A Look at How and Where the Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation Gives


Back in 2010, Leon and Toby Cooperman signed the Giving Pledge and said that it was their “moral imperative to give others the opportunity to pursue the American Dream by sharing [their] financial success.” But even before that, the couple had been channeling their philanthropic giving through the Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation, which they established in 1981.

Since the foundation does not have a website to guide grantseekers, here’s a look at the local giving of the Cooperman Family Foundation (CFF) and how nonprofits can connect with this funder.

Higher education is a priority

More than anything else, CFF is a higher education funder. The Coopermans frequently give to their alma mater, Hunter College, including grants for the library and a scholarship fund. Through their foundation, they also support Columbia Business School, where the couple endowed a professorship of finance and economics. Occasionally, the Coopermans give for local K-12 education as well, favoring schools for disabled children and schools in Harlem.

Health and Jewish causes are also interests

Aside from education, the Coopermans often back health causes. Specifically, CFF gives for cancer and other disease research, as well as to numerous hospitals. The Phyllis and Harvey Sandler Pavilion at the Lynn Cancer Center, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society have all received CFF grants recently. One of CFF’s most significant recent grants was a $100 million commitment to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey in the fall of 2021.

In addition, the Coopermans have strong ties to the Jewish faith and often give to Jewish causes as well. This includes grantmaking to Temple B’Nai Jeshurun, Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Giving centers on New York and New Jersey

CFF is based in Clifton, New Jersey and keeps pretty much all of its grantmaking in the tri-state area. Many grantees are based in New Jersey, including Boys Town Jerusalem in Roseland, the Greater Newark Conservancy and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. New York City-based grantees include the Intrepid Museum Foundation, Creative Art Works and the New York Landmarks Conservancy. To a somewhat lesser extent, CFF also gives to organizations based in Boca Raton, Florida.

Unsolicited requests may be accepted

According to the most recent tax records available, CFF may be accepting unsolicited grant applications at this time. There are no specific application forms to fill out, so grantseekers should just send written information describing their need for a grant to the attention of Leon Cooperman via mail. There are no submission deadlines, restrictions or limitations on awards.

Learn more about these donors and their foundation in IP’s Wall Street Donors Guide, Jewish Funding Guide and New York City Grants Profile.