Formerly the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, Educate Texas – Philanthropy Advocates is a funders’ collaborative that was created in 2012 to unify grantmakers around a multi-year effort to build support for and improvement in public education in Texas in response to the historic cuts made to public education by the Texas Legislature during the 2011 session. Their mission is to empower Texas philanthropy to invest and engage in effective public education policy and advocacy at the state level. Their vision is to protect, promote, and improve public and higher education in Texas so that all Texas students can achieve their educational goals from cradle to career. One of their primary focus areas since their inception has been early childhood education policy. Operated by the Austin Community Foundation.
Philanthropy Advocates is a collaboration with Educate Texas at Communities Foundation of Texas. PA is staffed by independent contractors and governed by a leadership committee made up of 13 members representing Texas grantmakers from across the state. Membership includes 54 members from private and community foundations, corporate funders, and United Ways. Philanthropy Advocates members pay an annual membership fee of $5,000 regardless of the size of the grantmaker's endowment.
- Other (describe below)
Biennial survey/statewide meetings with foundations to determine common interests and priorities across a huge and diverse state; Direct engagement with legislators and staff concerning the priorities of philanthropy without lobbying for specific legislation or bills; Pooled grantmaking opportunities with foundations from across Texas to maximize small grants through joint funding of research and advocacy; Partnerships with traditional and unexpected messengers to highlight research supported by the Consortium, including Chambers of Commerce and other business groups, active duty police officers and sheriffs, and retired United States admirals and generals; Engagement with social and print media, including opinion pieces in the state’s largest newspapers authored by foundation trustees and staff