The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation has a longstanding commitment to youth education. We focus this grantmaking on two areas: Student Success and Learning and Arts education. In both areas, the foundation makes grants to help children, especially those in underserved communities, acquire the knowledge, skills, and behaviors they need to succeed in school, career pathways, and life.
We make grants to organizations located in and serving students in Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties in North Carolina.
K-12 Education Program
The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation has a longstanding commitment to youth education. We focus grantmaking in two areas: Student Success and Learning and Arts Education.
MDBF advocates for a high quality, forward-looking educational experience for all children, with a particular interest in organizations working with underserved K-12 students to provide innovative, creative, and effective approaches to teaching and learning.
Participating in the arts confers numerous benefits, from providing captivation and pleasure, to providing a vehicle for self-expression, to promoting cognitive growth and the capacity for empathy. Arts education nurtures creative thinking, collaboration, and other competencies.
We support organizations that help children in underserved communities acquire the knowledge, skills, and support they need to succeed in school, careers, and life. For the purpose of our grants, underserved students are those who lack access to programs, opportunities, or support because of economic conditions, race or ethnic background, geography, or differing abilities. We make grants to organizations located in and serving students in Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties in North Carolina.
Student Success and Learning: Provide and promote learning environments that equip underserved students to succeed in college or career. Support for organizations that strengthen and support academic achievement, work to close the academic opportunity gap, prepare students for careers and college, and/or build a foundation of confidence and creativity to foster growth and success. Organizations that provide professional development for teachers are eligible.
Arts Education: Provide opportunities for underserved students to engage directly in high-quality arts programs. Support for organizations that seek to strengthen in-school and out-of-school arts instruction, particularly that in which students actively participate in making art. We encourage opportunities that include culturally-affirming arts. Organizations that provide professional development for teachers and teaching artists are eligible.
We view our education grantmaking through an equity lens. We are particularly interested in supporting organizations led by people of color and whose boards and staff reflect the population(s) served by the organization.
Beginning in 2021, MDBF is shifting most of its grantmaking from project-based support to operating support for organizations that align with our K-12 Education funding goals, below. MDBF offers two grant types, awarded through an open and competitive grant process.
Operating Support Grants: We offer a two-year grant of $10,000 each year for a total of $20,000. These grants are primarily focused on organizations with which MDBF has an existing funding relationship. However, it is possible for an organization that hasn't received funding to receive this grant.
Opportunity Grant: We offer a one-year $5,000 Opportunity Grant targeted primarily to organizations that have never received a grant from MDBF or haven't received a grant in the past 10 years. Preference is given to smaller organizations with operating budgets under $300,000.
This grant provides an opportunity for MDBF to get to know new organizations.
The application process is the same for both opportunities.
We anticipate making 10 two-year grants and 5 one-year grants.
Preview the K-12 Education Program application form here.
In reviewing grant proposals, MDBF will use the following evaluation criteria: