Foundations Should Bring Equity to Education, National Report Says

Only a small fraction of the billions of dollars that foundations grant annually for education goes toward the specific needs of lower-income and vulnerable students, according to a study by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog.

The committee’s new report Confronting Systemic Inequity in Education calls on foundations to address the root causes of intergenerational inequality by dedicating a minimum of 50% of education grantmaking toward supporting marginalized communities and 25% toward bringing those communities into the policymaking process.

The study defines “marginalized” students as those who are economically disadvantaged, disabled, racial and ethnic minorities, women and girls, students with AIDS, immigrants and refugees, crime/abuse victims, single parents, LGBTQ students and others from historically underserved communities.

NCRP reports that of the 672 foundations that gave at least $1 million in education grants from 2006 to 2008, only 11% devoted at least half of their philanthropic dollars for the benefit of vulnerable students. In addition, just 2% allocated at least 25% of their grantmaking for systemic change.


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