We've reported in the past that Texas billionaire Richard Rainwater and his Rainwater Charitable Foundation give large in the areas of education and health research, with particular attention to two geographic areas: Rainwater's hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, and his wife's birthplace of South Carolina. While Rainwater has a soft spot for the north Texas city near Dallas and the Palmetto State, that doesn't mean others are left out of the funding race. This is especially true if your organization's work relates to school leadership.
With research demonstrating that effective school leadership of principals is second only to effective teachers as a key factor in fostering student achievement, the Rainwater Foundation has chosen a crucial area on which to concentrate its education funding.
(Early childhood education is the funder's other favorite education funding area, as we recently discussed.)
Rainwater's K-12 education funding goes to both charter schools and traditional K-12 public education. Teach For America and The New Teacher Project are particular favorite organizations. In 2013, Rainwater awarded TNTP $390,600 to fund surveys, the development of a data dashboard, and other tools to measure school leadership effectiveness. TFA, meanwhile, received $3 million to support its national operations, as well as its work in South Carolina and Fort Worth.
Growing organizations should pay particular attention. If your organization has a track record in K-12 education activities—especially EC or school leadership—and wants to expand into Fort Worth or South Carolina, this funder may be willing to help you do it. Take Reading Partners, for example. The Oakland-based provider of one-to-one tutoring services received $50,000 to support expansion into Fort Worth. The Massachusetts-based School Leaders Network recieved a $200,000 grant to expand its program into the Fort Worth Independent School District.
Related - IP's Profile of Rainwater's Texas Giving