Robert F. Schumann Foundation: Should You Pursue Their Grants?

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November 9, 2022

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November 9, 2022

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation was founded based on Mr. Schumann’s love of birds. Mr. Schumann’s interest in ornithology led him to become passionate about environmental protection, education, and arts and culture.

If your organization focuses on one of the key areas mentioned above, then you may wish to pursue a grant from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation. However, there is more to evaluating how well you align with a potential funder than just ensuring mission alignment.

In this article, we will provide insights about the Robert F. Schumann Foundation and introduce a scoring system that will help you determine whether or not your nonprofit should pursue a grant from this funder. We call this a funder score and you will determine your score based on different criteria throughout the article.

Read on to find out whether your nonprofit and the Robert F. Schumann Foundation are a good fit.

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Prospects in 7 Easy Steps

Robert F. Schumann Foundation: Mission and Background

Mission

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life of both humans and animals by supporting environmental, educational, and arts and cultural organizations.

Mr. Schumann believed in the importance of protecting the environment as a way of enhancing the lives of animals and humans. He also felt that education plays an essential role in quality of life and that arts and culture help society to remain hopeful and dream big.

Areas of Focus

Previous work supported through the Robert F. Schumann Foundation includes habitat protection, environmental conservation, higher education, historical preservation, and the arts.

The foundation’s priority focus areas are:

  • Animals (particularly ornithology)
  • Environmental Sustainability Efforts (particularly open space habitats)
  • Arts and Education

If the work of your nonprofit is in one of these key areas, then you may be eligible for one of their grants.

Now that we have explained the mission of the Robert F. Schumann Foundation, you can determine your score for our first criterion, mission alignment.

Scoring Criterion #1:

Add a score in the range of 1-3 to indicate how closely your nonprofit's mission aligns with the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

Score Explanation
+1 Add this when there is little to no understanding of the alignment between you and the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.
+2 Add this when there is a distant alignment between you and the Robert F. Schumann Foundation - e.g. Foundation supports a broader funding category.
+3 Add this where there is an evident close alignment between you and the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

Robert F. Schumann Foundation: How to Apply and Active Grants

Apply

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation accepts grant applications year round, but to be reviewed in the yearly grant meeting, applications are due by February 28th. Applications approved in February will receive funding in June-July of that year.

There are no specific grants advertised, but the foundation prefers to support specific projects rather than general operating funds.

Your nonprofit does not need an invitation to apply for funding from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation. However, we still recommend reaching out to any grantmaker prior to applying for the first time and we will even provide details about foundation contacts in a later section.

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation is operated as a private foundation through Wells Fargo. To apply, your nonprofit will use the Wells Fargo online application system which is operated by CyberGrants.

Below is a screenshot from the grant information page. Please note that the foundation does not have its own website.

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation

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Robert F. Schumann Foundation: Interesting Funder Insights

Insight

One great way to figure out if your nonprofit aligns well with a specific funder is to review the information in their 990. The 990 is a tax document, so it can unfortunately be very confusing and difficult to interpret.

Instrumentl has some great features that make the data from the 990 more visual and easier to understand. We are going to dive deeper into three key parameters that can help your nonprofit gain insight into the priorities of the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

#1 General Giving Trends

Below is a screenshot from Instrumentl of the total giving for the Robert F. Schumann Foundation for the years 2018-2020.

Robert F. Schumann Foundation Giving Trends

The total annual giving for the Robert F. Schumann Foundation is approximately $2 million per year over the last three years. Please note that the most recent 990 is from 2020.

These general giving trends help us see whether overall giving has been increasing or decreasing in recent years. Increases in giving can indicate a higher interest in giving in coming years, while decreases in giving could possibly indicate a lower likelihood in future giving.

You can see that the total giving dropped from 2018-2019, but then rose again from 2019-2020. Overall, the total giving has decreased over the last three years by 2.44%. A decrease in the overall giving could indicate that the grant review process has gotten more strict, or that the foundation is potentially less interested in giving to new nonprofits.

Scoring Criterion #2:

Deduct 0.5 points from your funder score to reflect the Robert F. Schumann Foundation’s negative giving trend for the last 3 years.

Score Explanation
-0.5 Add this since the Robert F. Schumann Foundation has had a decreasing giving trend for the last 3 years.

Total giving is just one of many metrics that we can look at when evaluating funder fit. Let’s also take a look at the total number of grants given by the Robert F. Schumann Foundation over the same time period.

There were a total of 114 awards over the most recent three years (2018-2020). The screenshot below shows that the total number of grants has fluctuated somewhat over the last three years.

Robert F. Schumann Foundation Giving Trends

Total giving and total number of grants may each be a bit misleading on their own.

Higher total giving, but fewer total grants could mean they are awarding more money to fewer nonprofits. On the flip side, lower total giving and more total grants could mean they are giving less to more awardees. That’s why it’s important to look at both total giving and number of grants together to gain a more accurate understanding of giving trends.

The total number of grants given by the Robert F. Schumann Foundation had decreased slightly (1.5%) over the last three years. It is important to note that this is similar to the 2.44% decrease in total giving so we can assume that the amount awarded per grant probably remained similar during this time period.

The great thing about Instrumentl is that it can also confirm for us whether this assumption is correct with its giving average and median tool.

Here is a screenshot of the giving average for the Robert F. Schumann Foundation over the last three years.

Robert F. Schumann Foundation Giving Trends

The graph clearly indicates that the giving average dropped from $60,539 in 2018 to $46,577 in 2019. Similar to our other two graphs, the giving average then went back up in 2020 from $46,577 to $60,249.

There was an increase of 3.15% over the three year time span from 2018-2020. The positive increase could indicate an overall upward trend which is a good sign for your nonprofit.

Scoring Criterion #3:

Add 1 point to your funder score to reflect the increase in the average grant amount given by the Robert F. Schumann Foundation for the past 3 years.

Score Explanation
+1 Add this when the average grant amount awarded by the Robert F. Schumann Foundation has increased for the past 3 years.

Although the total giving trended downward from 2018-2020, the giving average actually trended upward. Each of these metrics also only saw a relatively slight change, so these are positive signs when evaluating future giving trends for the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

Stable trends could indicate that the funder will continue giving at a similar rate in future grant cycles. But keep in mind that these are just two factors that can be used to evaluate a grantmaker and we have more criteria to discuss below.

#2 Funding by NTEE Codes

One of the most important pieces of information that you can learn from the funder’s 990 is which focus areas they typically fund and the amount they usually give to each. You can learn about these focus areas by evaluating the NTEE codes that the foundation usually supports.

A funder will often split their support unevenly between the NTEE codes and Instrumentl can help you analyze this information through easy to read reports.

The chart below breaks down the NTEE codes that the Robert F. Schumann Foundation provided grants to so that you can evaluate whether the funding you are looking for aligns with how they have funded similar focus areas in the past.

Robert F. Schumann Foundation NTEE codes

The NTEE code which received the highest funding from 2018-2020 was Education. There were a total of 19 grants given under this NTEE code.

Following Education, the category of Arts, Culture, and Humanities received the next highest amount of total funding, but only 10 total projects were funded. The top three categories are rounded out by Environment which included a total of 27 projects.

Note that within Instrumentl you can expand each of these sections using the “+” symbol to more clearly see how the subcategories of these NTEE codes differed in funding from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

Here is a screenshot of the expanded Education category which helps you see exactly how different types of nonprofits and projects received varying funding amounts.

For example, if your nonprofit focuses on adult education, you can see that there were only two grantees in that subcategory with a total giving of $2,500. You would have never guessed this if you had only looked at the broad NTEE Education code in general.

Taking the time to analyze this information can help you determine if the funder’s past giving fits the funding needs of your nonprofit.

Scoring Criterion #4:

Add a score in the range of 0-2 to your funder score to indicate whether the Robert F. Schumann Foundations’s funding for your niche is what you desire.

Score Explanation
0 Add this when the Robert F. Schumann Foundation's funding for your niche lies below your desired amount.
+1 Add this when the Robert F. Schumann Foundation's funding for your niche is around your desired amount.
+2 Add this when the Robert F. Schumann Foundation's funding for your niche is greater than your desired amount.

#3 Openness to New Grantees and Their Average Grant Amounts

Through Instrumentl, you can gain access to data on past grantees and openness to new grantees. Below is a screenshot of the Openness to New Grantees feature.

Robert F. Schumann Foundation Openness to New Grantees

Over the three year period from 2018-2020, 42% of grants given by the Robert F. Schumann Foundation went to new grantees. Another good sign that the foundation is open to new grantees.

We are going to use these percentages to create a decimal value that can help you in your scoring process. For the Robert F. Schumann Foundation, the value for openness to new grantees is 0.42. In contrast, the value for repeat grantees is 0.58. You can use these values to calculate your score for our next criterion.

It is important to note that there is limited data for this foundation so it is a bit more difficult to observe true trends.

Scoring Criterion #5:

If you are a new grantee, add the Robert F. Schumann Foundation’s proportion of giving to new grantees to your funder score.

If you are a repeat grantee, add the Robert F. Schumann Foundation’s proportion of giving to repeat grantees to your funder score.

Score Explanation
0.42 Add this when you are a new grantee for the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.
0.58 Add this when you are a repeat grantee for the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

#4 [Bonus Tip] Geographic Distribution of Past Grantees

Along with each of the other factors that we have mentioned, it’s also important to look at whether a funder works with nonprofits in your geographic area.

The map below is a screenshot from the Instrumentl grant database showing the locations of funded nonprofits by The Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation past grantees

The image demonstrates that the foundation has funded work outside of their main focus area, but the majority of grantees are along the East Coast. You can see that much of the United States is not historically represented. States such as Indiana, Ohio, Texas, and Nevada have never received funding from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

Even some of the East Coast states such as Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and New Hampshire are more sparsely represented. The more heavily represented states include Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Maryland.

The most heavily represented states are New York and Connecticut. Keep in mind that the geographic distribution of past grantees is just one of the many factors that should be evaluated.

Scoring Criterion #6:

Add a score in the range of 0-3 to your funder score to indicate whether or not your organization’s state has been historically represented.

Score Explanation
0 Add this when your state isn't historically represented - shaded in white - among past grantees.
+1 Add this when your state is sparsely represented - shaded in light purple - among past grantees.
+2 Add this when your state is represented more heavily - shaded in darker purple - among past grantees.
+3 Add this when your state is represented most heavily - shaded in darkest purple - among past grantees.

Robert F. Schumann Foundation: Key People and Past Grantees

Key People

If your nonprofit is scoring well based on the criterion we have covered so far, then here are a couple of additional steps to take in the grant application process.

Reach Out to the Key People From the Robert F. Schumann Foundation

If you are interested in applying to the Robert F. Schumann Foundation, it is important to reach out first so that you do not submit your application cold. Instrumentl makes it easy to get in touch with funders by providing contact information for key people.

Having the contact information available at your fingertips will save you from having to dig around and figure out the right contacts.

There are two trustees listed for the Robert F. Schumann Foundation; Timothy W. Crowley and Wells Fargo Bank NA.

Robert F. Schumann Foundation Key People

Get in Touch with Past Grantees of the Robert F. Schumann Foundation

There is no better insight into a grantmaker than that from a previous awardee. Instrumentl provides excellent data on past grantees including the award information and the contact information for the grantee.

Here is a screenshot of the past grantees list. You can use additional links within this list to help you reach out to past grantees (or determine if you already know a past grantee).

Robert F. Schumann Foundation Past Grantees

Insights from others who have received funds from a foundation are a great way to learn the real facts about the application process for specific funders.

Foundations Similar to Robert F. Schumann Foundation

Foundation

If you have made your way through our scoring criteria and do not feel that the Robert F. Schumann Foundation is the right fit, perhaps one of these 10 will be a better match.

  • American Online Giving Foundation
  • Ahrens Family Foundation
  • Jewish Communal Fund
  • United Way (check local or regional chapter in your area)
  • E Kneale Dockstader Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Booth Ferris Foundation
  • Dupage Foundation
  • American Ornithological Society

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Wrapping Up: Next Steps to Take from Here

Next

Now that we have walked you through 6 scoring criteria, you can add up your total score. To keep things easy, you can round your total number to the nearest 10th. You can use this score to decide if the Robert F. Schumann Foundation is a good fit for your nonprofit based on the following scale.

  • Great fit: 8.5 - 11 
  • Good fit: 3.8 - 7.8 
  • Bad fit: <= 0.8 

It is important to evaluate each funder and funding opportunity before completing a grant application for your nonprofit. Thorough evaluation will help you focus your grant writing efforts on opportunities with the best ROI.

The majority of the data that we have discussed in this article comes from the funder’s 990. Instrumentl pulls this data into the graphs, charts, and lists that we have shared with you to help save you time and increase your odds of success.

On average, Instrumentl can save you 3 hours per week in your grant research efforts. The information that Instrumentl provides can also increase your grant application output by as much as 78%.

Create your free account here and use the smart match tool to instantly find hundreds of relevant grants. Access 990 data for each funder and use our criterion above to evaluate your ROI.

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl is the all-in-one grant management tool for nonprofits and consultants who want to find and win more grants without the stress of juggling grant work through disparate tools and sticky notes.

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