OVERVIEW: The Casey Foundation has a long history of supporting child wellness, with a focus on "advancing child welfare and juvenile justice," "promoting economic opportunity for working families," and "creating community change for kids and parents." The foundation supports disadvantaged children and families by investing in policy initiatives, service delivery, and community development. Programs strongly grounded in research and evidence are frequently highlighted, and the foundation has a stated desire to foster long-term partnerships.
IP TAKE: The Casey Foundation doesn't compete in the same circles as the Gates and Buffett foundations of the world, but it gives generously to education initiatives to support underserved children and their families. It doesn't accept unsolicited proposals, but does often look to form lasting partnerships.
PROFILE: The Annie E. Casey Foundation “is devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes.” To achieve this mission, the foundation pursues broad overarching strategies while simultaneously honing in on specific societal challenges. Casey's main programs and initiatives fall under the categories of Kids, Families, and Communities, each of which is sub-divided into a variety of sub-topics (the foundation also has a Leaders program aimed at building skills relationships for public-sector and nonprofit leaders working to "achieve results for large numbers of children.").
Even though Casey breaks down the organizations it invests in by state in which they operate, everything the foundation invests in has a national scope, and is meant to be part of a broad conversation. The foundation has a special consideration for research- and evidence-based programs and strives to support "innovative policy, service delivery and community supports" with a keen eye towards developing "long-term strategies and partnerships."
Annie E. Casey Foundation supports almost all of its issue areas via several interrelated avenues. In this spirit, K-12 education falls under the umbrellas of Kids and Communities, and is addressed through sub-topics like Early Childhood, Grade-Level Reading, Youth and Work, and Youth Development, all of which fall under the Kids program. The foundation also pursues formalized strategies pertaining to K-12 education, including support for low-income children, children of color, literacy, research, advocacy, and LGBT youth through initiatives including The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Evidence2Success, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, KIDS COUNT, and Research and Policy. It is important to note that Casey is concerned with many aspects of well-being for youth, and so it also supports efforts in areas such as juvenile detention, foster care, workforce readiness, and "two-generation" strategies that seek to serve children and their parents simultaneously.
In recent years, Casey has awarded more than 750 grants and more than $85 million per year across all funding areas, and the foundation offers a number of means through which to learn more about the issues and organizations it supports. Its Grants Information page lists both the total number of grantees and totall dollar value of grants awarded in previous years, and its grants database is an interactive map that is fully searchable by funding area, year, and location.
Challenging for fundraisers, this is a foundation that must come to you—it does not accept unsolicited proposals.
That said, Casey has a track record of year-over-year support for several of the organizations it does fund, so those grantees that can catch Casey's attention and demonstrate the value of their contributions have the potential to gain a lasting supporter. To get started, take a look at its leadership, staff, current strategies, and current and former grant recipients.
- Ralph Smith, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
- Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez, Director, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
- Gary Stangler, Senior Fellow, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
- Cynthia Guy, Director, Research and Evaluation
- Kent Berkley, Senior Associate Director, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative