Giving Compass' Take:

• Gideon Stein and Alice Cain at Chalkbeat discuss the positive changes, such as more cooperation and communication, they have seen in education philanthropy since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

• How can we ensure these positive changes stick? How can individual donors contribute to the education philanthropy space during this time? 

• Learn about higher education, COVID-19 and where philanthropy can play a key role. 

In the midst of a crisis, there is a tendency to look for rays of hope for a better future. In the case of the coronavirus pandemic, we are optimistic that some of the temporary changes we are seeing in how the philanthropic world is operating now might lead to long-term improvements in educational giving.

Prior to our current roles at The Moriah Fund, a private foundation with a goal of improving access to quality educational opportunities for at-risk students, we worked in and ran education nonprofits. In those roles, we experienced extreme difficulty in getting nonprofits to work together toward shared or overlapping goals.

We attributed this to the fact that so many nonprofits were competing for the same scarce dollars from the same foundations. Many of those foundations, meanwhile, didn’t incentivize nonprofits to help one another. In fact, the way it worked meant that nonprofits with similar goals often missed opportunities to work together and, at times, even worked at cross purposes in order to try to distinguish themselves in the eyes of their funders. And since funders have far more power in these interactions, the onus is now on us, as philanthropic partners, to create the conditions that lead to coordination and collaboration, not competition.

At Moriah, even before the outbreak of COVID-19, we were trying to find ways to approach our work differently and see what we, as a modest private foundation, could do to help.

Read the full article about how COVID-19 will affect education philanthropy by Gideon Stein and Alice Cain at Chalkbeat.