Key Points

· In 2005, the Ohio Grantmakers Forum (OGF), a consortium of philanthropic organizations that includes the Cleveland Foundation, trained its focus on the seemingly intractable problem of improving public education.

· This review, co-chaired by the Cleveland Foundation, culminated in a report, “Education for Ohio’s Future,” which offered recommendations in five areas: systems and structures, standards and accountability, teaching and leadership quality, innovation and choice, and funding.

· In 2008, OGF reached out beyond philanthropists to a diverse array of education stakeholders who developed consensus recommendations on teacher quality and student success.

· For the next three years, OGF and its partners organized support and advocated for these policy recommendations, most of which were addressed in the state’s 2009 and 2011 biennial budgets and in its successful 2010 Race to the Top application.

· OGF’s approach was effective because the organization adhered to a well-defined agenda, recognized the long-term nature of pursuing policy change, and leveraged its members’ traditional strength as conveners.

· Ultimately, the engagement of the OGF-driven coalition established the philanthropic sector as a respected and credible voice for education reform in Ohio.

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