Must Read BlogUncategorized January 19, 2024

6 Questions for How the 2024 Election will Affect Education and Philanthropy

I opened 2023 thinking about philanthropic innovation. And throughout the year, through our Voices of Impact series, we explored how philanthropic funders were introducing or need to introduce new funding approaches to drive systems change, whether driven by evolving theories of change, by marketplace changes, or by technological advances 

As we enter 2024, I carry forward this interest in how education philanthropy is adapting to and evolving in a constantly changing reality. Together with my colleagues, I am particularly interested in how philanthropists are thinking about what AI means both for the future of philanthropy and, more importantly, for the future of society 

But this year, I am also particularly interested in how the political landscape in the United States is going to shape philanthropy, and the focus of foundations.  

2024 is going to be one of the most consequential presidential elections in the history of the United States. Yet, there are pressing questions about how both the process and results of the election will affect not only education (through policy change, through evolving priorities, through changing budgets), but also how and where philanthropy can and should invest.  


Questions for how the 2024 election will affect education and philanthropy

  1. How will proposed policy changes impact segments, particularly educational equity and equality in workforce development, in which philanthropy plays a critical role?  
  2. Will changing priorities at the federal level affect portfolio strategies, causing funders to focus more heavily on neglected areas or, conversely, leading them to double down on segments where the federal government is making big investments?  
  3. If Trump wins and is able to execute his plans to neuter and politicize government agencies, what will that mean for the type of government-philanthropy collaboration that has (in the past few years) held a lot of promise for outsized impact?  
  4. In the past couple of years, we have seen how a clear-eyed vision from the federal government leads to philanthropists investing in areas of national priority. Will a change in that vision – or a lack of one – create a vacuum that philanthropic funders need to step in and fill?  
  5. How will changes at the congressional level (for example, Democratic control of both chambers coupled with Biden’s reelection) affect the functioning of government and in turn affect where philanthropists focus? 
  6. With what is bound to be a period of greater and greater polarization, partisan animosity, and eroding civility and decorum, how will the election cycle itself change funders’ priorities and attitudes toward supporting field building in civics learning 

As we get closer to the general election, Tyton Partners will explore these questions, together with other questions about how candidates are speaking about education.   


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