In Q4 2021, our foundation awarded 17 grants totaling over $6.4 million dollars. Of these, three grants were new, while nine were renewals. 

Our Q4 grantmaking aligns with our updated funding model, which focuses our work on identifying and fueling the scale of cost-effective programs and solutions that accelerate improvement in key academic and socioemotional outcomes for all children. Inspired by venture philanthropy, the model puts an emphasis on grantmaking and strategic support that unlock innovation, evidence, and growth. 

Below we highlight just some of the many direct impact and ecosystem organizations we’re proud to support this quarter as we conclude our 2021 grantmaking.

Leaders of organizations that received Overdeck Family Foundation grants in Q4 2021.

Unlocking Innovation and Growth: Renewals (Direct Impact Grantees)

A $5 million grant over three years to Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund to identify, catalyze, and scale promising models that unlock the potential of technology to transform learning and advance achievement for low-income students in New York City and beyond. The Fund’s investments to-date have directly reached 140,000 students in NYC and 7.5 million nationally (2 million more than last spring) and are on track to reach 19 million students nationally by 2025. 

A one-year renewal grant of $200,000 to Students 2 Science (S2S) for the continued evaluation of its program and further expansion of its virtual laboratories, or V-Labs, which will result in a reach of 50,000 New Jersey students this school year. Over the past year, S2S has greatly expanded its V-Lab program, filling a need for virtual science programming, with the flexibility to serve schools no matter their current structure (in-person, virtual, or hybrid). 

Unlocking Evidence: Research and Field Building

Ecosystem grants are designed to clear the path to scale for our direct impact grantees and strategies.

The final disbursement of $1 million for our three-year partnership with Opportunity Insights at Harvard University, which conducts research on economic opportunity and mobility. The Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker and related policy briefs released by the team last year have been utilized by federal, state, and local decision-makers to help guide policy decisions throughout the Covid pandemic.

The second installment of $500,000 to the American Opportunity Study out of Brown University for year two of a three-year grant focused on digitizing and linking Census Bureau data to enable new research on social and economic mobility. 

As a continuation of our partnership with Transcend, a grant of $2.1 million over three years to help Transcend support 100 schools with pivoting to learning environments that integrate high-quality edtech solutions. We expect Transcend’s work to reach over 75,000 students and build infrastructure to disseminate evidence on the impact of high-quality edtech solutions on student outcomes. 

A one-year pilot grant of $300,000 to the EdTech Evidence Exchange, a research-based nonprofit focused on improving edtech decision-making. By 2022, we expect the Exchange to crowd-source quantitative, context-specific, implementation insights on K-8 math tools from 1,000 educators across three states and at least 60 schools. We expect the Exchange’s database to advance the field’s ability to understand and make evidence-based purchasing decisions, with 70% of users identifying the data as useful for decision-making.

A two-year grant of $267,000 to The Canopy Project, which we launched in 2018 with the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Barr Foundation to advance fieldwide knowledge of innovative school practices and influence the adoption of personalized learning models. This investment will allow Canopy to expand its existing database to 700 schools and increase the use of Canopy data by documenting and disseminating examples of how the data can be used to improve district decision-making. 

A three-year grant of $900,000 to extend our partnership with Education Resource Strategies, Inc. (ERS). This funding will help ERS build and refine tools to support district, state, and school leaders in investing in strategic resource shifts that will make the teaching profession more dynamic, collaborative, rewarding, and sustainable in order to improve educational experiences and outcomes for students. It will also support expanded dissemination of these resources to district leaders nationwide through ERS’s networks and other field-building opportunities, influencing decision-making in 200 districts representing 700,000 teachers and 12 million students.

A 16-month pilot grant of $300,000 to Rivet Education, a consultancy that partners with state and local education agencies to deploy strategies that increase the number of educators who have access to high-quality instructional materials and professional learning. Our grant will help Rivet launch version 2.0 of its Professional Learning Partner Guide (PLPG), providing more accessible data on high-quality professional learning vendors and ultimately increasing the number of districts using and teachers experiencing high-quality professional learning tools.

A one-year grant of $400,000 to TNTP to support two original research papers and additional educator-facing resources that continue to build the case for learning acceleration in the wake of Covid. We expect this research to reach over 10,000 readers, including policymakers and other stakeholders, and provide a shared narrative for how learning acceleration can be a critical tool in creating academic mobility.