Dedicated to Strengthening

   America's Future Through Education

Secondary Education
 Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA

Beginning in 1994 and consistent with our historical emphasis on education, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations explored the possibility of targeted funding to address the challenges facing public schools in the United States.   Subsequently, a new philanthropic priority emerged to strengthen teachers and teaching in high schools.  By focusing on professional development, the trustees positioned the Foundations to provide a multiplier effect, by assisting teachers who will serve thousands of students over time.  Priority was given to secondary education, allowing these funds to build upon our longstanding support for colleges and universities. 

Secondary education matured into a nationally competitive grant program attracting proposals for top tier teacher development programs.  Support for new, innovative programs as well as for new approaches within established programs resulted in new national models and/or leveraging significant support from other sources, both private and public.

Secondary Education Grants

A key philanthropic goal of the secondary education program is to fund initiatives with the capacity for expansion or replication to the state, regional or national levels.  Requests should target professional development of high school teachers and offer best-in-class training to address a significant issue(s) facing teachers.  Efforts to assist either in-service teachers or new teacher preparation are welcome.  Encouraging the use of technology to promote improved teaching and outreach efforts to connect colleges and universities with school districts are invited. Curricular improvement should be aligned with relevant standards and include both content and pedagogy.  Requests to support well-established programs should have the potential to improve quality significantly.

Grant Amount

Secondary Education requests may range from $25,000 to $200,000.


Institutions eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, public and private colleges and universities, graduate schools of education and freestanding educational organizations. 

When & How To Apply

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations invite proposals in two grant cycles annually.  Applicants are welcome to submit proposals on or before April 1 or November 1 each year (regardless of the day of the week).

Proposals should be submitted with our application form.

Each initial grant application should include:

  • A one-page cover letter (signed by the chief executive officer of the institution) that articulates how the proposed activities support the organization’s mission and fit within the current strategic plan;
  • A two hundred word (approximate) abstract that will be used publicly if the grant is awarded;
  • A two to three page description of the proposed grant;
    • Grant descriptions should address the following:
    • target audience for the proposed project;
    • primary goals and evaluation metrics (both process and outcome) for the proposed project;
    • research that informs the need for the project and/or the rationale for its design
    • opportunity for lasting systemic change in the way teachers, schools and districts approach teaching and learning;
    • potential for others to replicate the project or to adopt its framework and customize accordingly to meet particular needs;
    • means through which the relationships developed during the program can be sustained beyond the grant period;
    • innovative solution(s) employed through a new program or within an existing one;
    • potential lasting impact beyond the proposed grant period (e.g. leverage, replication, dissemination, organizational and/or individual capacity building, etc.);
    • how the proposed activities promote effective collaboration with others or offer the potential to do so;
    • how the proposed grant will enable effective stewardship of resources;
    • future funding plan beyond the proposed grant period; and
    • support of key leaders at the district and school levels.
  • A one-page timeline for the proposed activities;
  • A one-page line item budget that provides the projected total costs with other sources of support (The Foundations do not fund indirect costs.);
  • A copy of the applicant institution’s current IRS statement of non-profit eligibility; and
  • The employer identification number of the applicant organization.

Proposal Submission

Completed grant applications may be sent by mail or email to Dr. Nancy J. Cable, President.

Mailing Address:
     The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
     225 Water Street, Suite 1510
     Jacksonville, FL 32202

     Email Address:

Proposal Evaluation and Notification

Every effort is made to respond to all questions, inquiries and proposals in a timely manner.  The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations strive to render decisions on grant awards within 6-8 months of proposal submission.

Upon receipt of a grant proposal, all materials will be evaluated according to the guidelines and criteria provided for each program area.  If a proposal is not competitive within the current cycle, notification will be sent no later than the beginning of the next grant cycle. 

At times, and in consultation with the grant applicant, a proposal may be tabled for further consideration into the next grant cycle.  Additional information may be requested from competitive grant proposals.   The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations’ Board of Trustees renders all final decisions.


Please direct all questions regarding the secondary education program to: Mr. William Keator, Vice President for Programs – Higher and Secondary Education
Mailing Address:
     The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
     225 Water Street, Suite 1510
     Jacksonville, FL 32202

     Email Address:
     Telephone:    904-359-0670

For Recent Grants in Secondary Education, please click here.

For opportunities for collaborations and networking, please click here.