Started by well-known hedge fund manager Julian Robertson and his family in the mid-1990s, the the Robertson Foundation supports a variety of forms of school choice, organizations focused on human capital, and an assortment of other education programs. As is the case with some other high-profile philanthropies, the Robertson Foundation looks to reform school systems, and create new schools to exert external pressure on existing schools.
I gathered Form 990s for the fiscal years ending in 2002 through 2010, and pulled information about contributions made during each of those years. You can find all of these Form 990s through Guidestar.org or Foundation Center’s 990 Finder. You can download a full summary of grant information contained on the foundation’s Form 990s here.
A few notes:
- While the foundation education-related grants are partly NYC-focused, a few high-profile national organizations (e.g. KIPP, TFA, NSVF, BAEO) receive support as well.
- Since this only looks at K-12 funding, I have not included the Robertson Scholars Program, a scholarship program that sends students to Duke and UNC. I included a few contributions to the University of Arkansas because this money is likely dedicated to the School Choice Demonstration Project at the Department of Education Reform.
- The grants to the DC Public Education Fund support the DC IMPACT program. Other funders of the DC Impact program include the Walton Family Foundation, Broad Foundation, and Arnold Foundation.
- Spencer Robertson, son of Julian Robertson, is the Executive Director of PAVE Academy, a NYC charter school.
- Unfortunately, the foundation’s Form 990s do not include grant descriptions.