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The FAO Schwarz Family Foundation

The FAO Schwarz Family Foundation was established in 1990 by the descendants of Frederick A.O. Schwarz, a German immigrant who founded the beloved FAO Schwarz toy store in 1862.

The Foundation continues his lifelong mission of bringing love and joy into children’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations committed to social impact, especially in the areas of education, the environment and the arts.

Mr. Schwarz’s descendants serve on the Board of Trustees as volunteers and stewards of his legacy. The Foundation’s grantmaking focuses on our signature FAO Schwarz Fellowship, a unique two-year program that trains recent college graduates to be tomorrow’s leaders.

A group of Fellows posing in front of an FAO Schwarz storefront

What We Stand For

Fellows participate n the tomato harvest at the Food Project in Boston

Social Impact

Making the world a better, kinder, more just and equitable place—this is our mission. It’s why the Fellowship exists.

For us, social impact means understanding the causes of social inequities, engaging in meaningful problem-solving and responding with solutions that fundamentally change social conditions and eliminate inequalities.

2 Fellows advocating for education in a government building


We inspire and develop the leadership potential of new college graduates and invest in their growth through the Fellowship program.

The energy and imagination of young adults moving from the world of ideas and learning to the world of practice and action is an extraordinary resource—one that is essential if we hope to catalyze innovative, lasting solutions to critical social challenges.

A Fellow turning a young person


We believe that the education of young people—from afterschool programs to literacy initiatives to college access—is the single biggest driver of social change and the surest path to greater social equality.

In selecting host partners for the Fellowship, we seek out high-impact organizations that work to expand educational opportunities and leverage the Fellowship to enhance their impact and value.