California Education Policy Fund Announces Open Call for Letters of Inquiry to Bolster Education Reform Efforts in the Golden State

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Sonie Guseh | 212.784.5698|
Elana Rueven | 212.784.5723|

CEPF will award $3 million in 2014 to California nonprofits to foster education policy reforms and implementation that advance Deeper Learning

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and NEW YORK, NY —April 30, 2014 – To promote education policy reform and implementation efforts that improve California’s public education system, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) today announced a call for Letters of Inquiry to the California Education Policy Fund (CEPF), an RPA sponsored project. CEPF supports nonprofit organizations working to ensure that education reform and its implementation promote student success in all aspects of their lives. In particular, CEPF seeks to advance Deeper Learning: the set of richer academic knowledge and higher-order skills that students need to succeed in 21st-century work and civic life. At a time when education standards, financing, and testing practices are changing statewide, strengthening the state’s research and advocacy organizations is more important than ever.

Launched in 2011 with a gift from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, CEPF is focused on supporting organizations that promote Deeper Learning in California schools. Deeper Learning includes mastery of rigorous academic content along with critical thinking and complex problem solving, effective communication, teamwork and collaboration, learning how to learn, and development of academic mindsets (attitudes and beliefs students have of themselves and schooling, motivating them to want to learn and learn successfully). The state’s adoption of the new Common Core standards and the Smarter Balanced assessment is an important stride forward in ensuring that this critical set of knowledge and skills are prioritized in schools. Accordingly, CEPF is interested in organizations that will focus on the effective implementation of the Common Core to provide Deeper Learning outcomes. To date, CEPF has awarded over $9 million to nonprofit organizations that advocate for and advance meaningful education reform in the state of California.
“Given the major changes happening in California’s education system, RPA is especially proud to support grantee efforts that impact local policy implementation and to continue to support grantees focused on policy advocacy and reform,” said Melissa Berman, President and CEO of RPA. “We are thrilled to build on the Hewlett Foundation’s and other donors’ commitment to statewide education reform to improve outcomes for all students.”

This year, CEPF seeks to provide both supplementary funding to current grantees and make awards to new grantees, all of which must be nonprofit Section 501(c)(3) public charities or tax-exempt academic institutions. The strongest applicants will be those with expertise in advocacy, including grassroots organizing, communications, and providing technical feedback; or policy implementation, including regulatory rule-making, strategic planning for school sites or districts, coalition building, and translating state policy into operational guidelines for local entities. Grant recipients will be required to provide annual reports and participate in networking and capacity-building convenings throughout the year.

Capitol Impact, a Sacramento-based education consulting firm with strong knowledge and expertise in statewide education reform, policy, strategy, research, and project oversight provides management support to CEPF. An independent grant award advisory committee comprised of education experts reviews and provides feedback on grant proposals. RPA makes all final grantmaking decisions.

“With Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors at the helm, CEPF has identified and supported grantees that are deeply devoted to revamping the statewide education system,” said Barbara Chow, director of The Hewlett Foundation’s Education Program. “CEPF’s ability to convene strong organizations and give them the space and support to do their jobs better and collaborate with one another has been an important means for promoting Deeper Learning and improving college and career readiness in California.”

For complete grant eligibility and criteria information, including details on how to submit a Letter of Inquiry, please visit or email

About Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) is a nonprofit organization that currently advises on and manages more than $200 million in annual giving by individuals, families, corporations, and major foundations. Continuing the Rockefeller family’s legacy of thoughtful, effective philanthropy, RPA remains at the forefront of philanthropic growth and innovation, with a diverse team led by experienced grantmakers with significant depth of knowledge across the spectrum of issue areas. Founded in 2002, RPA has grown into one of the world’s largest philanthropic service organizations and, as a whole, has facilitated more than $3 billion in grantmaking to nearly 70 countries. RPA also serves as a fiscal sponsor for more than 25 projects, providing governance, management and operational infrastructure to support their charitable purposes. For more information, please visit

About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helps people build measurably better lives. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, as well as grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. A full list of all the Foundation’s grants can be found here.