Non-profit

Schumann Media Center

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

22-6044214

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $2,985,885
Expenses: $4,452,279
Assets: $25,993,636

Formation:

1963

President:

Bill D. Moyers

President’s Compensation:

Gross Salary: $150,000

The Schumann Media Center (formerly the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy and the Florence and John J. Schumann Jr. Foundation) is a private foundation that gives large grants to various left-of-center nonprofits, particularly those in media.

The organizations that have received the most in grants from the Media Center are the Sustainable Markets Foundation, Democracy Now, and TYPE Media Center (formerly the Nation Institute).

The Schumann Media Center was founded in 1961 as the Florence and John J. Schumann, Jr. Foundation by Florence Ford Schumann and John J. Schumann, Jr. John Schumann was a former president of the General Motors Acceptance Corporation, now known as Ally Financial. Ford was the heiress to her father’s fortune, one of the original founders of IBM. [1]

Initially, their Foundation was apolitical, opting instead to help their local community of Montclair, New Jersey, through donations to health and education providers.After the 1964 death of John Schumann, however, the family brought trustees to help with the Foundation’s operations; the trustees then made “community development” another priority, with a focus on local left-of-center nonprofits. [2]

Through the decades, the Foundation gradually widened its charitable scope to include national and international public policy, culminating in an organizational division in the late 1980s: the Schumann Fund for New Jersey, which would continue New Jersey-based grantmaking, and the new Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. [3]

In 1990, as Ford aged—she passed away months later, in early 1991—PBS broadcaster and former White House Press Secretary to President Lyndon Johnson Bill Moyers was appointed the Schumann Center’s president, a position that he continues to hold as of August 2019. [4]

Under Moyers’ leadership, the Media Center was a substantial funder of many left-of-center media outlets, including the American Prospect, Washington Monthly, and the Center for Public Integrity. [5]

Present Funding Activities

The Schumann Media Center funds a variety of left-of-center nonprofits, spanning charitable objectives of education, media, and liberal activism.

The Sustainable Markets Foundation receives the most funding from the Center, having received nearly $1.5 million in grants from 2015-2017.

Other frequent funding targets over that time period were The Nation Institute (now rebranded TYPE Media Center) ($426,000), Democracy Now ($714,674), and Common Cause ($200,000). [6]

Leadership

Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers has been president of the Schumann Media Center since 1990. Before he retired as a PBS broadcaster, he was accused by some, including the left-of-center and now-defunct Boston Phoenix of “focus[ing] favorable [broadcasting] attention on organizations to which the Schumann Foundation has given millions of dollars.” [7] Moyers had spotlighted groups that he had given nearly $5 million of grants to on his show, “Now with Bill Moyers.” [8]

Moyers was also critiqued for providing ample funding to the now-defunct TomPaine.com, a left-of-center blogging site that was operated by his son, John Moyers, who was also closely involved with the Schumann Center at the time through an aligned group, the Florence Fund. [9]

In 2017, Bill Moyers drew a salary of $150,000. [10]

Other Officers

Two of Schumann’s children, Robert Ford Schumann and W. Ford Schumann, still hold trustee positions with the Media Center.

Treasurer Yuka Nishino, Vice President Michael J. Johnston, Chair Joan Konner, and Secretary Beth Yingling all draw salaries, with Nishino making $140,596, while the others receive $25,000. [11]

Finances

The most recent publicly available filings from 2017 show total revenues of $3,103,395 and total expenses of $4,788,924. [12]

Most of the Schumann Center’s revenues come from its investments and the sale of assets.

References

  1. “John J. Schumann Jr., 74, Dies; Former President of G.M.A.C.” The New York Times. August 13, 1964. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/1964/08/13/archives/john-j-schumann-jr-74-dies-former-president-of-gmac.html. ^
  2. “History.” Schumann Fund for New Jersey. Accessed August 13, 2019. http://fdnweb.org/schumann/about/. ^
  3. “History.” Schumann Fund for New Jersey. Accessed August 13, 2019. http://fdnweb.org/schumann/about/.Florence Fund ^
  4. “Florence F. Schumann, A Philanthropist, 99.” The New York Times. February 26, 1991. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/1991/02/26/obituaries/florence-f-schumann-a-philanthropist-99.html. ^
  5. [1] Hagey, Keach. “Liberal Journalism’s Fickle Godfather.” POLITICO. July 01, 2011. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2011/07/liberal-journalisms-fickle-godfather-058180. ^
  6. “Schumann Media Center 990s.” Guidestar.org. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/22-6044214. ^
  7. “Moyers Family Values.” Washington Examiner. February 19, 2006. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/weekly-standard/moyers-family-values. ^
  8. Bozell, Brent, and Tim Graham. “Media Scandals on the Left.” Townhall. January 05, 2006. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://townhall.com/columnists/brentbozellandtimgraham/2006/01/05/media-scandals-on-the-left-n948653. ^
  9. “Moyers Family Values.” Washington Examiner. February 19, 2006. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/weekly-standard/moyers-family-values. ^
  10. “Schumann Media Center 990s.” Guidestar.org. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/22-6044214. ^
  11. “Schumann Media Center 990s.” Guidestar.org. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/22-6044214. ^
  12. “Schumann Media Center 990s.” Guidestar.org. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/22-6044214. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Bill Moyers
    President/Trustee
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1963

  • 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 $2,985,885 $4,452,279 $25,993,636 $967,117 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $3,506,561 $4,246,578 $28,636,821 $303,343 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $2,680,386 $3,263,199 $31,006,182 $321,520 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $1,041,782 $4,258,474 $29,034,683 $932,571 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $798,526 $3,997,368 $29,714,640 $1,120,909 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Schumann Media Center

    250 W 57TH STREET
    NEW YORK, NY 10107-0001