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How to Donate to Education

GVE BETTER

What everyday donors can learn from how foundations give. by Emily Babb Everyone’s worried about education funding right now. State funds are considerably limited, districts are cutting teachers and individual schools are nixing programs. The good news is, you as a donor can help. But how is the general public supposed to figure out which projects, programs and nonprofits are doing the best work? Because local foundations are in the business of evaluating which nonprofit programs are most effective, it makes sense to turn to them for guidance. In most cases, foundations require nonprofits to go through a competitive grant application process to receive funding for a specific project or program. In this regard, who the foundations fund can signal the most successful projects and programs. Up until 2008, however, most of the Austin-area foundations weren’t sharing this information outright, even with each other. Then in 2007, a group of education funders formed the Central Texas Education Funders (CTEF), which now includes more than 50 grantmaking organizations.

Since then, CTEF has produced a survey to understand where each of their interests lay and to learn where gaps might exist. It’s not only a resource for funders to use in analyzing their strategies, it’s a valuable resource for nonprofits to use in developing programs, collaborating with other nonprofits and applying for the right grants at the right time. And it’s a great resource for individuals, too. Says Marisol Foster of the Webber Foundation, who spearheads the survey project, “For those who don’t have a specific education goal, this is a way to figure out where the gaps are.”

LEARN MORE centraltexasedfunders.org

how to give to schools The Austin Community Foundation makes it easy to raise money for your public or private school. With ACF, you can... • Accept credit cards and online donations via AustinCF.org. Just publicize the link. • Create a school “savings account” by starting an endowment. • Start a scholarship fund to support a college-bound senior. For more information, visit AustinCF.org

what do foundations support? 25

23

23 19

20

19

19 16

15

15

19 16

14

13

15 12

9

10

9

8

9

8

5 0

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

A. . . . . . . . . . . . Early Childhood Ed B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Core Academics C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Arts Education D . . . . . . . . . . . . . Special Education E. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mentoring F. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Risk Avoidance G . . . . . . . . . Work/Career Awareness H . . . . . . . College Access/Readiness I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Post Secondary J. . . . . English Language Acquisition K . . . . . . . . . . . . Workforce Training L. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charter Schools M. . . . . . . . . Schools, Districts, Univ N . . . . . . . . . . . . . Systemic Change O . . . . . . . Professional Development P. . . . . . . . . . Community Organizing Q . . . . . . . . . . . . Dropout Prevention R . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advocacy

Adults $1,912,478

9%

Elementary $2,968,178

14%

Early Childhood $3,170,032

15%

High School $4,751,445

23%

Young Adults $3,328,939

16%

Middle School $4,765,551

23%

Spring 2011

47

GivingCity Austin #7  

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