League of Conservation, and Priorities USA.

(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)

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