The Foundation’s grantmaking is driven by our aspiration for education systems that improve life outcomes for young people, especially those furthest from opportunity. We award grants in California and Washington State to help educators, education systems, supporting organizations and policymakers improve student learning and success.
The Foundation’s grantmaking is directed toward research, practice, and policy activities that are aligned with our aspiration for education systems that support high-quality learning and expansive life opportunities for young people. The Foundation supports the use of evidence and research to strengthen teaching practice and system effectiveness. All of our efforts – whether supporting leaders who are piloting an innovative practice in the field, or investing in infrastructure such as data systems, or building collective capacity for advocacy including parents and families to influence local and statewide policy – are centered on the interconnected relationships, sources of experience and knowledge, and financial and human resources necessary for the student populations that are furthest from opportunity to achieve success in school and in life.
We make grants across the following, interconnected areas, always through the lens of supporting success for children who are furthest from opportunity:
- State Policy
- Adolescent learning and pathways to higher education
- Foster Youth Education
Throughout, we seek to highlight and connect successful efforts to inform better policy. Our grantmaking reflects timely and actionable opportunities, while also building on the Foundation’s rich history, its ability to leverage resources, and its unique position to create impact. Our grants in Washington State leverage the efforts of other foundations with complementary strategies, support learning between California and Washington to promote innovative approaches.
In March 2020, the Foundation’s Board allocated $2 million for rapid response grantmaking to meet urgent needs in the face of the pandemic.
The Foundation has since approved nearly $1.4 million in grants to support vulnerable students, including foster youth and those from low-income families.
Our grantmaking is designed to accelerate systemic change:
We support equitable school funding to narrow opportunity and achievement gaps and to resource creativity, social-emotional learning, and other student supports.
We are committed to increasing and retaining the number of exceptional leaders at every level of the system, and ensuring they have the capacity to lead improvement.
We support people and programs that increase the effectiveness of high schools in preparing students for and transitioning them to college, career and civic life.
We invest in initiatives to improve outcomes for young people who are our collective responsibility, including foster youth, English language learners, and others.
The Foundation has a long history in child welfare grantmaking that has resulted in policy and practice reforms and improved outcomes for youth in foster care. We continue to fund organizations that provide educational support and services to foster youth in K-16 systems to improve their educational experiences and outcomes and ensure that policy makers prioritize their welfare.
In addition to the Foundation’s grantmaking, we work to inform and amplify our work in the following ways:
Convenings: We set tables to build productive conversations, relationships and common ground to accelerate learning and innovation across systems and silos.
Funder networks and partnerships: We collaborate closely with like-minded philanthropies in order to understand their work and amplify our own.
Learning visits: We spend time in schools, school districts, and the communities they serve.