The Bauman Foundation was founded by New York businessman, lawyer and philanthropist Lionel R. Bauman. Upon his death in 1987, the Foundation was the beneficiary of his estate. During his lifetime, Lionel Bauman was a generous supporter of education, the arts and progressive social justice. His daughter, Patricia Bauman, became the Foundation’s first President and Co-Director, along with her husband John Landrum Bryant, Vice-President and Co-Director. In 2011, Gary Bass became the Executive Director.
Presently, the Foundation’s endowment is between $70 million and $80 million. The Foundation gives around $6 million in grants per year, exceeding the minimum 5 percent payout requirement. The Foundation is intended to have perpetual life. Since its inception, the Foundation has supported environmental health, toxics right to know, open government, and civic participation. It has also made special grants in health care and the arts.
The Bauman Foundation is dedicated to achieving the values of a true democratic society – the common good and general welfare, as articulated in the Constitution. We believe that the struggle for true democracy and progressive political and social change is ongoing. At present, the Foundation focuses on economic justice, particularly through federal tax policy and income inequality; government and corporate accountability, particularly through efforts to promote an open, responsive government; and non-partisan civic engagement in the political process.
The Bauman Foundation mostly provides ongoing general support to our grantees and welcomes advocacy that encourages systematic changes rather than those that merely ameliorate symptoms. The Foundation selects and becomes intimately familiar with carefully-chosen policy areas, and it identifies organizations through which it can accomplish its goals. As a result of this approach to its grantmaking, the Bauman Foundation does not review unsolicited proposals.