Stoneman Family Foundation



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2014):

Revenue: $7,732,492
Expenses: $6,798,642
Assets: $104,264,750




Left-of-Center grant making Family Foundation


Elizabeth Deknatel and Alan Rottenberg

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The Stoneman Family Foundation was a left-of center grantmaking organization formed from the wealth created by the late Sidney Stoneman, an attorney, from business interests in General Cinema and various other businesses. 1

Originally, Stoneman intended to fund organizations supporting the Jewish faith, Boston-based charitable organizations, and other select interests of his. Gradually, it shifted into increased left-of-center advocacy support with its grants under an arrangement that allowed his two daughters to control one-half of the fund’s grants; over time it diminished focus on the Jewish faith and Boston and moved to the left in its grantmaking. 2

In 2016 the family dissolved the foundation, with 53% of its funds transferred to the newly established Chestnut Fund and 47% to the Limestone Foundation in an effort to mitigate family conflicts in the grantmaking process. 3


Sidney Stoneman made a career as an attorney and investor and vice chairman of the boards of General Cinema Corporation, Harcourt General, Shawmut Bank of Boston, Purity Supreme, and Donlevy’s Inc. He founded the Stoneman Family Foundation in 1959, reportedly as a way to honor the memory of his immigrant parents 4

The Stoneman Family Foundation originally made grants to advance the Jewish faith, Boston area organizations and select groups of interest to the founder. 5

The foundation gradually began funding left-of-center organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the environmentalist agriculture pressure group Western Organization of Resource Councils, the liberal ballot-initiative advocacy group Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, multi-issue liberal advocacy group State Voices, and the “dark money” funding conduit NEO Philanthropy. 6

Late in Sidney and Miriam Stoneman’s lives, the organization experienced conflicts amongst the family surrounding its grantmaking focus. 7 In 2016 the Stoneman Family Foundation was terminated with the proceeds divided to the left-of-center Chestnut Fund (53%), led by Jane Stein, and the left-of-center Limestone Foundation (47%), led by Elizabeth Deknatel, in recognition of the differing interests of Stoneman’s two daughters and their families. 8


Tax returns from 2015, the last year of its existence, lists assets of $111,458, 976, revenues of $7,762,882 and expenses of $8,177,297 including grants of $5,678,300.  $1,441,960 was expensed for other professional fees mostly associated with the breakup of the organization. 9

Directors and officers received no compensation or benefits from the foundation. 10


$500,000 and above

  •            Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – $1,913,300
  •            New Venture Fund – $525,000

$250,000 and above

  •            Washington Progress Fund – $350,000
  •            Mountain Association for Community Economic Development – $425,000
  •            The Maine Center for Economic Policy – $350,000
  •            State Voices – $300,000
  •            Planned Parenthood Federation of America – $265,000

$100,000 and above

  •            Montana Budget and Policy Center – $150,000
  •            Public Works-the Center for the Public Sector – $100,000
  •            Center for Popular Democracy – $100,000
  •            Connecticut Voices for Children – $125,000
  •            Montana Human Rights Network – $100,000
  •            The Urban Institute – $150,000


  1. “Samuel Sidney Stoneman.” Accessed November 25, 2019.
  2. Ellsworth, Frank L., and Joseph Lumarda. From Grantmaker to Leader: Emerging Strategies for Twenty-First Century Foundations. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003.
  3. Stoneman Family Foundation Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF) 2015 Statement 11
  4. “Samuel Sidney Stoneman.” Accessed November 25, 2019.
  5. “A Family Establishes a Statement of Legacy: the Stoneman Family Foundation.” NCFP. Accessed November 25, 2019.
  6. Stoneman Family Foundation Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF) 2015 Grants Paid.
  7. Kaplan, David. “View Miriam Stoneman’s Obituary on and Share Memories.” Miriam Stoneman Obituary – Boston, MA | Boston Globe. Accessed November 25, 2019.
  8. Stoneman Family Foundation Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form990-PF) 2015 Statement 11
  9. Stoneman Family Foundation Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF) 2015 Lines I, Part 1 lines 12, 26, 25, 16c.
  10. Stoneman Family foundation Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form990-PF) 2015, Line 13.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 1959

  • 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
    2014 Dec Form PF $7,732,492 $6,798,642 $104,264,750 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $6,665,876 $8,075,703 $103,738,185 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $7,373,641 $7,822,799 $104,903,316 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $-984,589 $9,018,326 $105,533,010 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Stoneman Family Foundation

    BOSTON, MA 02110-3331