Lumina Foundation believes that education provides the basis for individual opportunity, economic vitality and social stability. With its partners, Lumina strives to meet workforce demands and close gaps in attainment for groups not historically well-served by higher education. Lumina’s overarching goal is to increase the higher education attainment rate of the United States to 60 percent by 2025.This will represent an increase of 23 million graduates above current levels of production. While our mission focuses on both student access and success in higher education, our emphasis is on attainment, defined as completing post-secondary certificates, associate and baccalaureate degrees and credentials.

Lumina Foundation’s grantmaking is primarily proactive in nature. In other words, a large majority of our grants are awarded to partners solicited by the Foundation based on unique capacity or position to leverage large-scale systemic change. We have allocated a modest amount of grant monies for unsolicited inquiries to encourage innovative ideas that relate to our strategic portfolio. We also fund open challenges through innocentive.com to engage creative individuals through open innovation in areas that would transform higher education in America.

Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025. Our current funding is directed to advance the following strategies:

  1. Build a Goal 2025 Social Movement
  2. Mobilize Employers, Metro Areas, and Regions to Increase Attainment
  3. Mobilize Higher Education to Increase Student Success
  4. Advance State Policy for Increased Attainment
  5. Advance Federal Policy for Increased Attainment
  6. Create New Models of Student Financial Support
  7. Design New Higher Education Business and Finance Models
  8. Create New Systems of Quality Credentials

For more information about these strategies, see Lumina Foundation’s Strategic Plan 2013-2016 »

Grant Management

Current grantees should review the Grantee Resources page for details on Lumina’s grant management process and to access reporting forms.

Active Grants

Examples of current proactive work include:

Eligibility

Lumina Foundation makes grants within the United States and its territories, occasionally initiating a grant to an entity outside the United States in order to inform its work to expand access and success in postsecondary education in the United States.

The Foundation only funds organizations that are classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and as public charities under section 509(a)(1), (2) or (3) of the Code or to public organizations that are designated under section 170(c) of the Code, not individuals. Lumina Foundation does not make grants to (a.) supporting organizations controlled by disqualified persons to Lumina or (b.) Type III supporting organizations that are not functionally integrated Type III supporting organizations (as such terms are defined in the Internal Revenue Code).

Unsolicited Inquiries

Limited resources are available for unsolicited inquiries, due to the proactive nature of our grantmaking. We will consider unsolicited inquiries submitted through this form. Due to the high volume of inquiries, we can only respond to the inquiries we may be interested in pursuing. For detailed instructions, please see Preparing and Submitting a Letter of Inquiry »

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