The Schlessman Family Foundation was founded in 1956 by Gerald L. and Florence M. Schlessman. It was established to provide charitable support in granting opportunities for children and adults hindered by economic status, physical or mental challenges, or requiring additional educational opportunities with the intent to enable them to become self-sufficient, productive members of their community. Since its inception, the Foundation has contributed over $54 million to more than 800 charities.
Upon the death of their parents, Lee E. Schlessman and Susan Schlessman Duncan assumed the leadership of the foundation. In 2014 eight new trustees, all direct descendants of Gerald and Florence Schlessman, were added. Currently, the trustees are:
Lee E. Schlessman
Susan M. Duncan
Gary L. Schlessman
Sandra L. Garnett
Dolores J. Schlessman
Jennifer Schlessman Bonicelli
Michael D. Fredericks
Aaron T. Garnett
Colin M. Garnett
Benjamin T. Garnett
Lauren M. Watel
Eric A. Bennett
Margaret Schlessman Emmerich
Today the trustees continue the mission of helping to strengthen families and assist individuals in becoming responsible, productive members of society through their charitable support.
The Schlessman Family Foundation grants funding primarily in the following areas:
Restrictions and Exceptions:
Refer to the following for the Schlessman Family Foundation application requirements:
Beginning in 2016 our foundation will require that proposals be submitted in two forms:
The Schlessman Family Foundation does fund in successive years, however, a proposal must be received each year to be eligible for consideration.
We do not accept or respond to letters of intent or inquiry. Only full proposals will be reviewed by our trustees. Request for meetings to discuss your application are generally not granted until after a proposal is received and one or more of the trustees request such a meeting. However, Patricia Middendorf will respond to questions via email (preferred) or by phone. See contact information on last page of these guidelines.
Proposals should include the Colorado Common Grant Application OR the following information:
Our proposal deadline is December 31st and proposals must be postmarked on or before that date. Proposals are accepted throughout the year and should be addressed to:
Lee E. Schlessman, President & Trustee
Schlessman Family Foundation
1555 Blake Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80202
The Trustees read proposals and make comments throughout the year, but final reviews and determinations are made at the annual meeting in February.
Distributions are made once a year on March 31st. All applicants will be notified in writing whether or not their request was approved. If approved, a check will accompany the letter.
Please do not call the Foundation office to ask why a request was denied.
The Foundation does not publish an annual report, but a copy of the most recent tax return is available in the Foundation office for public review.