Report: Foundations Do Little to Help Education for Disadvantaged Kids

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Few foundations direct a large share of their education funding to helping low-income kids in marginalized communities, according to a new report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

From 2006 through 2008, 672 foundations gave at least $1 million in grants for education, according to the report entitled Confronting Systemic Inequity in Education: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy. Only 11 percent of those foundations used at least half of that money for students from marginalized communities.

Only 2 percent used at least a quarter of their education funding to improve advocacy, community organizing or civic engagement.

The National Committee describes marginalized communities as “primarily children in low-wealth families and children of color, English language learners, gay and gender-nonconforming youth, students with disabilities, immigrant youth and females in male-dominated fields.”

The Committee argues that education reform can’t succeed without making educational access equal for all kids, regardless of race, ethnicity and parental income. In a March 2009 report, the Committee urged grant makers to allocate at least 50 percent of grant money to marginalized communities.

The report, entitled Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best: Benchmarks to Asses and Enhance Grantmaker Impact, also calls on grantmakers to devote at least 25 percent to activities that promote equity, opportunity and social justice.

Check out both reports below:

Confronting Systemic Inequity in Education: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy

Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best: Benchmarks to Asses and Enhance Grantmaker Impact

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