Historically, secondary and elementary education has been the second-most funded education cause, just after colleges and universities. That's fabulous news for all the K-12 nonprofits and public schools out there. For over a decade, there's also been a surge in funding for charter schools and networks (especially those in underserved communities), and education researchers and policy advocates are also eligible for support. The bottom line: There are funders for just about every type of K-12 project.

We are tracking what K-12 funders are doing, and what we're learning is captured in this guide. All the profiles of funders and program officers in the guide are updated regularly, and we continue to add new profiles.

FUNDERS

ADAMS LEGACY FOUNDATION

This funder doesn't give out that many grants, and mainly focuses on California. But it does give to organizations elsewhere, and its application process is open, with broad guidelines. 

ALCOA FOUNDATION

The Alcoa Foundation approaches education on multiple fronts—by supporting large global organizations, by investing in small community organizations, and by creating partnership initiatives.

AMERICAN HONDA FOUNDATION

This funder's support of K-12 education is all STEM and/or environment-focused, and it’s primarily in support of community organizations rather than schools.

ANGELL FOUNDATION

If your education program is doing great things for troubled youth in California or New England, definitely try to get on this foundation’s radar.

ANSCHUTZ FOUNDATION

The huge Anschutz Foundation focuses its education philanthropy in Denver, but also gives limited amounts to national ed groups and schools outside Colorado. 

MELINDA GRAY ARDIA FOUNDATION

This small but passionate funder dedicates itself to integrating environmental classroom learning with hands-on field study for K-12 students, particularly projects that focus on ecology and conservation. 

JOHN AND LAURA ARNOLD FOUNDATION

The Arnold Foundation Education Initiative’s core strategy is to award grants to organizations that increase the number of high-quality educators, increase public engagement in K-12 education issues, and research and develop innovative education initiatives.

AT&T FOUNDATION

It can be tough to tap into AT&T's giving. One way in is through the AT&T Aspire program for innovation in STEM education.

BANK OF AMERICA CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

The philanthropic arm of one of the largest U.S. banks supports K-12 education with an eye toward 21st century workforce development. Its support focuses on community programs rather than individual schools.

BAY & PAUL FOUNDATIONS

K-12 giving goes out nationwide to support "transformative learning environments that contribute to strengthening civil society."  

BEAUMONT FOUNDATION OF AMERICA

This funder is mainly focused in the Southwest, but its ed money occasionally finds its way elsewhere. Its support of education is geared toward college readiness and college achievement. 

BEN & JERRY'S FOUNDATION

The ice cream innovators support grassroots efforts for activism and change, with youth as a central focus. Education is key, but the foundation does not give money directly to schools or school-based programs.

BEST BUY FOUNDATION

The retail giant's philanthropy arm is open to many tech education approaches for teens, with an eye toward preparing kids for college and career. Funds both national and community-level programs. 

BEZOS FAMILY FOUNDATION

The Bezos Family Foundation, built and run by the parents of Amazon's founder, is solely dedicated to enriching education for students—starting before formal education begins, continuing through K-12 education, and positioning students for college success and enriched lives.

BOEING COMPANY

The giant aerospace company is strongly committed to STEM education, but its grantmaking is wider in scope than that, including other parts of K-12 education.

BRAITMAYER FOUNDATION

Unlike many smaller, family-operated foundations, this funder has an open application process and supports innovative K-12 education programs all around the country.  

BROAD FOUNDATION

The Broad Foundation focuses its K-12 grantmaking in urban areas only. It does not award grants to individual schools, but rather to entire school districts, charter management organizations, and research aligned with its focus.

BROADCOM FOUNDATION

If your organization is located in a community where Broadcom has a "significant presence," and you are looking to get middle schoolers excited about STEM, modest funding is available through Broadcom’s Community program.

BROWN RUDNICK CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

Philanthropic arm of the international law firm supports education in inner-city communities where the firm has a presence.

PETER AND CARMEN LUCIA BUCK FOUNDATION

The Buck Foundation awards millions of dollars in grants to charter school general operations and exapnsion, out-of-school K-12 STEM ed organizations, and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Grants are awarded primarily (though not exclusively) in Connecticut and New York.

LAURA BUSH FOUNDATION FOR AMERICA'S LIBRARIES

A restricted fund of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the foundation funds the purchase of reading and learning materials for school libraries at K-12 institutions with a high percentage of needy kids. 

LOUIS CALDER FOUNDATION

Calder's program areas are charter and parochial schools, teacher and leadership development, public policy, and STEM-related capital projects. There are no geographic limitations, but funding has tended to support organizations in the eastern U.S.

J. BULOW CAMPBELL FOUNDATION

The Campbell Foundation prioritizes organizations "that benefit the development and preservation of the Christian faith,” especially those in Atlanta. Yet independent schools, charters, and education organizations in the other states (Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina) where Campbell gives support are also on its grantmaking radar.

CAPTAIN PLANET FOUNDATION

Founded by media mogul Ted Turner and currently chaired by his daughter, the Captain Planet Foundation is dedicated to the environmental education of children in all aspects of their lives.

CARNEGIE CORPORATION OF NEW YORK

The Carnegie Corporation of New York has a storied history in education funding, and it's one of the most influential K-12 funders in the United States. 

CARSON FAMILY CHARITABLE TRUST

The charitable vehicle of businessman Russell Carson and his family, the Carson Trust's K-12 interests include charters, arts education, teacher training, Catholic schools, and out-of-school programs, primarily in New York City. Unfortunately, the trust doesn't have a website or clear means of applying for funding.

ANNIE E. CASEY FOUNDATION

This funder approaches education initiatives aligned with its mission of supporting underserved children and their families.

CATHAY BANK FOUNDATION

The bank's charitable arm has lately given in limited amounts to K-12 education, with more emphasis on youth development and entrepreneurship. Funds go to programs in states where the bank has a business presence.

HARRY CHAPIN FOUNDATION

This foundation doesn’t have a specific category of K-12 education giving, but in practice, shows a consistent focus on this age group through its support of arts education and environmental education.

CHARTER SCHOOL GROWTH FUND

Charter School Growth Fund awards millions in charter school grants and loans around the country. "Growth" is the key word, as it's been aggressive in supporting the expansion of top charter schools and networks. 

CITI FOUNDATION

Citigroup’s corporate foundation offers K-12 grantmaking through its Youth Economic Opportunities program. Citi awards its grants to organizations that work with low- to moderate-income families, but proposals and inquiries are by invitation only.

COCA-COLA FOUNDATION

The Coca-Cola Foundation and its affiliates back K-12 education efforts in the U.S. and around the globe. Many education grants include an overlapping focus on community, physical health or environmental stewardship.

STEVEN A. AND ALEXANDRA M. COHEN FOUNDATION

The Cohen Foundation gives mainly in Connecticut and New York, but several outfits around the country have also received funding. Its primary K-12 focus is on education reform and charter schools, but it has also supported education, the arts, out-of-school education, and college prep.

COMCAST FOUNDATION

While it doesn't have a specific education focus, the foundation funds K-12 education, particularly schools and school districts, through its commitment to both community service and youth development, with an overarching goal of achieving diversity.

DANIELS FUND

In addition to its support for early childhood education, the Daniels Fund also has a presence in K-12 education funding, especially for charter schools and school choice programs in the four-state region of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

MICHAEL AND SUSAN DELL FOUNDATION

Dell's K-12 grantmaking focuses on improving the quality of urban education in the U.S., India and South Africa. Its Dell Scholars Program offers U.S. students college prep grants and scholarships through its Urban Education Program.

GERALDINE R. DODGE FOUNDATION

The Dodge Foundation focuses its grantmaking efforts in New Jersey. Arts programs designed to benefit teenagers continually attract funding.

DOLLAR GENERAL LITERACY FOUNDATION

The philanthropic arm of Dollar General Stores supports youth and adult literacy in traditional classrooms and beyond—in all of the states you can find its stores, which includes most of the U.S. 

DOMINION FOUNDATION

This funder is the philanthropic arm of an energy company. In the K-12 realm, Dominion supports STEM learning about the environment and/or energy to schools and organizations in Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia. 

FARMERS INSURANCE

The insurance company makes grants to K-12 teachers to support a wide range of teacher-driven efforts to benefit communities.

DORIS AND DONALD FISHER FUND

These founders of Gap, Inc. award grants to a small number of longtime grantees in K-12 that work toward increasing student achievement, providing a high-quality education to all students, and the creation and replication of high-performing public charter schools. 

DORSEY & WHITNEY FOUNDATION

This law firm foundation is built on a “tradition to aid those with limited resources,” which includes its take on funding K-12 education programs. While grants are small, it has an open application process and offers general operating support.

MAX AND VICTORIA DREYFUS FOUNDATION

Funder from famed music publisher Max Dreyfus, who worked with American greats like George Gershwin and Cole Porter, interested in providing smaller grants that can make a big difference.

DRUCKENMILLER FOUNDATION

While the foundation of retired hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller's main education commitment has been to the Harlem Children's Zone, money flows to other education groups, too, and the foundation has ramped up its giving in recent years.

ECOLAB FOUNDATION

Ecolab Foundation has a focus on at-risk students and STEM programming through support for classroom educators in Ecolab communities.

FCA FOUNDATION

The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Foundation gives grants to community, regional and national initiatives in support of education, youth development, military families, and multicultural inclusion.

FIRSTENERGY

FirstEnergy gives modest amounts to K-12 STEM classroom projects in communities it services, and also provides funding to community-organization K-12 education initiatives that can have a wider-ranging scope.

FLORA FAMILY FOUNDATION

This funder supports a wide range of K-12 education programs, including individual schools, community programs, and education management nonprofits throughout the U.S. and beyond. 

EDWARD E. FORD FOUNDATION

This funder supports independent, private secondary schools (grades 9-12) across the country, with a particular focus on advancing best practices in teaching and learning. 

FORD FOUNDATION

Following its recent restructuring, Ford's Youth Education and Opportunity program is its vehicle for funding K-12 education organizations.  

FORD MOTOR COMPANY FUND & COMMUNITY SERVICES

The fund's ed grantmaking creates partnerships to support public school districts, programs that serve large communities and entire cities, and roadmaps for keeping under-served students in school.

FUND FOR TEACHERS

A donor-supported nonprofit that gives grants to pre-K through 12th grade teachers for “self-designed professional development and scholarly exploration.” Grants go directly to teachers, and individuals or teams may apply.

GANNETT FOUNDATION

The media company's commitment to developing the many communities where it operates including an explicit focus on education.

BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION

The College-Ready Education Strategy at Gates awards K-12 education grants in Teaching, Learning and Innovation programs. Historically, public school systems have received the most attention and money from Gates.

GE FOUNDATION

The GE Foundation gives through its Developing Futures in Education program, through which it is currently committed to the betterment of school districts in Louisville, Cincinnati, Stamford, Erie, Atlanta, New York City and Milwaukee.

GEORGIA-PACIFIC FOUNDATION

This funder gives a large number of grants to individual schools and school districts for general operating support. But it also has specific education focuses on literacy and job readiness.

GOLDMAN SACHS

This funder gives to education (both nationally and internationally) through its Goldman Sachs Gives initiative. This program gives big and promotes big—and therefore expects its partners to have a big presence and big plans.

HEARST FOUNDATIONS

Hearst tends to focus its grantmaking on higher education, but it does award grants for “innovative models of... K-12 education, as well as professional development." 

HECKSHER FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN

Hecksher’s K-12 grantmaking supports schools and nonprofits in New York City and nationwide. Its scope is fairly broad, and its goals include improving grades and test scores, and increasing high school graduation, college admissions, and graduation rates. 

HELIOS EDUCATION FOUNDATION

This funder’s agenda is to improve college access and success for students in Arizona and Florida. Its K-12 grantmaking activities include early childhood education (through grade three), the transition from middle to high school, and college readiness.

HEWLETT FOUNDATION

Hewlett’s education reform grantmaking applies to California only, but its Deeper Learning and Open Educational Resources programs award grants nationally.

INTEL

Technology is in the DNA of the Intel Corporation. Through the corporation and its foundation, Intel offers free teacher resources, an "accelerator" program for startup nonprofits, high school science and technology fairs and competitions, and a matching grants program for employee donations. Geographic limitations may apply, depending on the program.

JAMES IRVINE FOUNDATION

Through its Linked Learning initiative, the James Irvine Foundation builds stronger pathways between K-12 and higher education systems, with a focus on specific regions in the Golden State.

KARSH FAMILY FOUNDATION

If you don't work in Los Angeles, the foundation of billionaire Bruce Karsh will likely be a dead end, since its national-level funding is highly selective. But Karsh is a major ally to ed reformers and could eventually expand giving.

EWING MARION KAUFFMAN FOUNDATION

Kauffman concentrates most of its funding on charter organizations and networks with a presence in the Kansas City area, as well as funding its own charter school. It also funds a variety of K-12 initiatives that support both charters and traditional public schools, as well as grants for education research.

CALVIN K. KAZANJIAN ECONOMICS FOUNDATION

Established about 70 years ago by the founder of candy bar maker Peter Paul Inc., the foundation funds nonprofits that create K-12 education programs to teach economic literacy, with a goal of social uplift.  

W.K. KELLOGG FOUNDATION

Kellogg's ed funding spans pre-natal care through college and career readiness, with a primary concentration on birth through age eight. Its approach is holisitic, seeking to engage governmental and educational institutions, teachers, and parents, in addition to the students themselves. Kellogg is also a big supporter of the charter school movement.

KERN FAMILY FOUNDATION

The Kern Family Foundation is a major player in charter schools and other school choice programs, though it also works with non-charter organizations. Kern's efforts are geared at large-scale, systemic change, and it does not accept unsolicited proposals.

KNIGHT FOUNDATION

K-12 grants from the Knight Foundation go to innovative nonprofits that engage diverse groups in the arts and arts education at multiple levels. Innovation is key, and grants support a wide variety of organizations and approaches.

MARIE-JOSEE AND HENRY R. KRAVIS FOUNDATION

This private equity billionaire and his wife give for arts, culture, and higher education, but they also care about K-12 education and have been ramping up their giving in this area in recent years, mainly in the New York City area.

LEON LOWENSTEIN FOUNDATION

Though this foundation offers little information regarding specific grantmaking guidelines and does not maintain a web site, it has given a large share of grants to K-12 schools and nonprofits around the country, and especially in New York City and its surrounding areas. 

LOWE'S CHARITABLE AND EDUCATION FOUNDATION

This charitable arm of the home improvement chain supports schools needing renovations, facilities safety improvements, technology upgrades, and tools for STEM projects. 

MACY'S INC

Macy’s gives substantially in the K-12 realm through its foundation for national and high profile programming, but much more of it occurs locally through the corporation.

MAJESTIC REALTY FOUNDATION

The philanthropic arm of the real estate development firm supports K-12 education and youth development in the eight regions of the country where the company conducts business. 

MALONE FAMILY FOUNDATION

The foundation of the billionaire media mogul John Malone supports gifted students and research into their needs. It also has an interest in developmental disorders. 

MCCARTHEY DRESSMAN FOUNDATION

Established by two education professors, this funder supports K-12 education by funding classroom programs and professional development for educators anywhere in the United States.

MEADOWS FOUNDATION

Meadows wants to impact the educational landscape of Texas, especially through programs that close the achievement gaps separating different ethnic groups and ensuring more students across the Lone Star State are ready for college.

MOCKINGBIRD FOUNDATION

Established by fans of Phish, the consummate jam band, the foundation raises funds for music education and disburses it to schools around the country.

GORDON AND BETTY MOORE FOUNDATION

If your nonprofit is working on new and improved “science learning assessments” or operates a science and technology museum in California’s Bay Area, Moore may be the foundation for you. Outside of this area, however, K-12 education funding is limited, and the foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals.

MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS FOUNDATION

If you want to stimulate young people's interest in pursuing STEM studies and are concerned with reaching out to populations underrepresented in the STEM fields, this funder may hold the key. Keep in mind that Motorola prioritizes projects in areas where it has a corporate presence.

CHARLES STEWART MOTT FOUNDATION

Mott's K-12 education giving supports community-driven programs, and those that put power in the hands of students, parents, teachers and community leaders. It's been a leader in funding afterschool. 

NATIONAL ART EDUCATION FOUNDATION

An offshoot of the National Art Education Association, the foundation’s goal is to improve and promote visual arts education and support teachers working in the field.

NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TEACHERS OF MATHEMATICS

This group awards professional grants in support of K-12 education through its Mathematics Education Trust. Funds go toward professional development, curriculum support, and specific classroom projects.

NEA FOUNDATION

The NEA Foundation champions public school education by providing grants, awards, resources and visibility to public school educators, school districts, and education-related unions. 

NEWSCHOOLS VENTURE FUND

NewSchools Venture Fund is a venture philanthropy outfit. It pools its funders' money and makes grants to innovative organizations that are working to “transform public education for low-income children.” It was founded, and remains heavily backed, by tech industry leaders. 

NEXT GENERATION LEARNING CHALLENGES

Funded largely by the Gates Foundation, the NGLC network is driven to improve student outcomes through innovative strategies for teaching, learning and assessment. It is especially interested in ensuring college readiness and completion. For K-12 funders, the key programs are "K-12 Breakthrough Models" and "K-12 Tech Innovation."

NORTHROP GRUMMAN

Northrop Grumman places primary focus on STEM education, giving both through national programs (though the Northrop Grumman Foundation) and local, community-driven K-12 education programs (through its Corporate Citizenship program).

BILL AND SUSAN OBERNDORF FOUNDATION

The philanthropic vehicle of William Oberndorf and his wife Susan has provided support for education reform, school choice groups, and charter schools, but making initial contact with this Bay Area-based funder may prove challenging.

O'DONNELL FOUNDATION

Grantmaking at O’Donnell is rather narrow with its Advanced Placement Incentive Program. This program awards grants to organizations that give students the opportunity to take AP classes in high school. 

OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS

Open Society's Education and Youth program funds K-12 education grants. One current hot funding topic is black male achievement.

PIMCO FOUNDATION

The philanthropic arm of the investment management firm supports educational success and college readiness for low-income, high-need students. 

PPG INDUSTRIES FOUNDATION

This funder's ed giving primarily focuses on STEM education. If you’re not with a national-level education initiative, your K-12 education program should be focused on a community where PPG Industries does business.

PRITZKER-TRAUBERT FAMILY FOUNDATION

The foundation of the power couple Penny Pritzker and Bryan Traubert is a steady funder of organizations focused on education, arts and culture, and health and fitness—the latter two categories are also geared heavily toward young people. Fundraisers should be aware that the majority of PTFF's grantmaking is focused on Chicago organizations.

PWC CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

K-12 education is a major focus area for the PwC Foundation. It gives directly to schools in 35 states (public, private, and charter), school districts, and organizations working in the K-12 realm.

RGK FOUNDATION

After five decades, the foundation announced that it will wind down operations and distribute assets equally between two new foundations, the Kozmetsky Family Foundation and the Reissa Foundation. 

ROBBINS FAMILY FOUNDATION

Headed up by hedge fund billionaire Larry Robbins, this funder focuses mostly on national organizations, New York, and Robbins' home state of Illinois. The foundation supports charter schools, education reform, ending childhood poverty, and other initiatives that interface with education.

ROBERTSON FOUNDATION

Another grantmaker in the K-12 school reform push, the Robertson Foundation awards grants to organizations working toward accountability and closing the achievement gap. 

SATTER FOUNDATION

One of Satter's many priorities is education reform (both charters and advocacy organizations) in Chicago, but the foundation also backs national conservative policy organizations whose portfolios include education work.

SCHUSTERMAN FOUNDATION

This funder aims to impact K-12 education across the country and in its hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is especially interested in education reform and exploring new approaches to education.

CHARLES AND HELEN SCHWAB FOUNDATION

The Schwab Foundation’s main K-12 concern is education reform, but it's also interested in areas like ed tech and research on educational innovations. Its main geographic focus is California, but organizations outside the Golden State also receive funding.

SPRINT FOUNDATION

The K-12 funding of the telecommunication giant’s philanthropic arm primarily focuses on urban schools in the Kansas City metropolitan area, though organizations outside this region are also eligible for support.

STAPLES

Staples Foundation is very much in the K-12 education game, especially for underserved students. For its top-level giving, the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, preferring to meet grantees through staff at local stores.

STATE FARM

State Farm supports K-12 education by giving big checks to education organizations, emphasizing some stalwarts. But it also makes some unexpected choices by supporting student-driven initiatives. The State Farm Companies Foundation, a separate entity, provides scholarships and supports "associate-driven" initiatives and volunteer efforts.

STARR FOUNDATION

The Starr Foundation awards need-based financial aid to help students who would like to attend tuition-based secondary schools. Starr also supports U.S. students who would like to study abroad and foreign students who would like to study in the U.S. Unfortunately, unsolicited proposals or other materials are not accepted.

STRANAHAN FOUNDATION

This family foundation funds K-12 education efforts both in Toledo, Ohio (where the foundation is based) and beyond.

SURDNA FOUNDATION

The Surdna Foundation’s mission is focused on “sustainable communities” with a community-based strategy geared toward social justice. K-12 grantseekers should apply through Surdna's Teens' Artistic and Cultural Advancement sub-program. 

TARGET CORPORATION

Target's philanthropic giving has recently shifted toward healthy eating and wellness. This includes a significant youth and K-12 component, and grantseekers should research upcoming or recent awards for a better sense of Target's current funding strategy. 

TOSA FOUNDATION

Tosa is huge grantmaker in K-12 education that does not seem to favor big education names over lesser-known organizations, but information for grantseekers is hard to come by. A large portion of its giving is directed to recipients in California, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. 

TOSHIBA AMERICA FOUNDATION

This foundation likes direct impact. It doles out grants to K-12 STEM projects that teachers implement in the classroom, including funding for the materials needed to make those projects happen.

TRAVELERS FOUNDATION

Travelers is all about improving K-12 academic achievement and developing student readiness for life after high school whether that be college or a career.  Preference is given to organizations in Hartford, Connecticut, and St. Paul, Minnesota, though support for grantseekers outside of those areas isn't out of the question.

TUDOR FOUNDATION

Hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones is well known for his anti-poverty work, but he's also been a longtime supporter of charter schools, networks, and advocacy groups, mainly in New York and Connecticut. The foundation also supports literacy and scholarship programs, as well as a number of organizations in Australia and the U.K.

UNION PACIFIC FOUNDATION

Union Pacific Foundation places an emphasis on K-12 education through its support of community organizations and programs (rather than school-based initiatives).

U.S. BANCORP FOUNDATION

The U.S Bancorp Foundation is a significant grantor of K-12 education programs—including for general operating costs—viewing this support as part of a larger context of community development and uplift.

VOYA FOUNDATION

The philanthropic offshoot of Voya Financial (formerly known as ING), the foundation’s primary focus is children’s education, particularly through its signature Unsung Heroes program.

WALLACE FOUNDATION

This funder concentrates its grantmaking activities on fostering effective school leaders, supporting afterschool and other enrichment programs, and building appreciation for the arts. It tends to favor research-based project ideas.

WALTON FAMILY FOUNDATION

The Walton Family Foundation is a giant ed funder that awards grants to organizations that are creating new charter schools, improving existing schools or working to change public education policies.

WELLS FARGO

Wells Fargo's giving priorities are subdivided by state, and sometimes also by regions within those states. Gives to K-12 programs in 40 states.

WEM FOUNDATION

WEM's education grantmaking involves charters, education advocacy groups, and scholarships. There is also the WEM Outstanding Educator Awards Program, which awards funds to educators, administrators, and academic challenge coaches from Minnesota public or non-public schools and educational institutions.

WOODROW WILSON NATIONAL FELLOWSHIP FOUNDATION

The Wilson Fellowship Foundation dedicates its efforts to building the nation's future leaders and scholars. But it's not just about the ivory tower; this funder also awards fellowships to attract and train outstanding STEM teachers in high-need secondary schools in select states.

XEROX FOUNDATION

K-12 funding prioritizes efforts to provide minority and underserved K-12 student populations with access to high-quality education—especially STEM study and career mentorship.