Spencer Foundation Report Highlights $11.6M in Education Grants for 2021

September 11, 2022   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

The Spencer Foundation’s latest annual report provides an expansive picture of its grant-making work in the education field for the 2021 calendar year, including trends in the field, funding rates by program, and $11.6 million in total grants awarded.

The 31-page report also shares data on grant submissions and awards, including background characteristics of grantees, applicants, and reviewers, plus information on the types of institutions that received awards and topics funded.

It cites a total of 111 grants awarded out of 2,755 applications submitted in 2021. The dozen biggest funded topics were higher education, black education, math education, indigenous education, race, social justice, early childhood, literacy, equity, LGBTQ+, school/family/community, and teacher education/learning/development.

The report showed the foundation sponsored four types of grant programs in 2021: small, large, racial equity, and research-practice partnership (RPP), with more than two-thirds of the awarded grants in the small category, at 75. The next largest category was racial equity grants at 18, followed by 13 for large grants and 5 for RPPs.

The report also includes five-year trends in submissions and awards, plus annual parsing by methodology; country; institution type; and the job title, race/ethnicity, and gender of PIs. The final six pages of the report lists every grant awarded in 2021 by the Spencer Foundation by title, category, and the principal investigator’s name and institution.

A leading funder of education research since 1971, the Chicago-based nonprofit is the only national foundation focused exclusively on supporting education research.