ERIC Number: EJ908858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-8
Grantmakers Seeking to Influence Policy
Robelen, Erik W.
Education Week, v30 n14 p1, 18 Dec 2010
The author talks about a recent report from the nonprofit group "Grantmakers for Education" which finds that philanthropies nationwide are increasingly getting engaged with education policy matters at the local, state, and federal levels through a range of activities, in recognition of the powerful reach of government in setting priorities for schools and directing far more money than philanthropies ever could. Some prominent national grantmakers, most notably the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have been deeply engaged in the policy arena for some time and are seen as wielding a powerful--and, to critics, outsized--influence. But plenty of other philanthropies with more of a state or local focus are stepping forward, too. Most grantmakers traditionally have eschewed engaging in the policy arena, experts say, whether because they thought it was inappropriate, illegal, or too risky to their reputation. Christine T. Tebben, the executive director of Grantmakers for Education, a national network of public and private philanthropies based in Portland, Oregon, recalls the reluctance she perceived from many foundation officials to consider wading into policy matters back in 2002, at a conference her organization hosted. Now, she says, the discussion has shifted from whether philanthropies should engage in the policy realm to how to do so effectively, what roles to serve, and how to evaluate their impact.
Descriptors: Policy Formation, Organizations (Groups), Private Financial Support, Philanthropic Foundations, Educational Policy, Evaluation, Grants, Legislation, Public Policy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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