Scherman Foundation

This is a logo for The Scherman Foundation.



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $5,405,382
Expenses: $7,828,719
Assets: $100,688,391




Public policy advocacy

Community organizing


Matt Pratt

Board Chair:

Karen R. Sollins

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The Scherman Foundation is a left-of-center foundation based in New York City. The foundation focuses its giving in the areas of public policy advocacy and community organizing, predominantly to left-of-center causes and left-leaning constituencies. The foundation has six program areas: Arts, Environment, Governmental Transparency and Accountability, Human Rights and Liberties, Reproductive Rights and Justice, and Strengthening New York Communities. 1  According to the organization’s 2017 tax return, the foundation’s assets were valued in excess of $100,000,000. 2

History & Funding

The Scherman Foundation was founded by Harry Scherman in 1941. 3 During Scherman’s nearly 30-year tenure as the organization’s chief executive, the foundation provided support to organizations such as the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. 4 The founder’s family has predominantly maintained control throughout the foundation’s history, with several early bequests significantly increasing the foundation’s capacity for grantmaking. 5 Scherman was succeeded by his daughter’s husband, Axel Rosin, in 1969, who was succeeded by his daughter and the foundation’s current board chair, Karen R. Sollins, in 1993. 6


The foundation is currently operated by the organization’s board and small internal staff. Staff include president Mike Pratt, program director Alexa Aviles, director of operations Catherine Porter, and grants and communications manager Naiche Parker. 7 Board members include Karen R. Sollins, Susanna Bergtold, Rini Banerjee, Amy Bergtold, Hillary Brown, Miriam Buhl, Steven K. Choi, David R. Jones, Gordon Litwin, Miles Rapoport, and Marianna Schaffer. 8Advocacy Grantmaking


The foundation currently provides funding for several pro-abortion advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Reproductive Freedom Project ($75,000); Advocates for Youth ($50,000); California Latinas for Reproductive Justice ($40,000); Center for Reproductive Rights ($60,000); Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at UC Berkeley School of Law ($45,000); Forward Together ($45,000); Funders for Reproductive Equity ($4,375); Girls for Gender Equity ($45,000); If/When/How ($50,000); Medical Students for Choice ($40,000); National Abortion Federation ($27,500); National Advocates for Pregnant Women ($60,000); National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum ($50,000); National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health ($55,000); National Women’s Health Network ($55,000); New Voices for Reproductive Justice ($45,000); Rewire ($40,000); SisterSong ($45,000); Physicians for Reproductive Health ($50,000); URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity ($50,000); West Virginia Free (stylized WV Free) ($55,000); and Young Women United ($40,000). 9


  1. “History and Mission.” The Scherman Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2019.
  2. The Scherman Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Section I.
  3. “History and Mission.” The Scherman Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2019.
  4. “History and Mission.” The Scherman Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2019.
  5. “History and Mission.” The Scherman Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2019.
  6. “History and Mission.” The Scherman Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2019.
  7. “Staff.” The Scherman Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2019.
  8. “Board of Directors.” The Scherman Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2019.
  9. “Reproductive Rights and Justice.” The Scherman Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2019.

Donation Recipients

  1. 1Sky (Non-profit)
  2. (National) (Non-profit)
  3. Advocates for Youth (AFY) (Non-profit)
  4. African Communities Together (Non-profit)
  5. ALIGN: Alliance for a Greater New York (Non-profit)
  6. Alliance for Justice (AFJ) (Non-profit)
  7. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (Non-profit)
  8. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation (Non-profit)
  9. Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) (Non-profit)
  10. Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (Other Group)
  11. Brandworkers International (Non-profit)
  12. Building Equity and Alignment Impact (BEAI) Fund (Non-profit)
  13. Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) (Non-profit)
  14. Center For Reproductive Rights (Non-profit)
  15. Ceres (Non-profit)
  16. Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) (Non-profit)
  17. Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund (Non-profit)
  18. Climate Parents (Non-profit)
  19. Communities United for Police Reform (Non-profit)
  20. Community Voices Heard (Non-profit)
  21. Conservation Law Foundation (Non-profit)
  22. Demos (Non-profit)
  23. Earthjustice (Non-profit)
  24. Earthworks (Non-profit)
  25. El Puente de Williamsburg (Non-profit)
  26. Electronic Privacy Information Center (Non-profit)
  27. Environment America (Non-profit)
  28. Environmental Advocates of New York (Non-profit)
  29. Environmental Grantmakers Association (Non-profit)
  30. Faith in New York (Non-profit)
  31. Fifth Avenue Committee (Non-profit)
  32. Forward Together (Non-profit)
  33. Friends of the Earth (Non-profit)
  34. Fund for Constitutional Government (Non-profit)
  35. Funders for Reproductive Equity (Non-profit)
  36. Government Accountability Project (GAP) (Non-profit)
  37. Greenpeace Fund (Non-profit)
  38. Human Rights First (Non-profit)
  39. Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (Non-profit)
  40. Labor Network for Sustainability (For-profit)
  41. LatinoJustice PRLDEF (Non-profit)
  42. League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (LCVEF) (Non-profit)
  43. Legal Aid Society of New York (Non-profit)
  44. Make the Road New York (MRNY) (Non-profit)
  45. Medical Students for Choice (Non-profit)
  46. National Abortion Federation (NAF) (Non-profit)
  47. National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) (Non-profit)
  48. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  49. National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (Non-profit)
  50. National Wildlife Federation (Non-profit)
  51. National Women’s Health Network (Non-profit)
  52. New Economy Project (Non-profit)
  53. New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation (Non-profit)
  54. New York Foundation (Non-profit)
  55. New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) (Non-profit)
  56. New York Lawyers for Public Interest (Non-profit)
  57. Oregon Environmental Council (Non-profit)
  58. Physicians For Reproductive Health (Non-profit)
  59. Project On Government Oversight (POGO) (Non-profit)
  60. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) (Non-profit)
  61. Rewire.News (formerly RH Reality Check) (Non-profit)
  62. SisterSong (Non-profit)
  63. Solar One (Non-profit)
  64. Sunrise Movement Education Fund (Non-profit)
  65. Taxpayers for Common Sense (Non-profit)
  66. Transportation Alternatives (Non-profit)
  67. Tri-State Transportation Campaign (Non-profit)
  68. Trust for Public Land (Non-profit)
  69. Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) (Non-profit)
  70. UPROSE (Non-profit)
  71. Urban Green Council/USGBC New York Chapter (Non-profit)
  72. URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (Non-profit)
  73. Western Resource Advocates (Non-profit)
  74. World Resources Institute (WRI) (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1943

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form PF $5,405,382 $7,828,719 $100,688,391 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $10,198,612 $7,111,498 $103,111,728 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $3,183,886 $5,575,830 $93,933,357 $5,155 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $9,376,611 $3,702,806 $96,321,768 $1,622 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $8,587,555 $3,729,147 $90,647,961 $1,620 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Scherman Foundation

    16 E 52ND ST STE 601
    NEW YORK, NY 10022-5306