The Broad Education Foundation

By Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Victoria Chang
2007 | Case No. SI70 | Length 16 pgs.

In 1999, Eli and Edythe Broad established the Broad Education Foundation on the area of Kindergarten through 12th (K-12) public education reform. By 2004, the Broads had committed nearly $500 million to the education foundation. While many educational reform initiatives focused on teaching, the Broads aimed to “dramatically improve K-12 urban public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition.” The Broad Education Foundation had a unique decision-making and governance structure. As of 2004, the foundation did not have an external board of directors but rather relied on outside advisors when needed. Eli Broad reviewed and approved every single grant. Staff reported to the foundation’s chief executive officer and chief operating officer, although several also reported to Eli Broad. The foundation invested staff resources in particular metropolitan areas to build relationships with diverse stakeholders, such as policymakers and school board officials. The foundation’s grantmaking strategy focused on urban school reform, specifically they funded “innovative efforts to dramatically improve governance, management and labor relations in the nation’s largest urban districts.” The foundation’s “flagship” investments carried the Broad brand name and included the Broad Prize for Urban Education, the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems (comprised of the Urban Superintendents Academy and the Broad Residency in Urban Education) and the Broad Institute for School Boards. As the foundation sought to increase its impact, it strove to transition its flagship investments’ management to new teams. Engaging its external stakeholders and being accountable to them would be critical, particularly when planning and executing the foundation’s grantmaking and governance as the foundation evolved.

Learning Objective

Foundation strategy and grantmaking process creation, systems change initiatives, foundation leadership and board governance structure.

This material is available for download at no charge. Download