Assessing the impact of philanthropic commitments to education.
Doing philanthropy well is often more challenging than simply making grants and hoping for the best. For foundations seeking to make a real difference with their resources, it's important to take a strategic approach. That means setting realistic goals grounded in your foundation's mission, donor intent, and rigorous landscape analysis. It also means systematically assessing the performance of individual grants-and identifying potential new partners.
Based in San Francisco, the Koret Foundation has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in strengthening the communities of the Bay Area, Israel, and, most recently, Poland. As part of its mission to strengthen these communities, the foundation has a conviction that every child deserves the opportunity to receive an excellent education.
Koret has funded schools, ideas, and organizations with the aim of creating a more competitive educational marketplace. Their strategy has been to exert external market pressure on public school districts to encourage excellence. But has the foundation's legacy of school choice funding actually made a difference?
American Philanthropic worked with the foundation to examine the impact of its K-12 giving over a fifteen-year period, interviewing dozens of stakeholders and educational experts and evaluating grantee effectiveness. We then helped the foundation develop a list of major strategic options for improving its future giving.
In carefully and objectively reviewing its past performance, the Koret Foundation set itself up to get even better results with its giving in the future. Today, the Foundation’s cumulative philanthropic investment is approaching $500 million and they continue to support organizations’ capacity to succeed now and in the future, including physical and organizational infrastructure, financial capacity, and strategic collaborations.
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