He Became a Billionaire Selling Tools. Now He’s Boosting Skilled Trade Education in High Schools

He Became a Billionaire Selling Tools. Now He’s Boosting Skilled Trade Education in High Schools

Eric Smidt started the discount hardware store Harbor Freight Tools at 17 with his dad in 1977. Now worth $3 billion, his emerging philanthropy is laser-focused on helping high school students prepare for good-paying jobs in the trades.

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To Get More Young People Into Good Jobs, a New Focus on Apprenticeships

To Get More Young People Into Good Jobs, a New Focus on Apprenticeships

Even as millions of young workers languish in low-wage jobs, employers say they can’t find enough electricians, plumbers and other skilled workers. A funder-backed initiative at New America is looking to change that by re-juicing youth apprenticeships.

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Growing its Education Work, a Silicon Valley Funder Looks to Boost the "Whole Family"

Growing its Education Work, a Silicon Valley Funder Looks to Boost the "Whole Family"

The Omidyar Network, a longtime supporter of education abroad, has turned its attention to education needs at home, where it’s taking on both early childhood learning and parents’ post-secondary success. Here’s how things are playing out so far.

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One of the Few Big Backers of After-School and Summer Programs Steps up with a Major Grant

One of the Few Big Backers of After-School and Summer Programs Steps up with a Major Grant

Out-of-school programs play a critical role in the K-12 ecosystem, but most education funders are focused on other priorities. The New York Life Foundation is among the loyal supporters of such programs. Here’s a look at where it’s sending a $3 million grant.

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Behind a $180 Million Corporate Pledge to Connect Youth with Opportunity Worldwide

Behind a $180 Million Corporate Pledge to Connect Youth with Opportunity Worldwide

A growing number of philanthropic initiatives are zeroing in on the many teenagers and young adults who aren’t engaged in either school or work. The latest effort, from a major financial products company, is addressing this vexing problem at a global level.

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A Growing Backer of Early Childhood Learning Steps up with Another Set of National Grants

A Growing Backer of Early Childhood Learning Steps up with Another Set of National Grants

Even as early childhood learning gains momentum, many foundations still focus on work closest to home. Which is why the emergence of J.B. and M.K. Pritzker as national funders in this space is a big deal. We take stock of the latest move by their Pritzker Children’s Initiative.

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Critical Connections: A Foundation Breaks Down Silos to Boost its Impact on Early Childhood

Critical Connections: A Foundation Breaks Down Silos to Boost its Impact on Early Childhood

The Packard Foundation has been helping give kids a strong start in life for over 50 years. But now it’s doing this work differently after adopting a new, more holistic funding approach to early childhood development that better integrates health and learning.

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In a State with Deep Inequities, a Billionaire Couple is Catalyzing Action on K-12 and Jobs

In a State with Deep Inequities, a Billionaire Couple is Catalyzing Action on K-12 and Jobs

In recent years, Barbara Dalio has quietly tapped a vast hedge fund fortune to help address Connecticut’s education problems. Now, in a big step up, she and her husband Ray are giving $100 million for a public-private partnership.

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A Changing Landscape: Five Trends to Watch in Charter School Philanthropy

A Changing Landscape: Five Trends to Watch in Charter School Philanthropy

Last week, IP published an in-depth story taking stock of how private funding for charter schools has evolved in recent years, based on interviews with key grantmakers. Here, we look at the trends likely to shape giving in this space going forward.


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Inflection Point: Taking Stock of Philanthropy and the Charter School Movement

Inflection Point: Taking Stock of Philanthropy and the Charter School Movement

Conversations with top backers of the charter school movement reveal that while some foundations are doubling down on these schools, others are pulling back or rethinking their strategies. We take a deep dive into a funding landscape in flux.

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When Eagles Hatch: Native Americans in Philanthropy and Native Youth Activism

When Eagles Hatch: Native Americans in Philanthropy and Native Youth Activism

A small cadre of foundations and nonprofits has been expanding efforts to improve understanding and funding for Native -related causes. One important focus is fueling Native youth activism, work that has been been picking up steam in recent years.

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Why Not You? A Star NFL Quarterback Aims to Empower Youth

Why Not You? A Star NFL Quarterback Aims to Empower Youth

Star NFL quarterback Russell Wilson has emerged as a philanthropist in recent years with a focus on expanding the horizons of youth, and is now steering his foundation with his wife, singer Ciara. What’s next for the young celebrity couple’s giving?

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Behind a $25 Million Plan to Elevate Women in STEM and Use their Stories to Inspire Girls

Behind a $25 Million Plan to Elevate Women in STEM and Use their Stories to Inspire Girls

Can role models inspire girls to push into STEM fields that have historically been dominated by men? A successful female entrepreneur who’s now focused on philanthropy is betting big that the answer is “yes.”

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What’s Hot (and What’s Not) in Education Philanthropy Right Now

 What’s Hot (and What’s Not) in Education Philanthropy Right Now

The education funding landscape has been in flux in recent years, as new funders have emerged with different priorities and stalwart major players have shifted course. A recent report from Grantmakers in Education highlights key trends.

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Planet Word: A Philanthropist’s Mission to Build a Museum of Language

Planet Word: A Philanthropist’s Mission to Build a Museum of Language

The real estate heiress and former reading teacher Ann Friedman had a dream to open a museum of language in D.C., and it’s now under construction. Friedman tells us how this project emerged and who—besides herself—is putting up the money.

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Long Game: Inside the Carnegie Corporation’s Quest to Improve Science Education

Long Game: Inside the Carnegie Corporation’s Quest to Improve Science Education

One of the country’s oldest foundations has been working over the past decade to bolster science education, with a big focus on improving the quality of instructional materials. How’s this effort been going? And what’s been learned along the way?

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Among Regional Foundations, Early Childhood Commands Growing Attention

Among Regional Foundations, Early Childhood Commands Growing Attention

Even as national funders step up their giving for child development and learning, a lot of the new action is happening locally, with regional foundations focusing more resources on the very youngest kids. We look at emerging initiatives in Texas and Montana.

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