Bohemian Foundation is a private foundation based in Fort Collins, Colorado, that conducts grantmaking in local communities in four main program categories: community, music, global, and civic. It was founded in 2001 by medical device heiress Pat Stryker, a major donor to left-of-center causes. Stryker helped form the Colorado Democracy Alliance, the state-level predecessor and model for the national Democracy Alliance liberal donor consortium.
The foundation takes its name from the “bohemian movement” of 19th century Europe. That movement practiced an unconventional lifestyle, with few permanent ties, often involving pursuits in literacy, music, or art.
The foundation focused initially on the arts before adding programs to support organizations working on left-of-center policy and activism in 2015. It now splits its financial efforts evenly among those four core pursuits.
Although Bohemian makes contributions to local, nonpolitical 501(c)(3) organizations in the Denver area, such as the Colorado Non-Profit Development Center, Denver Scholarship Foundation, and Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, the foundation has also contributed sizable grants to progressive political groups. Donations listed on its IRS Form 990 for 2014 include $50,000 to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, $200,000 to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, $200,000 to Media Matters for America, and $100,000 to the William J. Brennan, Jr. Center for Justice.
Cheryl Zimlich serves as executive director. She also serves on the board of directors along with her husband, Joe Zimlich, and the organization’s founder, Pat Stryker.
Joe Zimlich has been a consigliere (close aide) for Stryker for many years, and has served as CEO of Stryker’s for-profit Bohemian Companies. In addition to his roles with Bohemian, Zimlich has served on the boards of ProgressNow and the controversial government-supported green energy firm Abound Solar.
Pat Stryker ranked 264th on the Forbes 400 list of billionaires as of December 7, 2016, with a net worth of $2.6 billion. She inherited a large percentage of Stryker Corporation, a medical equipment supplier with nearly $10 billion in annual sales, from her grandfather Homer. Stryker has personally contributed millions to support Democrats and liberal candidates in Colorado and nationally.
Bohemian Foundation reported revenue of $25,946,363 and expenses of $10,745,578 on its IRS Form 990 for 2014, giving it an excess of $15,200,785 for the year. Stryker contributed 70,000 shares of Stryker Corporation stock valued at $5,586,700 to the organization in 2014.
Bohemian Foundation reported revenue of $25,393,323 and expenses of $10,745, 578 on its IRS Form 990 for 2016, giving it an excess of $12,563,740 for the year.