Based on a survey of GFE members, examines funder characteristics; priorities such as closing the achievement gap; budgets; grantmaking strategies; important emerging trends; and response to public-sector funding cuts.
- Observation: Surveyed grantmakers were smaller funders (68 percent had annual education grantmaking budgets of $5 million or less), funded on shorter timeframes (nearly half supported grants lasting two to three years), and saw their budgets stabilize or expand in 2011.
- Observation: Funding priorities included closing the achievement gap for minority and low-income students, education innovation, out-of-school and after-school programs, promoting college and career readiness, teacher professional development, and reading/literacy skills.
- Observation: Collaboration was the most common strategy to enhance impact (91 percent collaborated with other funders and 83 percent collaborated with non-funder stakeholders).
- Observation: In light of some of the criticisms leveled at the field, grantmakers should practice humility, challenge their theories of change (i.e. constantly seek evidence to test their theories); do no harm; coordinate their efforts; and practice transparency and accountability.