Braitmayer Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Braitmayer Foundation has been supporting and encouraging high-quality K-12 education throughout the United States for three generations.  Braitmayer's current education grantmaking is especially focused on “proposals utilizing innovative practices in K-12 education.” Unlike many smaller, family-operated foundations, it has an open application process and supports K-12 education programs all around the country.

IP TAKE: The Braitmayer Foundation is a mom-and-pop shop with a generous and thoughtful approach. If you have a project that innovatively empowers the future of K-12 students and their teachers, this is the funder for you.

PROFILE: Now in its third generation of family giving, the Braitmayer Foundation supports K-12 education throughout the United States. Like many foundations in the K-12 realm, Braitmayer keys in on “innovation,” especially sharing that it is “interested in proposals utilizing innovative practices in K-12 education.” 

For the Braitmayer Foundation, the K-12 innovative practices it is most keen to see involve curriculum development, school reform, and professional development opportunities for teachers. It is also mindful of recruiting “high ability” people from “diverse backgrounds” to enter the K-12 teaching profession—and then encouraging them to stick with it.

In recent years, the foundation has distributed about $120,000 to $150,000 annually, consisting of grants that range from $10,000 to $35,000. Braitmayer offers single-year grants only, is looking for fairly big ideas that are implemented on a school or local level, and wants to fund the ideas themselves—not the hardware, books, or other materials sometimes necessary for implementation.

The Braitmayer Foundation is also primarily focused on the traditional school day (rather than afterschool or childcare programming), possibly in part because members of the Braitmayer family have worked as public school teachers.

Projects the foundation has funded in the past several years have been diverse in terms of scope and academic discipline. Subject-area support has gone to curricula in Marine Studies, Health Care, the Visual & Performing Arts, physical education, climate science research, and support for English language learners, and teaching strategies the foundation has supported have included project-based, movement-based, and mindfulness education.  Additionally, Braitmayer has supported initiatives directed at teacher training, licensing, development, and retention.

The Braitmayer Foundation opens up its application to all who are interested, but it also makes a point of letting you know that the process takes one full year from your initial submission and that letters of inquiry (which get the ball rolling) are only accepted towards the beginning of each year. 

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