Albertson Foundation awards $34 million in grants in 2014

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation awarded $34 million in grants in 2014 — and the foundation says several grants “signal a shift” in its giving strategy.

Late in 2014, the foundation awarded $4 million to the south Meridian YMCA project and $1.3 million to overhaul Rhodes Park, a Boise skateboard park. These grants, among others, focus on community investments.

“We will continue to pilot education innovations, but our sole focus is learning,” foundation President Jamie MacMillan said in a news release. “Learning can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone. We want to be the spark that ignites learning opportunities everywhere — not just in the classroom.”

The foundation says its community investments are expected to quadruple by 2017.

(Disclosure: Idaho Education News is funded from a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.)

Here is the foundation’s news release, in full:

“The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation invested $34 million in Idaho students, teachers and communities in 2014.

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“Major year-end gifts, including a $4 million grant to the South YMCA project, a $1.3 million gift to overhaul Rhodes Park, $1 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County, as well as $375,000 to Junior Achievement of Idaho and $100,000 to the Idaho Food Bank, completed a series of donations that signal a shift in the family foundation’s giving strategy.

“Founded by grocery store mogul Joe Albertson and his wife Kathryn, the family foundation honors the pair’s belief that learning is the doorway to opportunity. Moving forward, it will focus on three areas: innovative learning, awareness and community investments.

“J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation President and Joe Albertson’s great-granddaughter Jamie MacMillan said the new giving strategy closely follows the family’s vision of limitless learning for all Idahoans.

“’Philanthropy can transform communities and help people understand what’s possible,’ MacMillan said.

“In the last five years, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation piloted several education initiatives, including Go On Idaho, Khan Academy in Idaho, Doceõ Centers for Innovation + Learning and the Idaho PTECH Network, among others, benefiting tens of thousands of students at more than 120 public, charter and alternative K-12 schools and every public university and community college in Idaho. Since 1997, the family foundation has invested almost $700 million in Idaho students and schools.

“MacMillan said versions of programs previously piloted will remain a component of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation’s giving portfolio.

“’We will continue to pilot education innovations, but our sole focus is learning,’ she said. ‘Learning can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone. We want to be the spark that ignites learning opportunities everywhere — not just in the classroom.’

“The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation will also continue to support transparency and accountability through increased funding of awareness initiatives like Idaho Education News and Idaho Education Trends, and publications like the ReThink Series and education field guides will increase with the shift.

“In perhaps the largest monetary change, community investments are expected to quadruple by 2017. To see view the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation 2014 Annual Grant Report, click here.

“2014 J.A. AND KATHRYN ALBERTSON FOUNDATION MAJOR GRANTS

South YMCA, $4 million.
Khan Academy in Idaho, $2.5 million.
Rhodes Park, $1.3 million.
Go On Schools, $1.2 million.
Idaho PTECH Network, $1.1 million.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County, Meridian, $1 million.”

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