At their core, all scholarship grants aim to enact change in the lives of their grantees: through access to education, resources, and powerful networks. Some scholarships, however, leverage their programs to impact society in a broader way, aiming to change whole institutions, industries, and specific communities through these awards.

Defining Scholarships for Change

Scholarships for Change explores and tracks how private and community foundation donors are using scholarships as a force to accelerate the broader change they hope to see around the world. It pulls together data and knowledge to tell the story of how philanthropic dollars are supporting transformative scholarships and guides funders in the practice of scholarship grantmaking.

How are we defining change and what do we mean by scholarships? Learn more here:
Glossary of Terms

This site provides public access to:

  • The most current and complete interactive funding map of change-oriented scholarship funding efforts by private and community foundations, as available, grants data includes global grantmakers and recipients
  • A searchable library of curated publications, case studies, affinity groups, news, and data on change-oriented scholarships
  • What experienced funders know about what works and what hasn’t
  • An opportunity to share your knowledge

Who is the Site For?

Scholarships for Change is designed to help guide funders in identifying approaches and strategies that work. Though publicly accessible for all, those who will find the site most useful include:

  • Those establishing scholarship/fellowship funds for the first time
  • Donor advisors at community foundations and philanthropic advisors
  • Program officers and staff at foundations worldwide, or individual philanthropists
  • Scholarship providers/leaders worldwide working to administer or evaluate scholarships
  • Scholarship recipients/seekers

How can I use the site and get involved?

Discover: Explore the interactive Funding Map to see who is funding what, and where related to change-oriented scholarship grantmaking. Explore the most common areas of desired change that funders are currently working toward.

Learn: Dive into the Resource Collection of curated research, reports, case studies, and more. Learn from others and discover best practices in scholarship funding strategies, policies, and partnerships.

Engage: Share your Knowledge to make it available to colleagues who need it around the world.

About the Funding Map

The Funding Map is built on the Foundation Maps platform, which is developed in-house by Candid staff. The map displays two data streams:

  • Institutional philanthropic grantmaking from Candid’s database which are comprised of grants information directly reported by foundations, or collected from IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF, foundation websites, and other public sources. (2006-present, where available)
  • S. government agency grants from USAspending.gov (2015-2016)

The inclusion criteria for these data streams is defined by Candid’s Philanthropy Classification System (PCS). Data from OECD and USAspending.gov was coded using grant descriptions to Candid’s PCS before being considered for inclusion.

For more information on the Funding Map, please see the FAQs in the mapping platform.

About the Resource Center

  • Reports are part of a special collection on IssueLab and represent all publicly available documents from the top funders supporting change-oriented scholarships according to Candid’s data;
  • Case Studies include GrantCraft case studies developed by Candid for the Scholarships for Change site;
  • Affinity Groups show funder groups providing services and organizing scholarship-related events and activities for their members.
  • News displays scholarship-related stories from Candid’s Philanthropy News Digest


Candid thanks the Ford Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this project. Candid also would like to thank Jane L. Polin, philanthropic advisor, who authored the Scholarships for Change case studies and the following advisors and interviewees who volunteered their time to this effort:

  • Aryn Baxter, assistant research professor and director of MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, Arizona State University
  • Susan Berresford, former president, Ford Foundation
  • Shona Bezanson, associate director, Mastercard Foundation
  • Jackie Bright, executive director, National Scholarship Providers Association
  • Della Britton, president and CEO, The Jackie Robinson Foundation
  • Maggie Brubaker, director of programs, National Scholarship Providers Association
  • Anne Campbell, assistant professor of international education management, Middlebury College
  • Michele Campbell, executive director, LeBron James Family Foundation
  • Darlene J. Curley, RN, FAAN, former CEO, Jonas Philanthropies
  • Joan Dassin, PhD, professor of international education and development, Brandeis University
  • Tanesha Ford, executive director, Kauffman Scholars, Inc.
  • Alice Goh, director, Office of the Executive Vice President for Program, Ford Foundation
  • Helene Gregoire, senior learning manager, Mastercard Foundation
  • Robert (Bobby) Hackett, president, The Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation
  • Craig Harwood, director, Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
  • Maysa Jalbout, former executive director, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation
  • Amy Kerwin, vice president, Education Philanthropy, Ascendium Education Group
  • Kelly King, senior program officer, Education and Los Angeles Scholars Investment Fund, California Community Foundation
  • Philip Landon, vice president of governance and programs, Universities Canada
  • Cate Lawrence, research officer, Universities Canada
  • Rebecca Leviss, 2018 Tisch summer fellow, Tufts University
  • Candy Marshall, president, TheDream.US Scholars Program
  • Cecilia Marshall, director of strategic initiatives, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
  • Wanda Montalvo, Ph.D., RN, executive director, Jonas Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, Jonas Philanthropies
  • Aaron North, vice president of education, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and chair, Kauffman Scholars, Inc.
  • Joanna Saracino, associate program officer, College Futures Foundation
  • Philip Watkins, deputy director, scholarships programs, Open Society Foundations
  • May Wazzan, former program manager, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education
  • Rawan Yasmin, deputy program manager, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education

Every year, millions of nonprofits spend trillions of dollars around the world. Candid finds out where that money comes from, where it goes, and why it matters. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it. Candid’s data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world. Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forces to become Candid, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Find out more at candid.org.