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Our Grant Making Process

Education Forward DC
Education Forward DC

At Education Forward DC we blend grantmaking, technical assistance, and citywide coordination, while leaning heavily into thought leadership and communications work to inform citywide education conversations and elevate the voices of students and families.

Collectively, we see the impact of this work as far-reaching for public school students in DC — not only for the current moment, but long-term, as we keep our eyes fixed on our vision for the future: a DC where students starting furthest from opportunity can chart their own path and thrive.

Education Forward DC

Our Grantmaking Model

We approach our grantmaking with a three-part model designed to create a sustained, positive impact on the DC education landscape to accelerate improved outcomes for all DC students.

We raise money from individuals and foundations, provide grants and advisory support to high-impact organizations with aligned missions, and coordinate efforts across the city to maximize our collective work.

Education Forward DC
Education Forward DC
Education Forward DC

Our Grantmaking Criteria

We make grants on a rolling basis using a thorough diligence process to make decisions. We evaluate all potential grantees against the following set of criteria:

Strategic Alignment

We seek grantees with a mission grounded in transforming education in DC, with a particular focus on underserved students. The work of grantees should help to further one of our three strategic investment areas.

Program Model

We partner with leaders and organizations developing ambitious ideas and high-quality programs that will dramatically improve student learning in Washington, DC.


Grantees should be led by mission-driven leaders and boards who demonstrate personal integrity and have a mix of skills to allow them to execute and get results. Our grantees must also demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, including a commitment to having a leadership team and board that reflects the demographics of the students served.


The work of the grantee should present a solution to address a known problem in DC’s education landscape. The grantee should demonstrate demand for and a clear role in the city for their work. Grantees should demonstrate conditions that allow the leadership team the flexibility to make decisions and operate nimbly.

Financial Sustainability

The investments we make now must be sustained in the future, through public funding or revenue-generating activities.

Education Forward DC
Education Forward DC

Every DC student deserves to thrive.