Education is at our core

Giving-Philosophy | Blog | 3 mins.
Written By: Kelsey Thompson | Posted On: 06/06/2022

In 2021, roughly 35 percent of Morgridge Family Foundation grants went to education-focused organizations – the highest percentage of any focus area. Since our founding in 2008, 57 percent of all MFF grants have supported education directly. 

While those percentages are significant, they don’t show the full scope of how education shapes MFF giving and vice versa. Education is integral to the nonprofit landscape we work in. Every industry needs engaging, solution-oriented, career-minded learning for students of all ages and ability levels. It is the unifying thread that connects all of MFF’s giving.

The graphic above, from the 2021 Disruption Report, illustrates how education is at the heart of our focus areas. 

Without food security, students from kindergarten through college cannot succeed academically. Without education, conservation and arts movements cannot effectively engage communities. Without widespread, high-quality education for professionals in every industry, we cannot expand access to critically needed services like healthcare and technology.

Let’s take a look at how these indirect education grants work in reality. 


National Jewish Health Morgridge Fellowship Program

The Morgridge Fellowship Program is a key component of the Morgridge Educational Campus located at National Jewish Health’s Denver location. National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation and has been one of MFF’s largest nonprofit partnerships since 2008. The fellowship program brings about 60 postdoctoral fellows to Denver every year. They learn National Jewish Health’s unique model of respiratory care and use their training to better treat underserved populations.

The Morgridge Fellowship Program hosted 62 fellows in 2020-2021 and 57 fellows in 2021-2022 in Pediatrics, Radiology, Infectious Diseases, Pulmonology, Allergy, Interventional Pulmonology, Genetics, Thoracic Surgery and Biomedical Research.

Upon completing the fellowship, these fellows will join over 700 other alumni in sharing their industry-leading education with communities around the world. As a result, the impact of the program grows exponentially year-over-year. In 2021 alone, participants who completed the fellowship took their skills to six different states.


Global Conservation Corps Future Rangers Program

Global Conservation Corps is a MFF partner that works to conserve wildlife through the education, development and training of people. Their approach is that poaching and other threats to wildlife are not animal issues but human issues driven by lack of access to education and economic opportunities. They address both simultaneously through their Future Rangers Program.

GCC’s Future Rangers Program works with students as young as five to build their appreciation of nature, raise awareness of challenges facing wildlife in their area and connect older students with career opportunities in the wildlife economy. The Future Rangers Scholarship Program provides high school graduates with educational grants to pursue opportunities in conservation. 

The program focuses on youth living alongside high-priority conservation areas to ensure that the wildlife economy can hire locally, generating sustainable income for local communities and allowing young people to benefit from a love for wildlife and nature.

Those are just two examples of countless grants supporting critical and innovative education work around the world. 

While 57 percent of MFF’s giving from 2008 through 2020 went directly to education, close to 100 percent during that same time period funded education indirectly. Those grants go toward funding professional development for teachers, tools and technology for students of all kinds, establishing effective program curriculum, and scaling successful programs to reach more communities. 

Discover the basis of our model in the diagrams below, from Discovering Disruption and follow along with MFF’s work on social media and in our newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest successes and innovations in education of all kinds.