An Inquiry-Driven
Grantmaking Strategy

A Grounding in the Scientific Method

We know that philanthropy doesn’t hold all the answers to addressing tough societal challenges. However, we believe that philanthropy is uniquely positioned to ask big questions of our society, and to bring together the right stakeholders to answer those questions. Our inquiry-driven approach to grantmaking is an iterative process of asking questions, systematically interrogating them, and applying our learnings to subsequents rounds of questioning.

Our approach is grounded in the scientific method, and is inspired by our chairman and founder David Siegel’s approach to his life’s work. We ask questions that help us develop an informed hypothesis, support academic and field-work that uncovers evidence, track and interpret outcomes thoughtfully, and apply our findings in order to inform the next phase of inquiry.

Right now, these are the questions that we are using to guide the grantmaking in each of our interest areas:

  • Learning: How does the structure, content, and pedagogy of the education system need to change in order to best equip learners to contribute to and advance society?
  • Workforce: How do we create access to opportunity, foster persistence, and enable pathways to upward mobility within an ever-changing economy?
  • Infrastructure: How do we invest in modern infrastructure to ensure that all people are able to participate in, contribute to, and thrive in an evolving society?

Our findings never represent the end of a conversation. Instead, we treat them as an invitation to keep iterating, to continually re-shaping our own approach to grantmaking, and to bring others into the fold so we can build together.