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www.natgeoed.org

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Photo: National Geographic building at night

Photography by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic

The National Geographic Society established the Education Foundation in 1988 – the Society’s centennial – to fund activities promoting and advancing geographic education in the United States and Canada. The Foundation launched with an initial contribution of $40 million by the Society’s Board of Trustees. Over the years, the Foundation has built up an endowment worth more than $180 million through generous contributions from the Society and other donors.

The Foundation supports educational activities conducted by National Geographic’s Center for Geo-Education and provides grants to other organizations that work to advance the Foundation’s mission. Throughout its history, the Foundation has awarded more than $85 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.

Funded Activities
The Education Foundation currently supports programs in three distinct areas:

  • State and Place-Based Programs. The Foundation supports activities that advance geographic education at the regional, state, and local levels through grants to external partners. The primary focus of this grantmaking is the National Geographic Network of Alliances for Geographic Education. The Alliance Network is made up of university-based partnerships of higher education and K-12 educators working to improve geographic education in their area. Each Alliance offers professional development and cultivates professional communities for teachers of geography. They also participate in educational policy discussions and program implementation at the state and district levels. The Foundation currently funds statewide Alliances in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

  • Educational Materials and Professional Development. The Foundation supports the creation of educational materials and professional development within National Geographic’s Center for Geo-Education. It provides funding to the Center to create and distribute materials for teaching and learning of geographic concepts and practices. Through the Education Portal at NatGeoEd.org, these resources reach a global audience of more than one million educators and young people each month.

  • Communications, Research, and Policy. The Foundation supports activities that build awareness of the importance of geographic education among legislators, policy makers, and the general public. The Foundation supports Geography Awareness Week, an annual public awareness campaign, and Speak Up for Geography, a policy campaign targeted at establishing a federal program to improve geography education.

Governance
The Education Foundation is overseen by a Board of Governors that is appointed by the Trustees of the National Geographic Society.

Grant Proposals
The National Geographic Network of Alliances for Geographic Education is the Foundation’s primary external grantmaking program at this time. Alliance Program grants are by invitation only, and the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

Contact Us
National Geographic Society
Education Foundation
1145 17th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-4688
Phone (202) 857-7310
Fax (202) 429-5701
Email: foundation@ngs.org


By studying geography, students will be able to interpret the past and contribute to the future. From where the next storm will hit, to where pollution will drift, to where we need to (or not to) build new housing—geography steers us.
- Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Chairman Emeritus, National Geographic Society and Education Foundation

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The Geography Alliance Network

The Geography Alliance Network

Read about educators united to support geographic literacy.