What We Do

Founded in 1997, the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation (the “Foundation”) primarily invests in programs to improve outcomes for poor and vulnerable minority citizens in the United States.

In carrying out its mission, the Foundation makes gifts, grants, donations and charitable contributions to public charities for charitable purposes (within the meaning of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) that are primarily focused on opportunities for educational advancement.


The Foundation supports programs that assist the homeless, advance early childhood education, improve K-12 graduation rates, provide college scholarships, medical care, shelter and nutrition to the needy as well as supporting programs to provide assistance for entry into employment opportunities.


The Foundation is deeply committed to creating standards of fairness and a level playing field for those living in poverty and adversity by supporting equal treatment through high quality early childhood learning and improving
K-12 and college graduation rates. In this regard, the Foundation supports innovations in scientific teaching methods and best practices.

Funding Criteria

The foundation does not accept solicitations nor does it engage in fund raising activities or accept contributions from third parties.

In general, the Foundation supports organization within these fields that are capable of scaling-up their activities and adapting strategies to changing circumstances. Our goal is to create a meaningful, impactful opportunity for dignity and success among those citizens the Foundation serves.

About Saul Zaentz

Saul Zaentz was a media entrepreneur in the music and film industry. He built the largest independent Jazz record label in the world, Fantasy Records and, through the Saul Zaentz Company, became a prominent independent film producer. His creative activities in film resulted in 34 Academy Award nominations, the award of 22 Hollywood Oscars for those involved in the film making process (including three for “Best Picture”). Among other films, his major works included One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, The English Patient and
The Unbearable Lightness of Being.


The British Academy of Film and Television awarded Mr. Zaentz the Academy Fellowship, the highest honor awarded by the Academy to individuals for their achievement. He also earned the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg memorial award for his “Consistently High Quality of Motion Picture Production”.


What distinguished Saul Zaentz in the entertainment industry was his bold action in selecting artists and projects and his willingness to take substantial risks in advancing his productions.


Fantasy Records was acquired by the Concord Music Group in 2004, and the Saul Zaentz Company continues to administer a large body of film related copyrighted materials including the non-literary rights to the Tolkien series, Lord of the Rings. Mr. Zaentz died in 2014.


Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation
c/o Elliot G. Steinberg Esq.
Phone: 970.728.4343
Email: elliot@saulzaentzcharitablefoundation.org