Fall is in the air, school is in full swing, and funders are ready to give big to help kids learn.
Education in general has historically been a thriving area of philanthropy, accounting for about 25 percent of all donor dollars in the U.S. (right in line with health-related causes). And, according to data from the Foundation Center, the K-12 space typically receives about 40 percent of that generosity. If you consider education funding reached a whopping $58.9 billion in 2017 (boosted in no small part by record numbers from top local foundations), it’s easy to see how much America’s schools attract attention across the nonprofit sector.
But how can we do the most good with those dollars? Which programs and initiative have proven to be most effective in driving student achievement? With a spate of recent teacher strikes in the news, diversity a concern and workforce development an urgent need, navigating this field isn’t always easy.
Here’s a look at the landscape for those who want to make an impact.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
The Keys to Supporting STEM Education
In our ever-changing world, STEM learning has never been more necessary. To solve the next wave of problems that society faces, we need a generation that has mastered STEM. This guide is intended to give funders an overview of the field and the best organizations to know.
Can We Improve STEM Self-Esteem In Kids?
Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences
The Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington is uncovering scientific evidence needed to develop scalable, cost-effective interventions during our children’s most formative years. This is crucial because the self-esteem STEM gender gap starts at an early age.
How 3-D Printing Can Help Kids Prepare for Life After High School
Bill Gates recently visited the Academy for Software Engineering (AFSE), a coding school in Manhattan that teaches students about computer science, 3-D printing, and design. He left marveling at the resources available to help the next generation develop workforce-ready skills.
The Importance of Grade-Level Reading Proficiency
Promoting early learning, early literacy and early school success is emerging as a likely target for philanthropic investment. The Managing Director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading talks about how you can help as a donor.
Fostering Literacy: A Funder’s Guide
Nearly one in 10 people around the world are illiterate, costing the global economy more than $1 trillion a year and leading to other problems such as poverty, poor health and incarceration. Here are the ABC’s on how we can make progress in this important area.
Using Data and Best Practices to Inform Literacy Investment
Readers 2 Leaders
Fourth- and eighth-graders in this country have made little to no progress in reading or math since 2015, according to recently published results from the 2017 National Assessment of Education Progress. But Readers 2 Leaders is trying to reverse this trend through data-driven results.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Here’s How Wordless Videos Are Changing SEL
Better World Ed
In 2014, Better World Ed set out to research and develop the most effective ways to integrate social, emotional, and academic learning. This led to a simple but powerful solution: Global “Empathy Challenges,” wordless videos that show the lives of unique people from all over the world, paired with written stories.
Why It’s Imperative We Listen to What Students Are Saying
Center for Effective Philanthropy
YouthTruth, an initiative of the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) harnesses student and stakeholder feedback to help school leaders and education funders make better decisions that lead to better outcomes for students.
Rethinking How Students Succeed
Stanford Social Innovation Review
This piece explores how a wave of non-cognitive (or “soft”) skill initiatives holds promise for making teachers more effective and students more successful.
Diversity and Teacher Development
Teacher Strikes Explained: Three Ways to Help
Grantmakers for Education
Statewide teacher walkouts in six states this past spring pointed the way to continued unrest this fall. It is clear that we have arrived at a tipping point nationally. But why? What is driving the strikes and why are they happening now?
How to Diversify the Teacher Workforce
Articles in this story collection point to a lack of minority teachers in schools and how it’s affecting student outcomes. But even as we understand and acknowledge the roots, because of pervasive and longstanding patterns of structural discrimination, we are stuck with this “vicious cycle,” somewhat of a chicken and egg conundrum. At what point do we intervene to “plug the leaks”? Which leaks do we plug? Is it possible to plug all of them?
U.S. Education Fund
In the U.S., a student’s zip code and skin color often determine if they will complete high school and be prepared for college entrance and completion, which in turn, is a key determinant for later life success as an adult. The goal of this fund is to create pathways for all children to thrive as productive and civically literate adults through support for strong teachers and education leaders, as well as extended learning time and enrichment.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for K-12 Education, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and K-12 Education.
Are you ready to give?
If you are looking for opportunities to take action and give money to K-12 Education, here are some Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects aggregated by Giving Compass where you can take immediate action.