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Identifying High-Impact Education Nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area

September 20th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

“Education is a precondition to survival in America today.” – Marian Wright Edelman

In 2010, Philanthropedia took a close look at early childhood and middle/secondary education nonprofits working in the San Francisco Bay Area. The two overlapping causes were researched separately. Sixty experts participated in our early childhood research and collectively identified 6 high-impact  early childhood education nonprofits. In middle/secondary education, 96 experts participated, recommending 15 outstanding nonprofits

We refresh our research every three years, so we are turning again to Bay Area education to re-run our survey. In the course of our research, we discovered that many experts and nonprofits in the Bay Area focus on young people of all ages. So this year we’re combining our early childhood and middle/secondary causes into a single cause: Bay Area Education. We’re asking experts who work in the education field in the San Francisco Bay Area to contribute to our research and let us know which nonprofits they think are doing the best work in Bay Area Education today.

Scope of the Research

For this research we are asking experts to recommend up to four nonprofits with a track record of doing high-impact work in education (Pre-k through high school) in the Bay Area, and up to two start-up nonprofits that have the potential to scale and have an impact at that level in the future.

The nonprofits recommended might be working or supporting education as far south as San Jose, along the Peninsula, into the East Bay, in San Francisco, and just north of San Francisco, as well.

Education is a vast topic and improvements and support can take on many forms. When recommending nonprofits experts may want to consider nonprofits addressing the following issues:

  • After-school programming
  • Child development
  • College preparation
  • Curriculum development
  • Data collection
  • Human capital
  • Instructional improvement
  • Literacy
  • Low-performing schools, turnarounds
  • Parental involvement
  • School readiness
  • School reform
  • Standards and assessments
  • Summer programming
  • Teacher training/education
  • The achievement gap
  • Truancy


We’d like to encourage experts to consider a diverse array of organizations. Types of organizations working in education could include:

  • Advocacy
  • After-school program providers
  • Community based organizations
  • Policy/advocacy
  • Public schools/ public charter schools themselves
  • Research
  • Training

Participation in the Research

If you are a professional (foundation staff, researcher, nonprofit staff member, etc.) working in education in the San Francisco Bay Area and have insight on nonprofit organizations working in this field, we’d love to hear from you. You may have received an email from us with a link to our survey. The survey will be open until early November 2012. We hope you will share your perspective and insights! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact Jasmine Marrow at with information about your current position and background, and we would be happy to send the survey to you to include your recommendations.

Additionally, we invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might frame this type of work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, we hope you learned something new and will check in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!



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