Strategic Grantmaking: Foundations and the School Privatization Movement

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy



Case Study Sector


A National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) report addresses the questions: What have conservative foundations done with their grant dollars to promote concepts of privatizing public education through "school choice," primarily linked to school vouchers? What were their strategies in providing resources to an array of conservative education think tanks, public policy advocates, and organizers?" Funding in support of school choice makes up only a fraction of the annual grantmaking by U.S. foundations, but it taps a sentiment in philanthropy and in the public that private sector alternatives, with the bottom-line motivation of the for-profit sector, somehow are automatically and authentically more efficient and effective than the public sector, statistical data to the contrary notwithstanding. The movement's persistence is of a kind seldom attributed to organized philanthropy. The report serves as a case study for other foundation and nonprofit leaders who are interested in effective, strategic movement-building grantmaking.



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