Inside the Growing Push for Social and Emotional Learning in K-12 Education

Inside the Growing Push for Social and Emotional Learning in K-12 Education

More funders are backing social and emotional learning and other “whole child” approaches, helping power a growing field that aims to reimagine schools. But what do philanthropies mean when they talk about SEL and what’s behind its new popularity?

Read More

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.

Read More

Lost Generation: How Can Fundraisers Effectively Engage Debt-Ridden Millennial Alumni?

Lost Generation: How Can Fundraisers Effectively Engage Debt-Ridden Millennial Alumni?

Saddled with student debt, millennial graduates often don’t have extra income to donate to their alma mater. Many are also more drawn to social causes than established institutions. How is this reality reshaping higher ed fundraising?

Read More

A Funder That's Training STEM Teachers, With an Eye on Also Making Bigger Changes to K-12

A Funder That's Training STEM Teachers, With an Eye on Also Making Bigger Changes to K-12

The Knowles Teacher Initiative is mainly focused on professional development for math and science teachers through intensive fellowships. But it’s also looking to empower them to fight for larger improvements in education.

Read More

A National Education Funder Makes its Home Region a Priority with “Good Neighbor” Grants

A National Education Funder Makes its Home Region a Priority with “Good Neighbor” Grants

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a major supporter of college access with a broad geographic focus. But the Virginia-based organization also makes its home region a priority, giving significantly each year for education in the Mid-Atlantic States.

Read More

How a Top Foundation is Betting Big on Prison Education and Reentry

How a Top Foundation is Betting Big on Prison Education and Reentry

The Andrew Mellon Foundation has emerged as a leading funder of prison education, seeing such programs as a “public good.” Mellon’s latest big round of grants in this space comes on the heels of a new study showing how such funding can ease reentry.

Read More

As Another Big University Gift Goes Wrong, What Are Some Key Takeaways?

As Another Big University Gift Goes Wrong, What Are Some Key Takeaways?

The saga between the University of Alabama and Hugh Culverhouse Jr. ended with the school returning most of his $26.5 million pledge. But the dust-up points to a future in which hands-on donors and schools increasingly wrangle over how gifts are used.

Read More

“The Next Exciting Phase.” What a Big Science Research Donation Says About Higher Ed Giving

“The Next Exciting Phase.” What a Big Science Research Donation Says About Higher Ed Giving

With donors giving big for trendy areas like data science and artificial intelligence, a gift out of Chicago finds the Pritzker Foundation going against the grain. We dig into its $75 million gift earmarked for the nascent field of molecular engineering.

Read More

Parting Ways: Why a University Wants to Return a Donor’s $21.5 Million Gift

Parting Ways: Why a University Wants to Return a Donor’s $21.5 Million Gift

Saying that donors can’t dictate campus decisions, the University of Alabama is poised to return a major naming gift for its law school from Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. The move comes amid growing scrutiny of how much influence donors wield over universities.

Read More

In Worcester, Massachusetts, a Funder Is Giving Attention to Early Education

In Worcester, Massachusetts, a Funder Is Giving Attention to Early Education

Like many community foundations, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation has broad interests. But lately it has been particularly interested in the region’s very youngest residents, which is good news for early learning-focused groups.

Read More

To Boost Low-Wage Workers, an Influential Funder Turns to Community Colleges

To Boost Low-Wage Workers, an Influential Funder Turns to Community Colleges

A few years back, the Irvine Foundation reorganized itself to empower California's low-income workers. The latest part of this work aims to rev up a key engine of economic mobility, California’s community colleges, as well as the California State University system.

Read More

The Perils of “Easy Money.” Philanthropy's Role in Amplifying—and Fixing—the Student Debt Crisis

The Perils of “Easy Money.” Philanthropy's Role in Amplifying—and Fixing—the Student Debt Crisis

Robert Smith pledged to pay off the loans of Morehouse College’s graduating class, kicking off a national conversation about student debt. Now, how can philanthropy change the received wisdom about administrative costs, capital expenses and tuition hikes?

Read More

In an Era of Tech Regret, Donors Want to Give Computer Science a Conscience

In an Era of Tech Regret, Donors Want to Give Computer Science a Conscience

Society is fed up with the tech industry, and critics include big winners from Silicon Valley. Some leading tech philanthropists are seeking opportunities to course-correct, including a program to ground computer science education with ethics.

Read More

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.

Read More

Debt-Free: Five Things to Know About the Billionaire Donor Behind That Morehouse Gift

Debt-Free: Five Things to Know About the Billionaire Donor Behind That Morehouse Gift

Black billionaire Robert F. Smith made headlines this weekend for wiping out the debt of the Morehouse College Class of 2019. But we’ve been keeping tabs on Smith’s exploding philanthropy for a while now. Here’s what to know about one of America’s newest mega-givers.

Read More

Building a Talent Pipeline: Who’s Giving Big for Data Science on Campus?

Building a Talent Pipeline: Who’s Giving Big for Data Science on Campus?

Funder interest in data science shows no signs of abating, and it isn’t just tech funders leading the charge. Given the field’s potential to revolutionize risk management, insurance companies are also digging deep to support data science initiatives.

Read More

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.

Read More

Name and Shame: A New Initiative Tracks Undue Donor Influence at Universities

Name and Shame: A New Initiative Tracks Undue Donor Influence at Universities

The proliferation of "strings-attached" gifts has raised concerns over undue donor influence on campuses. In response, a trio of concerned academics are launching a new database to track “violations of academic norms in financial donations.”

Read More

Dept. of Mega-Gifts: An Alumni Couple Cements Their Philanthropic Legacy

Dept. of Mega-Gifts: An Alumni Couple Cements Their Philanthropic Legacy

After 50 years of support, philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi recently gave $20 million to their alma mater, Indiana University. The gift underscores how the regional higher ed fundraising boom benefits public universities and the liberal arts.

Read More