Our History

In 1988, Florence Schumann and her children created the Schumann Fund for New Jersey to continue the lifetime of philanthropy of Mrs. Schumann and her husband, John.

Early Years

Schumann Fund for New Jersey traces its roots to the Florence and John Schumann Foundation.

Florence Ford and John Schumann settled in Montclair soon after they married in 1917. During their 47-year marriage, they amassed a considerable fortune. Their wealth was a combination of Florence’s inheritance from her father, one of the founders of the IBM Corporation, with John’s business success which culminated with his role as president of the General Motors Acceptance Corporation.

Committed to sharing their good fortune with the community, the Schumanns gave their time and money to local charities.

The Foundation’s first grants were given to Mountainside Hospital and much of the organization’s early work focused on health and education in the Montclair area. In 1964, a few years following John Schumann’s death, the Schumann children invited trusted friends to serve as Trustees and a professional management team to lead the Foundation. To the giving areas of health and education, the Trustees added a third area of funding – community development – to support organizations in New Jersey’s cities working to reverse the social consequences of racism and poverty. Most of these grants were awarded to organizations within Essex County and continued the commitment to the broader community in which the Schumanns lived.