The Schooner Foundation is a nonprofit, private foundation established in 1996 by Vincent Ryan, the multimillionaire investment manager responsible for Schooner Capital. The Foundation focuses on progressive grantmaking to left-of-center organizations in areas such as campaign finance regulation, environmentalist energy, and left-progressive judicial policy.
In 2017 alone, the Schooner Foundation disbursed $9,099,896 in grants to various nonprofit organizations.  The Foundation provided grants to nonprofits in a range of issue areas, including education, healthcare, electoral procedures, environmentalist energy, and criminal justice. The Foundation gave nearly a third of these grants to schools and universities, totaling $2,913,539 in 2017. 
The Schooner Foundation provides grants to numerous left-of-center social issue organizations, ranging from criminal justice to healthcare. In addition to providing grants in specific issue areas, the Schooner Foundation gave a $100,000 grant to the Tides Foundation in 2017.  The Tides Foundation is a left-of-center grantmaking organization to which individuals can provide donations, then the Tides Foundation redirects the funding to another organization chosen by the donor or its advisory board. 
The Foundation has offered numerous grants to hospitals and other healthcare organizations, with grants to health causes totaling $1,968,569. Most of these grants were given to international health development programs, including $100,000 to Nyaya Health and $750,000 to Seed Global Health Inc for the purpose of developing community-based healthcare delivery systems.  The Schooner Foundation also gave substantial grants to domestic health organizations, including $589,569 to the RYR-1 Foundation, $250,000 to Massachusetts General Hospital, and $169,000 to DotHouse Health Inc.  DotHouse focuses on providing health services to uninsured patients, including “emergency contraceptive” care.  The Schooner Foundation has openly supported abortion, giving $10,000 to Planned Parenthood of Middle and Eastern Tennessee in 2017. 
The Foundation has also been active in promoting left-of-center criminal justice reform, giving $20,000 to the ACLU Foundation of Tennessee and $200,023 to the left-of-center legal think tank Brennan Center for Justice in 2017. 
The Schooner Foundation has also given numerous grants to left-of-center organizations which focus on wealth redistribution by tax increases on wealthy and middle-class Americans, including a $100,011 grant to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and $500,000 to Dream Corps. 
In recent years, the Schooner Foundation has become increasingly involved in the environmentalism movement, offering $675,000 in grants to environmentalist organizations in 2017 alone. Several of these grants focused on efforts to conserve oceans, including $300,000 to the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA). 
In 2017, the Foundation gave $10,000 to the Global Greengrants Fund and $125,000 to Conservation International, both left-of-center environmentalist activism groups. Global Greengrants gives micro-grants to fund community-based efforts to combat climate change, claiming to provide solutions for “environmental harm and social injustice.”  Conservation International is a research firm which uses environmental research to justify large scale environmental intervention by the government. 
Media and Community Organizing
Aside from providing grants in specific issue areas, the Schooner Foundation has provided funding for various left-of-center organizing and media organizations.
In 2017, the Schooner Foundation gave $100,000 to American Oversight, a left-of-center watchdog organization which launched in March 2017 and conducts opposition research investigating the Trump administration using the Freedom of Information Act.   The Foundation also provided $75,000 to the Center for Community Change, an organization which facilitates grassroots organizing for left-of-center policies ranging from immigration reform to the expansion of social welfare programs.  
The Schooner Foundation also promotes left-of-center ideology in media. In 2017, the Foundation gave $200,000 to the Foundation for National Progress, the organization which publishes left-wing Mother Jones magazine.   That same year, the Foundation gave $10,000 to the Nation Institute, now known as Type Media Center.  The Foundation also gave $100,011 to Brave New Films, a left-of-center filmmaking nonprofit that creates documentaries to promote left-of-center ideals in areas such as gun control, voting reform, and economic inequality.  
People and Funding
The Schooner Foundation is a private family foundation funded primarily by investments in Iron Mountain Inc, an information management company, and other investments organized by Schooner Capital. 
Vin Ryan is the founder and primary trustee of the Schooner Foundation. He is the chairman of private equity firm Schooner Capital, which he founded in 1971.  Ryan has served on numerous boards for left-of-center advocacy groups, including the Nature Conservancy, Brave New Films, and Physicians for Human Rights.  Carla Meyer, Ryan’s wife, is also listed as a trustee of the Foundation.  Meyer is a social worker and philanthropist who also serves on the Boston University Board of Trustees.  Their children are also listed as trustees for the Schooner Foundation.