Non-profit

Sherwood Foundation

Website:

www.sherwoodfoundation.org

Location:

OMAHA, NE

Tax ID:

47-0824755

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $154,869,317
Expenses: $162,001,259
Assets: $256,179,778

The Sherwood Foundation (SF) is a Omaha, Nebraska-based 501(c)(3) grantmaking foundation founded and chaired by Susan A. Buffet, the daughter of billionaire investor and left-wing donor Warren Buffet. [1] [2] Sherwood Foundation assets were $376,758,547 in 2018 and the foundation provided $147,538,375 in grants in 2018. [3]

Sherwood Foundation focuses most of its contributions on Nebraska-based social, cultural, community, and educational organizations but also exhibits a left-leaning political orientation. SF states that its grantmaking promotes left-of-center social policy and expects recipients of SF donations to have similar values, specifically support for abortion. [4]

The SF donated tens of thousands to the Clinton Foundation, affiliated with former US President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. SF donated $1 million to support anti-gun-rights protests in 2018, and contributes to social liberal groups including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. [5] [6]

Sherwood Foundation supports the OpenSky Policy Institute, which focuses on promoting left-of-center budget and tax policies in the state of Nebraska. The OpenSky Policy Institute is a member of the State Priorities Partnership, a coalition of left-of-center, state-based advocacy groups active in 43 states. [7]

The SF contributed over $200,000 in 2018 to Nebraskans for Civic Reform’s (now Civic Nebraska) efforts to allow convicted felons in Nebraska to be immediately eligible to vote upon release from prison. Nebraska law currently requires released felons to wait two years before having their voting rights restored. [8] [9]

History

The Sherwood Foundation was founded in 1999[10] by Susan A. Buffett as the Susan A. Buffet Foundation with a donation of $1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock from her father, Warren Buffett. [11]  In 2006 the foundation received another $1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock donated by Warren Buffett. [12] The foundation moved to its current Omaha offices in 2017. [13]

In 2020, the Sherwood Foundation was one of the key recipients of a $15.97 million gift of Berkshire Hathaway stock from Warren Buffett. [14]

People

Susan A. Buffett, Chair

In addition to chairing the SF, Susan A. Buffet is on numerous other nonprofit boards and commissions, including the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, and ONE (a national anti-poverty nonprofit). She is also a member of the Omaha Airport Authority. [15]

Buffet, like her father, donates substantial sums to the Democratic Party and its candidates. [16] In 2016, Buffett was listed by the Center for Responsive Politics as one of “1,129 elites (that) are directing at least $112,300,000 for Clinton’s election efforts — money that has gone into the coffers of her campaign as well as the Democratic National Committee.” [17]

Putnam is managing attorney at the Omaha, Nebraska-based law firm, Baird Holm LLP. [18]

Allen Greenberg, Member

Greenberg is the former husband of Susan A. Buffett, from whom he was divorced in 1995. He is currently an attorney for Public Citizen, a liberal 501(c)(4) lobbying and advocacy organization created by left-wing activist and former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Greenberg is also president of the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, another Buffett-family controlled grantmaking organization. [19]

Wallace Weitz, Member

Weitz is Chief Financial Officer of Oklahoma-based Weitz Investment Management and the founder of the private, charitable Weitz Family Foundation. [20][21] Weitz has donated tens of thousands to the Democratic Party and Democratic Party candidates for office. [22]

In 2008, Weitz and Warren Buffett were the two largest donors to Nebraskans United, a ballot question committee established to protect Nebraska government’s use of racial-preference policies in government employment, contracting and public college admissions. [23] Nebraskans United formed to oppose the Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative, also known as Initiative 424, which collected signatures to place a proposed state constitutional amendment on the 2008 election ballot. The proposal would prohibit Nebraska political subdivisions from discriminating against, or giving preferential treatment to, any person or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. [24]

Weitz contributed $50,000 to Nebraskans United’s unsuccessful efforts to defeat Initiative 424 and maintain Nebraska governments’ ability to use affirmative action programs that grant preferences based on race and gender. Nebraskans United allegedly used controversial “blocking” tactics to make it difficult for Initiative 424 petitioners to gather signatures for the proposal. Nebraskans United’s paid advertisements discouraging citizens from supporting the initiative were criticized as deceptive. [25]

Roberta Wilhelm, Member

Wilhelm is executive director of Girls, Inc. – a Nebraska-based nonprofit that helps girls. [26] She is a donor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign[27] and has arranged prominent, primarily left-aligned speakers at Girls, Inc. functions, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, former First Ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton. [28]

Jerry Bexten, Director of Education

Brexten is a board member of the left-of-center OpenSky Policy Institute.   He was a donor to Nebraska Democratic Party candidate Bob Kerrey’s 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate. [29][30]

Kristin Williams, Director of Community Initiatives

Williams donated to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2015. [31] She a board member of 75 North, a Nebraska, Omaha-based redevelopment nonprofit. [32]

Matthew Rezac, Director of Rural Community Partnerships

Rezac is a former lobbyist and community organizer. [33] He donated to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. [34]

References

  1. Henican, Ellis. “Giving it Away: The Other Buffett Family Business”. Barron’s. June 18, 2018. Accessed November 25, 2019.  https://www.barrons.com/articles/giving-it-away-the-other-buffett-family-business-1529294491 ^
  2. Foundation Directory Online. “The Sherwood Foundation”. Last Updated: 10/01/2019.  Accessed November 25, 2019. https://fconline.foundationcenter.org/fdo-grantmaker-profile?key=BUFF016 ^
  3. Internal Revenue Service. IRS Form 990-PF 2018. “The Sherwood Foundation”. Guidestar.org. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/470/824/2018-470824755-10e309fa-F.pdf ^
  4. The Sherwood Foundation. Sherwoodfoundation.org. “About Us”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://sherwoodfoundation.org/about-us/ ^
  5. Grantmakers.io. Sherwood Foundation. Tax Year 2018. IRS Form 990-PF.  Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.grantmakers.io/profiles/v0/470824755-sherwood-foundation/?page=2 ^
  6. Ursch, Blake. “New Equality Fund aims to benefit LGBTQIA Omahans with up to $200,000 in grant funding”. Omaha World-Herald. June 30, 2018. Accessed November 25, 2019.  https://www.omaha.com/lifestyles/new-equality-fund-aims-to-benefit-lgbtqia-omahans-with-up/article_c9b4d296-05a4-5ab5-8b0f-5ea7acd1b9e5.html ^
  7. Grantmakers.io. Sherwood Foundation. Tax Year 2018. IRS Form 990-PF. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.grantmakers.io/profiles/v0/470824755-sherwood-foundation/?page=2 ^
  8. Civic Nebraska. Civicnebraska.org. “Issue Summary: Voting Rights for Former Felons”. Updated January 16, 2019. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.civicnebraska.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2019-LB83-issue-summary.pdf ^
  9. Grantmakers.io. Sherwood Foundation. Tax Year 2018. IRS Form 990-PF. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.grantmakers.io/profiles/v0/470824755-sherwood-foundation/?page=2 ^
  10. Foundation Directory Online. “The Sherwood Foundation”. Last Updated: 10/01/2019. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://fconline.foundationcenter.org/fdo-grantmaker-profile?key=BUFF016 ^
  11. Henican, Ellis. “Giving it Away: The Other Buffett Family Business”. Barron’s. June 18, 2018. Accessed November 25, 2019.  https://www.barrons.com/articles/giving-it-away-the-other-buffett-family-business-1529294491 ^
  12. Bailey, Jeff. “Buffett Children Emerge as a Force in Charity”. The New York Times. July 2, 2006. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/business/02buffettkids.html?pagewanted=all ^
  13. Gonzalez, Cindy. “Susie Buffett will relocate offices from Kiewit Plaza to Conagra campus”. Omaha World-Herald. April 6, 2017. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.omaha.com/money/susie-buffett-will-relocate-offices-from-kiewit-plaza-to-conagra/article_53fc0631-de47-50d8-8614-aa19042329a9.html ^
  14. Tanoria, Yuvika. “Warren Buffett donated Berkshire shares worth $2.9 billion to charities.” Finance Rewind. 2020. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://financerewind.com/news/warren-buffett-donated-berkshire-shares-worth-2-9-billion-to-charities/ ^
  15. ONE. One.org. “About ONE”. “Leadership”. “Susan A. Buffett”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.one.org/us/person/susan-a-buffett/ ^
  16. Center For Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Donor Lookup”. “Susan Buffett”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=susan+buffett ^
  17. Center For Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Hillary Clinton’s Bundlers”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/bundlers ^
  18. Linkedin. “Richard Putnam”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-putnam-18350746 ^
  19. Bailey, Jeff. “Buffett Children Emerge as a Force in Charity.” The New York Times. July 01, 2006. Accessed December 13, 2019. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/business/02buffettkids.html ^
  20. Weitz Investment Management. Weitzinvestments.com. “About”. “Our Team”. “Wallace Weitz, CFA”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://weitzinvestments.com/our_people/teams_23/default.fs ^
  21. Weitz Family Foundation. Weitzfamilyfoundation.org. “Who we are”. Accessed November 25, 2019. http://weitzfamilyfoundation.org/whoweare/ ^
  22. Center For Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Donor Lookup”. “Wallace Weitz”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=WALLACE+WEITZ ^
  23. Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. Campaign Finance. Candidate and Ballot Question Committees. “Nebraskans United”. Schedule A. Accessed November 25, 2019. http://www.nadc.nebraska.gov/ccdb/search.cgi?page=formb1a&IDNO=08BQC00186&OFFREC=10/27/2008&REPORT_ID=4783 ^
  24. Ballotpedia. “Nebraska Civil Rights, Measure 424 (2008)”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://ballotpedia.org/Nebraska_Civil_Rights,_Measure_424_(2008) ^
  25. Ross, Timberly. “Ads against push for affirmative action petition attract criticism”. The Columbus Telegram. June 17, 2008. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://columbustelegram.com/news/local/ads-against-push-for-affirmative-action-petition-attract-criticism/article_ae3deb1d-762a-5b10-bc9a-01875834c9b9.html ^
  26. Girls Incorporated of Omaha. Girlsincomaha.org. “About”. “Staff and Board”. “Staff”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://girlsincomaha.org/staff/ ^
  27. Center For Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Donor Lookup”. “Roberta Wilhelm”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=ROBERTA+WILHELM ^
  28. Biga, Leo Adam. “Alone or together, Omaha power couple Vic Gutman and Roberta Wilhelm give back to the community”. Leo Adam Biga’s My Inside Stories. September 29, 2014.  Accessed November 25, 2019. https://leoadambiga.com/2014/09/29/alone-or-together-omaha-power-couple-vic-gutman-and-roberta-wilhelm-give-back-to-the-community/ ^
  29. OpenSky Policy Institute. Openskypolicy.org. “About Us”. “Board of Directors”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.openskypolicy.org/about-us/board-of-directors ^
  30. Center For Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Donor Lookup”. “Jerry Brexten”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=JERRY+BEXTEN ^
  31. Center For Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Donor Lookup”. “Kristin Williams”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=KRISTIN+WILLIAMS ^
  32. 75 North. Seventyfivenorth.org. News. “A Chat with Board Member Kristin Williams”. February 2, 2015. Accessed November 25, 2019. http://www.seventyfivenorth.org/news/2014/12/10/a-chat-with-kristin-williams ^
  33. Linkedin. “Matthew Rezac”. Accessed November 25, 2019.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-rezac-25a831195 ^
  34. Center For Responsive Politics. Opensecrets.org. “Donor Lookup”. “Matthew Rezac”. Accessed November 25, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=MATTHEW+REZAC ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Susan A. Buffett
    Founder and Board Chair
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 1999

  • 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 $154,869,317 $162,001,259 $256,179,778 $57,841,961 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $152,369,251 $102,461,118 $264,431,089 $36,187,297 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $145,470,263 $130,073,686 $184,904,318 $39,145,529 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $56,818,641 $70,607,801 $139,631,774 $14,512,496 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $53,560,626 $59,994,681 $139,013,365 $7,870,873 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Sherwood Foundation

    3555 FARNAM STREET
    OMAHA, NE 68131-3311