Reflecting on Six Years of Grantmaking to Support Community Colleges

September 23, 2021

Each year, millions of students across the United States attend community colleges, including larger proportions of low-income and historically minoritized students. These are the very students who are identified in ECMC Foundation’s mission. To measure the scope and impact of ECMC Foundation’s grantmaking focused on community colleges, we conducted an internal evaluation in early 2021.

The Foundation has made 152 grants focused on community colleges totaling over $63 million. This represents over half (57%) of our core grants awarded between May 2015 and January 2021 from our Career Readiness and College Success focus areas. While some of these grants are made to community colleges, more often these projects were led by intermediaries that work in partnership with these institutions.

Grant Amount by Year

The percentage of grants awarded that support community colleges has grown over time. In 2015, 23% of core grantmaking dollars went to community colleges, this has grown steadily to 65% in 2020.

Grants by Project Type

Fifty-seven percent of grant funding that supported community colleges went towards projects that are developing new programs or models and 21% went towards projects that are refining or expanding existing programs.

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