Selz Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The Selz Foundation, the charitable vehicle of veteran financier Bernard Selz and his wife Lisa, funds higher education, which involves support for social sciences and the arts at select schools. The couple have endowed professorships and lecture series, and have funded research.

IP TAKE: The Selz Foundation lacks transparency and does not have a website. As a result, there is no clear description about what exactly the couple looks for in its higher education grantees. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

PROFILE: The Selz Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Bernard Selz of Selz Capital and his wife Lisa. The foundation has a minimal web presence restricting information about its grantmaking strategies and guidelines. However,  recent 990s reveal higher education philanthropy primarily concerns the arts and social sciences.

Consider Selz's alma mater, Columbia University, is home to the Lisa and Bernard Selz Professorship in Medieval Art, as well as the Lisa and Bernard Selz Professorship in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology. The couple recently gave Columbia a $765,000 grant, and have also recently supported College of the Redwoods, a two-year school in Eureka, California. They have funded the research of professor of archeology, Justine Shaw, whose work focuses on the Mexican site of a former Mayan province. The school recently received a grant of over $60,000 from the couple.

Other recent grantees include Goucher College, which recently received a $550,000 grant for the Goucher Prison Education Partnership, among other projects, Hunter College, Pratt Institute, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, Marymount Manhattan College, where they've supported the Bedford Hills College Program, Penn Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, where they've supported exhibition Native American Voices, University of California Regents, and NYU Institute of Fine Arts, where the couple recently funded a conservation fellowship. Another important grantee here is LaGuardia Community College, which received a $1 million grant from the Selz couple in 2014. Lisa Selz sits on the board of the community college and believes in the importance of these institutions. The couple also supports She’s the First, which "provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries with the goal of creating first-generation graduates and our next generation of global."

Internationally, the couple supports Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology at Oxford University. Selz and Lisa were lead supporters of new galleries of Ancient Egypt and Nubia at Ashmolean Museum.

This foundation is not easily accessible; it is unclear what Selz looks for in its higher education grantees. Contact information, however, is listed below.


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Selz Foundation, Inc.

1370 Ave. of the Americas, 24th Fl.

New York City, NY 10019

Telephone: (212) 554-5044

Contact: Bernard T. Selz, Pres.