Program Vision for the 2019-2020 School Year

Join us over the 2019-2020 school year as we bring these programs to life to meet the needs of our education grantmaking community. Watch for announcements on how to get involved.

Impact Groups


Strategy: Impact Groups

Purpose: To support member-defined collaborative learning and action.

Description: In June 2019, we launched an open call for new impact group topics and added definition to how GFE can support impact groups. Based on response to the open call, we are currently in the process of inviting members to join one of eight impact groups. 

Topics include:

  • Equity.
  • Data.
  • Postsecondary Access and Attainment.
  • Arts Education.
  • The Next Stage of K-12 Reform.
  • Advocacy and Engagement.
  • Out-of-School Time.
  • Workforce/Career and Technical Education.

Format: Members will work together for at least one year toward a joint goal.

Invitation: Join an impact group.


Montly Master Class


Strategy: Monthly Master Class

Purpose: To engage in deeper learning together; practice talking across difference.

Description: On the first Friday of each month, GFE will host an interview-based webinar. We will structure the year into quarters, so we can tackle the same topic for several months consecutively.

Each session will be anchored by reflections from one to two members as well as a nonprofit/academic leader. There will be time for questions and collaborative sense-making among all participants. After three to four sessions on a topic, GFE will create a briefing paper that synthesizes knowledge and resources shared on the topic for access by all members. Webinars will also be available in podcast form.

Initial topics include:

  • Learning from Strategy Shifts.
  • Sharing Power and Democratizing Voice.
  • What Will Philanthropy Hold Itself Accountable for in Advancing Equity?

Format: Monthly live webinar series and briefing paper at conclusion of series.

Invitation: Propose a topic; volunteer to share your reflections; sign up to attend webinars; sponsor the series.


Live Learning Events


Strategy: Live Learning Events

Purpose: To gain proximity to populations we serve; examples of best practice; field-leading speakers; in-person connections to members.

Description: GFE hosts two premiere in-person learning opportunities: conference (October 22 - 24, 2019) and the Education Grantmakers Institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (April 27 - 29, 2020). In addition, we will host a series of live learning events that allow a group of members to learn together in a specific context.

Topics that have been suggested by members include:

  • Diversifying Leadership: Learning from Founder Transitions.
  • The Role of Resources in Racial Equity.
  • CTE/ Workforce Development.
  • Rural Education.
  • Civic Engagement and Education.

Format: One-day or two-day site-based events that allow for visits to educational institutions, meetings with top civic leaders, and collaborative and social time with colleagues.

Invitation: Propose sites aligned to topics; join a planning committee; underwrite an event.


Enhanced Research and Communications


Strategy: Enhanced Research and Communications

Purpose: To be an ongoing information source to members, build our collective voice and allow members to learn from one another.

Description: This fall, we will release a new research report based on analysis of the largest database of funding requests in education. Following that, we will embark on a survey-based research project in the coming year to learn from members. In each case, we will pair research with a press strategy to maximize impact. Research and timely analysis will be a growing priority.

Format: Survey-based research, commentary by GFE leadership and members.

Invitation: Volunteer to review surveys; volunteer to partner with GFE leadership on writing commentary for education and philanthropic media outlets; share your organization’s work to help us improve our ability to share resources.


Nexus Fellowship: GFE Accelerator


Strategy: Nexus Fellowship: GFE Accelerator

(a partnership with The Equity Lab)

Purpose: To strengthen education philanthropy’s understanding issues of racial equity, and support for changes to the organizations, institutions, structures and systems that maintain racism and oppression.

Description: The Nexus Fellowship: GFE Accelerator is a personalized leadership program that prioritizes equity, deliberately combining the best in leadership, equity and management training. It is a custom version of The Equity Lab’s signature program offered exclusively to a small pilot cohort of GFE members. Fellows will receive expert training focused on four key areas: self, technical leadership, adaptive leadership and the equityXdesign process.

Format: Spans one year composed of quarterly three-day residencies. Support in the form of dedicated coaching, a virtual learning community, modules and resources between sessions.

Invitation:  This program would be new and intensive. In partnership with The Equity Lab, we are seeking anchor funding to be able to launch the pilot in Spring 2020.