ON-Lion Letter
A late-November report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) in Washington, D.C., "Strategic Grantmaking:  Foundations and the School Privatization Movement" by Rick Cohen, examines how The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee and other philanthropies have used strategic grantmaking to successfully further school choice in America.
"From 2002 to 2006, we found 1,212 distinct foundation giving grants to 104 of the 132 identified school choice organizations, with total grants exceeding $100 million in some years," writes Cohen.  The Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville, Ark., was the largest school-choice giver during the period, his study found.  Bradley was the second-largest.  Twenty-eight other foundations also gave substantial sums.
"[T]hese foundations deserve credit for serving as the capital bulwark for a movement that has had significant impact in shaping the public's understanding of K-12 education," concludes Cohen, who takes no position on the underlying merits of school-choice policies.
Earlier in the report, he also notes "a distinct trend in conservative philanthropy that emphasizes the importance of funding small scale, community, grassroots groups," in the school-choice context and others.
On December 14, NCRP and the Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal (BCPCR) at the Hudson Institute in Washington will co-host an event on the study and its findings.  Bradley substantially supports Hudson's BCPCR.
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