How We Work

The staff of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has great respect for the grantees we are able to fund and for those operators of nonprofit organizations whose work is not our work but is important and worthy of support nonetheless. It is our intent in all of our interactions with grantees and potential grantees to honor their expertise, commitment and selfless efforts. Our perspective is intended to be supportive and appreciative.

It is our belief that the vast majority of nonprofit organizations are just as accountable to their own stakeholders as any for-profit organization and that many are as results-oriented, efficient and driven as any successful business. “Not-for-profit” is only an indication of tax status.  It does not imply anything about an organization’s performance characteristics. At the same time, we have heard that not all funders share the same mandate for accountability. And we're told that some, with good intentions, fall into the trap of discounting the hard-earned conventional wisdom and hands-on experience of practitioners in favor of theoretical speculation of how some of society’s toughest and most persistent problems might be resolved.

As we strive to achieve the philanthropic ambitions of our founder and our board, we hope to offer grantees not only our funding but also other types of support they might find helpful when we are able. We have resources within the foundation office to assist in important areas like fundraising, organizational development, public and governmental affairs, educational administration and enrollment management. We are willing to partner with grantees, if needed and requested and when capacity exists, in these and other areas to maximize outcomes and further the goals of our partner organizations.

Feedback is a critical part of our commitment to our grantees. Honest assessment, comments and constructive criticism will ensure greater success in our efforts to provide the support we intend. We will seek this feedback in individual meetings between staff and members of grantee organizations and in periodic surveys and gatherings of grantees.

The Schulze Family Foundation, at the urging of its founder, is constantly seeking transformational impact.  We have come to realize that often transformation occurs on the scale of the individual, one person at a time.  We recognize that every person and all such transformative efforts, regardless of scale, are valuable.  The people and organizations that devote themselves to this important work in service of others are worthy of our respect and in select cases our funding.  We approach these decisions with the care and sensitivity they deserve.