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Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation funds a number of education grants each year. In most cases, they identify and evaluate prospective grantees through the issuance of Requests for Proposals or other careful screening processes. While they believe this approach strengthens the effectiveness of their investments, it also means that unsolicited proposals are rarely funded.

Nevertheless, organizations wishing to send a one- to two-page letter of inquiry (please do not send videotapes or e-mail inquiries) describing the project, your organization, the estimated total for the project and the portion requiring funding, should write to:

The Wallace Foundation
General Management
5 Penn Plaza, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001

The mission of the Wallace Foundation is to support and share effective ideas and practices that enable institutions to expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. To achieve this, they are focusing exclusively on three major areas:

  1. Strengthening educational leadership in ways that significantly improve student achievement.
  2. Helping selected cities make high-quality out-of-school learning opportunities available to many more children.
  3. Making the arts a part of many more people's lives by working with arts organizations, schools and other providers of arts education and experience to build both present and future arts audiences.

In each of these areas, their approach is to select and invest in innovation sites willing to test promising new approaches, while commissioning and sharing independent research that could benefit the work in those sites as well as many others who are interested in pursuing similar changes but who may never receive our direct funding. The specific strategies they are using in each of these three areas are described in the Grants and Programs section of their website, as well as in the Knowledge Center.

Please take a close look at this funding source and let us know if you are interested in pursuing it to support your youth education program.

Replies to this Topic

The Wallace Foundation does some truly remarkable work in making high-quality out-of-school time learning opportunities available to many more children. Ordinarily, they only identify and evaluate prospective grantees through the issuance of Requests for Proposals or other careful screening processes. Unsolicited proposals are rarely funded.

'Rarely' doesn't mean 'Never'.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation decided to go for the long-shot! We submitted a letter of inquiry to The Wallace Foundation in which we asked for funding to support the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program taking place around the nation.

Wish us luck!
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation worked with National BDPA vice president Paulette Johnson-Davis to submit a letter of inquiry (LOI) to the Wallace Foundation earlier this year. We wanted permission to seek $18,000 in grant funding from the Wallace Foundation.

Our LOI was turned down. The Wallace Foundation wrote:
Dear Mr. Hicks:

Thank you for your recent inquiry which we have read with interest. Unfortunately, we cannot be encouraging about the possibility of support. The Foundation’s mission is to improve learning and enrichment opportunities for children. To achieve this, we are focusing on the following goals:
  1. Improve the quality of K-12 school leaders;
    • Improve the quality of and access to out-of-school time programs;
    • Provide disadvantaged students with more time for learning during the summer and through an expanded school day;
    • Expand arts learning opportunities for children both in and outside of school.
In each of these areas, we work with school districts, cities and non-profits across the country. Our approach is to select and invest in innovation sites willing to test promising new approaches, commission independent research that could benefit the work in those sites, and capture and share what we’ve learned with others who are interested in pursuing similar changes but who may never receive our direct funding.

Virtually all of the grants we award are made through a competitive process. In most cases, we identify and evaluate prospective grantees through the issuance of requests for proposals or other careful screening processes. While we believe this approach strengthens the effectiveness of our investments, it also means that unsolicited proposals are rarely funded.

We sincerely welcome your continued interest in our work and encourage you to visit our web-based Knowledge Center for free access to a range of knowledge products that you may find useful. Please also sign up for our newsletter. Another resource that may be helpful in locating funding sources is The Foundation Center.

Thank you again for taking the time to inquire about support from the Foundation. We wish you every success in your work.

Sincerely,
Ann Marie Lopez
On behalf of the Grants Administrator

Although we are disappointed in this outcome we will continue to see out funding for BDPA programs and services on a local, regional and national level in 2012.

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