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Topical Resource Lists

Education Philanthropy:
A Resource List

This resource list contains citations to selected works from the Foundation Center's Catalog of Nonprofit Literature and other web sites. For complete a bibliography on the topic, search the catalog using subject term education or other related subject headings. You may also subscribe to the RSS feed for the latest updates.

Research and Analysis

deMarrais, Kathleen and Claire Suggs. Critical Contributions: Philanthropic Investment in Teachers and Teaching. Atlanta, GA: Kronley & Associates, 2011. Full-text.
This report is about foundation investments in K-12 teachers and teaching, highlighting their role in identifying needs, testing ideas, and fostering innovation. Part one presents thematic findings from the field in general. Part two offers a chronological review of philanthropic investments in teaching from pre-1983 to the present, with sections on the Teach for America program and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Part three suggests issues for funders to consider as they contemplate continued investment in improving teacher effectiveness. Appendix includes a list of the largest 100 grants to teachers and teaching between 2000-2008.

Drezner, Noah D. Philanthropy and Fundraising in American Higher Education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Publishers, 2011. Call Number: 213 DRE
This monograph provides a review of the literature and covers the major approaches, topics, and theories regarding philanthropy and fundraising for higher education. Discusses philanthropy's influence on education, nontraditional donors (African American, Latino, Asian American, and American Indian), women and philanthropy, engaging students and young alumni, and the utilization of data in fundraising strategy.

Erisman, Wendy and Shannon M. Looney. Corporate Investments in College Readiness and Access. Washington, DC: Institute for Higher Education Policy, 2008. 32 p. Subject File Number: 214 Full-text.
This study examines the level of support for college readiness and access initiatives given by Fortune 100 companies, and the practices employed by these corporations to express their support. Includes case studies of Time Warner, Inc. and General Electric.

Fransen, Frederic J. "Summa Cum Philanthropy." Philanthropy vol. 26 (Spring 2012) p. 44-9. Subject File Number: 213.
Offers eleven strategies on how to be a more effective donor to higher education institutions. Some advice includes making sure scholarships go to students, knowing about endowed chairs, and shopping around to other schools. Article also outlines what should be included in a good grant agreement.

Ginsberg, Alice E. (ed.) and Marybeth Gasman (ed.). Gender and Educational Philanthropy: New Perspectives on Funding, Collaboration, and Assessment. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Call Number: 407 GIN
A collection of essays examining the role of philanthropy, especially foundations, in creating gender equity in K-12 education. Part one defines gender equity with a focus on grantmaking with a "gender lens." Part two explores collaboration between grantmakers, youth, and donors, and also studies specific gender equity programs.

Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. Indianapolis, IN: Giving USA Foundation, annual. Call Number: 401 AAFR
An annual top-level overview of charitable sources including individuals, bequests, foundations, and corporations. Provides giving estimates and key findings, source and uses of contributions, and data tables in education and other subject areas.

Gose, Ben. "Strategic Philanthropy Comes to Higher Education." Chronicle of Higher Education vol. 59 (19 July 2013) p. A26-7. Subject File Number: 213
Provides an historical look at higher education philanthropy, and how the Gates Foundation is reshaping it today. The foundation's approach calls for defining strategic goals from the outset, working closely with grantees, and expecting measurable results from investments. Includes reflections by program officers, professors, and other scholars on the current and past impact of philanthropy in academe.

Grantmakers for Education. Benchmarking: Trends in Education Philanthropy. Portland, OR: Grantmakers for Education, annual. Subject File Number: 210. Full-text.
Presents an overview of the characteristics, priorities, practices and concerns of education grantmakers. Based on survey data from a sample of close to 200 education grantmaking organizations--approximately two-thirds of Grantmakers for Education's network of grantmakers.

Johnston, Jenny. Innovation 2.0: Grantmaking to Transform America's Education Systems. Portland, OR: Grantmakers for Education, 2011. Full-text.
Reports on three grantmaker convenings in San Francisco, Chicago, and Detroit focused on transformative education innovation. The bulk of the report is devoted to the 2011 Detroit meeting, which addressed a new and different process for how grantmakers can develop their future-oriented investment strategies.

Julian, Liam. "Common Core's Uncommon Rise." Philanthropy (Spring 2013) p. 27-30. Subject File Number: 211.
Article discusses how private philanthropists and foundations created a movement for national education standards, specifically Common Core State Standards that include grade-level education benchmarks for K-12 learning. Funders of the standards include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, among others.

Kaplan, Ann E. Voluntary Support of Education. New York, NY: Council for Aid to Education, annual. Call Number: 401 COU.
Annual report of voluntary giving to colleges, universities, and private elementary and secondary schools. Voluntary support includes donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, religious organizations, and other nongovernmental givers. Includes survey results, summary tables, and institutional data. Also provides detailed analyses and numerous tables.

Lawrence, Steven. Race to the Top: What Grantmakers Can Learn From the First Round. New York, NY: Foundation Center, 2010. Full-text.
This issue brief documents the experiences of grantmakers, government leaders, and education consultants in states that applied for the U.S. Department of Education's 2010 "Race to the Top" competition. It offers critical lessons on grantmaker and government collaborations for education reform.

Lewis, Suzanne Grant, Jonathan Friedman and John Schoneboom. Accomplishments of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, 2000-2010: Report on a Decade of Foundation Investment. New York, NY: Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, 2010. Call Number: 330 LEW.
Includes seven PHEA foundation investment reports detailing support of higher education initiatives in Africa. Foundations include the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Parry, Marc, Kelly Field and Beckie Supiano. "The Gates Effect." Chronicle of Higher Education vol. 59 (19 July 2013) p. A18-23. Subject File Number: 213.
Examines the Gates Foundation's overhaul of higher education; the grantmaker has essentially changed how it is delivered, financed, and regulated. Looks at the roots of the foundation's efforts, provides an in-depth discussion of its current programs, and outlines its collaboration with the federal government and the Lumina Foundation.

Reckhow, Sarah. Follow the Money: How Foundation Dollars Change Public School Politics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2013. Call Number: 211 REC.
Using national data on foundation grantmaking in K-12 education, the author shows where and how foundation investment in education is occurring and provides a analysis of the effects of these investments in New York City and Los Angeles, the two largest urban school districts in the U.S.

Saltman, Kenneth J. The Gift of Education: Public Education and Venture Philanthropy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Call Number: 408 SAL.
A critique of venture philanthropy's role in education reform. Chapters discuss the transition from traditional to venture philanthropy and explore the corporatization of public schools, education leadership, teacher education, and higher education.

Welner, Kevin and Amy Farley. Confronting Systemic Inequity in Education: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy. Washington, DC: National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, 2010. Subject File Number: 210.
The key contention in this report is that grantmakers in education will have the most success in advancing equity and access if they focus a great deal of attention and funding on marginalized populations and if they do so by addressing systemic inequality. Examines the state of education in America and provides education funders with discussion questions to think through issues.

Case Studies

Greeley, Stephen and Beth Greeley. "Beyond the Grant: How the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Went Beyond Grantmaking to Contribute to a Major Early Childhood Initiative." The Foundation Review vol. 2 (Issue #3, 2011) p. 79-93.
Presents an assessment of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation's seven-year SPARK (Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids) initiative, aimed at linking pre-K and kindergarten worlds as a way to position vulnerable children for greater success in early grades. The initiative was also the foundation's first attempt at a large scale initiative with an explicit changemaker role. Article gives an overview of the initiative, its theory of change, and discusses the issue of advocacy and importance of a collaborative approach.

Kremers, Angela. "Use of Layering for Effective Partnership Building: Leveraging Positive Impact in Education Philanthropy." The Foundation Review vol. 3 (Issue #3, 2011) p. 36-44.
Article discusses the use of layering as a partnership-building method to enhance education philanthropy. Each layer represents multiple sector partnerships at the local, state, federal, and national levels. Examines the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation's utilization of this strategy to encourage community engagement and collaboration in its community-based work in rural Arkansas. Also looks at lessons learned and describes eight key steps for building partnerships.

McDonald, Kristen L. "Finding the Fix: Embracing Philanthropy's Role in Transforming an Urban Education Landscape" The Foundation Review vol. 3 (Issue #3, 2011) p. 66-78.
Describes how the Skillman Foundation (an embedded funder) is using its relationships with community members, local institutions, businesses and political leaders in Detroit to create a coalition whose goal is to turn around schools there. Gives a history of major education reform initiatives in Detroit, discusses the coalition and its plan to reform all Detroit Public Schools, and looks at the challenges of the undertaking.

Read, Tory and Bruno V. Manno. "Getting to Results: a Tool and Lessons from the Annie E. Casey Foundation's K-12 Education Portfolio" The Foundation Review vol. 3 (Issue #3, 2011) p. 24-35.
Offers an overview of a results-based accountability (RBA) tool the Annie E. Casey Foundation developed for measuring the impact of its education grantmaking. Shows the genesis of the tool, how the foundation worked with grantees to create it, and describes performance measurement and documentation. The article also shares lessons of the process.

Richard, Ronald B., Helen Williams and Robert E. Eckardt. "Shaping Education Policy: the Importance of Clarity, Commitment, and Consensus Building" The Foundation Review vol. 4 (Issue #4, 2012) p. 28-44.
Article describes how community and private foundations in Ohio joined together in a strategic effort to influence public education reform, and reviews the progress that has been achieved. It specifically details the activities of the Ohio Grantmakers Forum and its Education Advisory Committee.

Digital Grant Guides

Grants for Elementary & Secondary Education. Digital ed. New York, NY: Foundation Center. Annual. Purchase
This guide offers descriptions of more than 18,000 grants of $10,000 or more made by close to 1,000 foundations awarded to private and public schools for academic programs, school libraries, scholarships, counseling programs, dropout prevention, teacher education and training, salary support, equipment, student athletics and activities, renovations and construction, and other areas.

Grants for Higher Education. Digital ed. New York, NY: Foundation Center. Annual. Purchase
This guide includes descriptions of more than 20,000 grants of $10,000 or more made by over 1,000 foundations awarded to colleges, universities, and technological institutes, for programs in all disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate levels (including professional schools). These grants include those made to academic libraries, and student services and organizations.

Foundation Center Tools and Related Web Resources

Focus on Education
Provides statistics and trends in educational philanthropy. Examines issues such as improving quality and access, educating women and girls, early childhood education, and higher education in Africa.

FC Stats
Identify foundation giving trends in education by reviewing statistical tables developed by the Foundation Center.

Foundation Directory Online
Learn about current funding priorities of education funders by searching the Center's comprehensive database of U.S. grantmakers.

Foundations for Education Excellence
Resources for grantmakers to help them leverage public and private funds for improving education.

Grantmakers for Education
The nation's largest network of funders dedicated to improving educational opportunities and success for students from the pre-kindergarten level up through college.

GrantSpace — Education
Intended for grantseekers, this offers information and resources that are specifically designed to meet the needs of nonprofits worldwide in need of know-how for securing funding and operating effective organizations. The education section includes links to helpful videos, podcasts, and knowledge articles on educational philanthropy and fundraising.

IssueLab — Education and Literacy
Search IssueLab to find recent foundation-sponsored reports on education and literacy.

Philanthropy News Digest — Education News
Browse the latest news on education philanthropy at PND, the Center's online news service.

Philanthropy News Digest — Education RFPs
Browse the latest RFPs for education at PND, the Center's online news service.
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