Lois Stainman

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Lois Stainman is a left-of-center philanthropist. She is the wife of Arthur Stainman, a managing director at the asset management firm First Manhattan Company. They have contributed large amounts of money to numerous left-of-center advocacy organizations as well as Democratic political candidates and committees.

She is the vice president of the Stainman Family Foundation, a grant-making foundation created by her husband in 1998 to make contributions to left-of-center organizations. By the liberal organization’s own accounting, Lois Stainman is second-largest funder of the left-of-center activist organization People for the American Way.1

Early Life

Lois Stainman was born on February 10, 1942. 2 She attended Columbia University, and received a master’s degree in social work in 1968. 3 In 1987, she began work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as a researcher and lecturer in the museum’s American Paintings and Sculpture Department. 4

Lois Stainman has worked in the arts industry since 1987, when she worked at the Metropolitan Museum. She researched exhibits and gave gallery talks and presentations. She was also a co-curator at the Hunter Gallery and also has presented lectures at Hunter College. She also previously worked for seven years at the New York Historical Society.5


People for the American Way

Stainman is the second-largest donor to People for the American Way, a social-liberal organization that  seeks to limit the spread of right-of-center principles and ideas. The organization also seeks to elect left-of-center candidates to elected office. 6 While People for the American Way is not required to reveal its donors, it has released a statement that lists Stainman as having contributed a total of $650,000 to the organization, trailing only Henry van Ameringen, who had donated a total of $795,000 to PFAW at that point.7 In 2014, the Stainman Family Foundation, which is operated and supported by Lois and Arthur Stainman, provided People for the American Way with a $125,000 contribution. 8

Other Advocacy Giving

Other Stainman Family Foundation funding recipients have included the American Civil Liberties Union, the Grow NYC Council on the Environment, and Amnesty International. The Stainmans have also supported several pro-abortion organizations, including, the Abortion Care Network, the Center for Reproductive RightsPlanned Parenthood NYC, and the Trust Women Foundation.9

Nonpolitical Giving

The Stainman’s have supported a variety of non-political charities, and have even been profiled in the Wall Street Journal for their longtime support of the Food Bank for New York City.10 The couple donated $2.5 million to support classical studies at Hunter College, where Lois’ grandfather was a professor for 30 years.11 Other recipients of Stainman philanthropy have included various artistic organizations, such as the Abingdon Theatre Company, American Associates of the National Theatre, and the Bronx Children’s Museum. Other organizations include the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, the Cancer Research Institute, the Chittenden Food Shelf, and the Coalition on Temporary Shelter, among others.12

Political Contributions

Lois Stainman has contributed to various Democratic Party candidates, aligned political action committees (PACs), and Democratic Party congressional election committees. Stainman has consistently made political contributions in various elections over the past twenty years, beginning with a $500 contribution to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2000. 13

Stainman is a longtime supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, donating to her 2008 presidential campaign ($2,300), the 2013 Ready for Hillary super PAC ($12,500),14  and the 2016 Hillary for America PAC ($2,700). 15 In recent years, Stainman has contributed to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund PAC ($5,0000),16 the EMILY’s List PAC ($250),17 the 2020 Joe Biden Victory Fund ($2,500),18 and the 2020 Biden for President Campaign Fund ($2,500). 19

In 2020, Stainman also made political contributions to various Democratic Party candidates, including failed U.S. Senate candidates Jaime Harrison ($500),20 Steve Bullock ($500),21 and Sara Gideon ($1,000). 22 Stainman also contributed $500 to U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper’s (D-CO) successful campaign. 23 24


  1. “People For’s Top Donors.” People For the American Way, April 9, 2021. Accessed June 7, 2021.
  2. “Lois K. Stainman” Nuwber.
  3. “Art History – Lois Stainman” Hunter College – CUNY.
  4. “Your Lasting Impact, Fiscal Year 2014” Columbia University Endowment.
  5. “Art History — Hunter College.” Accessed June 7, 2021.
  6. “People For’s Top Donnors” People for the American Way.
  7. “People For’s Top Donors” People for the American Way. Accessed June 7, 2021.
  8. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF). Stainman Family Foundation. Part XV. 2014. Accessed May 29, 2021. 
  9. Stainman Family Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2018, Part XV Line 3
  10. West, Melanie Grayce. “Fighting Hunger For Over 25 Years.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, April 17, 2012.
  11. “Stainman Family Makes $2.5 Million Gift to Support Classical Studies.” Hunter College. Accessed May 26, 2021.
  12. Stainman Family Foundation, IRS (Form 990PF) 2018, Part XV
  13. “Lois & Arthur Stainman” Federal Election Commission. October 13, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  14. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. November 30, 2013. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  15. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. May 7, 2015. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  16. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. August 31, 2012. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  17. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. February 19, 2016. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  18. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. May 8, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  19. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. May 8, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  20. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. October 15, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  21. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. October 14, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  22. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. June 30, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  23. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. October 10, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  24. “Lois Stainman” Federal Election Commission. June 30, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2021.
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