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Education and philanthropy roadmap

Information from ACER’s third survey of education and philanthropy will provide the clearest roadmap we have yet on what schools need to improve outcomes for students and what philanthropic donors can offer.

The third Leading Learning in Education and Philanthropy (LLEAP) Survey is currently being completed by an invited sample of schools, as well as philanthropic foundations and trusts, and not-for-profits working directly or indirectly with schools.

According to ACER Principal Research Fellow and LLEAP project director Dr Michelle Anderson, the findings from the third LLEAP Survey will identify the needs of schools and the outcomes and types of support they seek, help philanthropic foundations and trusts better understand those needs, and provide an evidence base for change.

‘LLEAP enables us to see where there are disconnections between the three groups: schools, philanthropic foundations and trusts, and not-for-profits,’ Dr Anderson said. ‘Previous LLEAP Surveys have shown that those three groups are very interested to see what others have to say. Getting feedback on the same issues but from multiple perspectives is important.’

LLEAP seeks to improve the outcomes for students experiencing some form of disadvantage through the concerted input of schools, philanthropic foundations and trusts, and not-for-profits. By understanding what schools and their communities need, the areas on which philanthropics focus and the way not-for-profits work across these groups, LLEAP aims to encourage the engagement of philanthropy in education.

According to Philanthropy Australia estimates, around 5000 philanthropic foundations and trusts provide between $0.5 billion and $1 billion per annum to charities and other organisations, to address particular needs, including funding needs to improve outcomes for school age students. While not all philanthropic foundations and trusts focus on education, many seek to give strategic financial and in-kind support to advance the education of students in need.

The aim of the LLEAP Survey is to identify what schools and their communities need and what prevents them from accessing this additional support, in order to better connect philanthropic foundations and trusts with schools. The LLEAP Survey also collects feedback from not-for-profits since, in many cases, philanthropic foundations and trusts provide support indirectly through such organizations  rather than directly to schools.

‘A key issue arising from the first LLEAP Surveys that we are investigating further is school’s knowledge about and access to additional funding,’ Dr Anderson said. ‘We already know from previous surveys that being time poor was common to both schools and not-for-profits, but schools also identified limited experience and expertise as an issue.

‘The biggest barriers to more effective philanthropic engagement in education for philanthropics are structural issues – from the legacy of their own foundation’s or trust’s way of grant making through to tax-related constraints on their education grant making.’

Dr Anderson said the 2013 LLEAP Survey would provide information on tax-related issues that may create real or perceived barriers to philanthropic engagement in education.

The LLEAP project is conducted by ACER in partnership with the Origin Foundation, The Ian Potter Foundation and Scanlon Foundation. ACER’s Tender Bridge team is leading the third LLEAP Survey. ■

Further information:
Principals of the 1000 schools invited to complete the third LLEAP Survey have been contacted directly by email. Philanthropic foundations or trusts and Not-for-profits working directly or indirectly with schools can complete the third LLEAP Survey at < www.acer.edu.au/lleap/2013-survey > The survey closes on Wednesday 9  October 2103.

Additional information about LLEAP can be found at < www.acer.edu.au/lleap >

RD

About the author

Dr Michelle Anderson is a Principal Research Fellow in ACER's Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation research program. 

More [rd] articles by Michelle Anderson

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