The William T. Grant Foundation has a long history of investing in research intended to productively influence policy and practice to improve the lives of young people. From 2003-2011, the Foundation aligned almost all of its grantmaking for program development, communications, and advocacy around improving the quality of after-school programs.
Grants made during this period involved three strategies: 1) Produce useful research findings, 2) build the capacity of researchers to do high-quality, relevant work and the capacity of practitioners and policymakers to recognize and use the same, and 3) communicate and advocate to better connect research, policy, and practice. In addition to $20.9 million in grants spread across the three strategies, Foundation staff convened grantee meetings, wrote articles, and made presentations.
This review of the Foundation’s grantmaking and staff work on the quality of after-school programs from 2003–2011 will help trustees and staff learn about the effects of their strategies during this time and inform the Foundation’s future work.