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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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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.”

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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.

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All Too Rare: A Gift Underscores a Persistent Lack of Support for Community Colleges

All Too Rare: A Gift Underscores a Persistent Lack of Support for Community Colleges

One of the most vexing issues in higher ed philanthropy right now is how community colleges struggle to raise money. What will it take for donors to give these affordable, diverse, and critically underfunded engines of economic mobility a second look?

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“Awestruck.” Behind a Regional Funder's Historic Gift to a Public University's Engineering School

“Awestruck.” Behind a Regional Funder's Historic Gift to a Public University's Engineering School

Even as critics charge that the STEM skills gap is exaggerated, big gifts keep flowing to schools to bolster their STEM programs. Who are the funders behind this endless gusher of cash? And what’s motivating them to make such large donations?

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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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“Changes are Incremental.” How are Liberal Arts Funders Working to Boost Faculty Diversity?

“Changes are Incremental.” How are Liberal Arts Funders Working to Boost Faculty Diversity?

Despite funders' interest in equity across higher ed, we've seen few major grants earmarked for boosting faculty diversity in the liberal arts. Why is this? And how are some fundraisers integrating this goal within larger diversity and inclusion efforts?

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"What Makes Human Beings Human." A Higher Ed Fundraising Boom is Boosting the Liberal Arts

"What Makes Human Beings Human." A Higher Ed Fundraising Boom is Boosting the Liberal Arts

A gift out of Oregon provides another example of a donor motivated by a bold fundraising campaign, and digging deep for the liberal arts. But even as the cash rolls in, demographic shifts among alumni are pushing schools to recalibrate their pitch for liberal arts initiatives.

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"Empower Them To Succeed." An Alumna Looks to Close the Engineering Gender Gap

"Empower Them To Succeed." An Alumna Looks to Close the Engineering Gender Gap

While there’s no shortage of tech, corporate and institutional funders providing support to boost gender equity in STEM across higher ed, we see few gifts flowing from female alumnae engineers. A gift to UCLA is an exception worth looking at more closely.

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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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As Wealthy Donors Fuel Campus Growth, What About Low-Wage Workers and Local Residents?

As Wealthy Donors Fuel Campus Growth, What About Low-Wage Workers and Local Residents?

While the higher ed fundraising boom has lifted many boats, university employees often find themselves squeezed by flat wages and escalating housing costs. Some donors are paying attention to these larger equity issues. Will others follow?

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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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How Susan and Steve Chamberlin Support Education in the Bay Area

How Susan and Steve Chamberlin Support Education in the Bay Area

Thirteen years ago, this couple established the Chamberlin Family Foundation, a grantmaking entity that supports causes related to education and equity. They’ve also created a nonprofit called Education Matters that focuses on West Contra Costa.

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