We continuously challenge ourselves to find the most effective ways to use our human and financial resources to maximize our impact and fulfill our vision.
To us, philanthropy is about devoting time and resources to working directly with the people we seek to impact.
It is about addressing challenges we believe can better the communities in which we live. It is about staying focused, forming partnerships and taking risks to achieve substantive change and lasting impact.
Since our founding in 1987, grantmaking has been our primary vehicle for achieving our mission. Over time, we have enhanced our grantmaking by creating new philanthropic structures, exploring innovative methods for implementing programs, using research to deepen our impact and pushing ourselves to set standards for operational excellence.
Today, we work in partnership and on the ground to create and support networks of people, initiatives and organizations that share our commitment to strengthening education in the United States, the Jewish community and Israel, and the quality of life in our hometown.
We invest in building large-scale movements using five interwoven strategies that we believe make us more efficient and effective:
- Investing in programs and organizations that directly reach and work with broad numbers of the people we seek to impact.
- Launching and funding platform organizations that build capacity within our fields of interest and enable increased cross-sector collaboration, information and resource sharing, and learning and measurement.
- Incubating and piloting new initiatives that enhance these fields and can be adopted, adapted and taken to scale. Learn about our initiatives;
- Convening, connecting and catalyzing people and organizations doing complementary work in order to advance best practices and build knowledge within a given field; and
- Using data, research and evaluation to inform, improve and refine our programs, partnerships and grantmaking and to build knowledge within a given field.
For all investment categories, we place a high priority on supporting organizations with strong leadership teams and, whenever possible, we seek to leverage our involvement in a project by working in concert with others.
Beyond the dollar value of our investments, our team of professionals provides expertise and capacity, including strategic advice, mentoring, coaching, board service, and convenings, retreats and networking opportunities for leadership at all levels.
In 2011, Lynn Schusterman became a signatory to the Giving Pledge, hoping that by doing so, she could help inspire and motivate more donors to give to the causes closest to their hearts. Read Lynn's letter to Warren Buffet.
Due to the increasingly strategic and focused nature of our grantmaking, we are not currently accepting unsolicited requests or proposals for funding. We work continuously to identify potential grant applicants through due diligence procedures and will request proposals from a limited number of organizations that fall within our current areas of interest.