Even as Some Donors Cool on Charters, This Network of Schools is on a Fundraising Roll

Even as Some Donors Cool on Charters, This Network of Schools is on a Fundraising Roll

These aren’t the best of times for charter schools, with political pushback growing and some disappointed donors losing interest. But IDEA Public Schools, a southern charter network, is doing better than ever. What accounts for its success?

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No Metrics Needed: How a Classic Music Devotee’s Years of “Quiet Support” Led to a Huge Gift

No Metrics Needed: How a Classic Music Devotee’s Years of “Quiet Support” Led to a Huge Gift

While fundraisers are increasingly concentrating their efforts on younger and more impact-focused donors, they shouldn’t discount the emotional power of classical music and the giving power of “old world” patrons. For proof, we turn to a big recent gift.

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Far Too Few Rural Americans Attend College. These Funders Want to Change That

Far Too Few Rural Americans Attend College. These Funders Want to Change That

Despite higher ed funders’ surging interest in equity and access, rural students are often overlooked. But thanks to several factors, including engaged donors, universities are stepping up their efforts to recruit and support such students.

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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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A "Wasted Opportunity?" Unpacking Michael Bloomberg's Mega-Gift to Johns Hopkins

A "Wasted Opportunity?" Unpacking Michael Bloomberg's Mega-Gift to Johns Hopkins

Bloomberg’s $1.8 billion gift to his alma mater has attracted a range of criticisms. We sort through which are fair and which aren’t—and how his detractors miss a central issue in the debate over higher ed and philanthropy.

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An Initiative to Improve Health in Schools Puts Trauma Front and Center

An Initiative to Improve Health in Schools Puts Trauma Front and Center

Foundations and nonprofits are becoming more interested in addressing trauma among children and adolescents, as research points to its many negative effects on life outcomes. America’s Promise Alliance is one organization taking on this issue, tapping a $6 million grant.

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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?

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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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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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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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?

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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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