Philanthropic Due Diligence

Exploratory Case Studies to Improve Investments in Urban Schools

By the Center on Reinventing Public Education

June 2, 2002


This paper proposes using Exploratory Case Studies as a tool to improve philanthropic giving. It advocates for a clear theory of change to drive funding decisions and underscores the importance of foundation officials taking the time to determine whether or not a school district’s interests align with their own. The end goal? Empowering funders to make smarter, more strategic investments in our children’s future.  

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Exploratory Case Studies can help funders navigate critical questions, such as: Invest or not — and how?

Casey used Exploratory Case Studies to collect information on education improvement agendas in select Making Connections sites. This report draws on two of these case studies to spotlight what a funder might do with the information gathered. It tells the stories of deep but incomplete reform in San Diego and top-level turbulence in Denver.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations