Foundation Watch

The William T. Grant Foundation’s Funding of Critical Race Theory

The William T. Grant Foundation is a donor nonprofit that gives between five- and six-figure annual donations to universities and policy groups that in turn fund programs on controversial public policy topics relating to Critical Race Theory(CRT). Between 2020 and 2021, a sum of $950,000 of its total revenues were contributions from the Spencer Foundation, a foundation formed to support research on the best practices in education, but the foundation has apparently shifted to focus on racial inequality.

Donor Intent

The William T. Grant Foundation, formerly known as the Grant Foundation, was founded in 1936 by William Thomas Grant, a former retail salesman who was also known for his philanthropic work. Grant’s primary interest when founding the foundation was “finding out why some young people who were otherwise equipped for success did not succeed, while others did.”

The Data

The William T. Grant Foundation annually gives more than $3.5 million to universities. The grant descriptions listed on the nonprofit’s tax filings show that many of the six-figure annual grants to universities are used to produce research on controversial public policy questions relating to CRT. Examples from the group’s 2021 tax filing include:

  • A $150,526 grant to Duke University for “Making Black Reparations in America,”
  • A $225,073 grant to Syracuse University to study “Long-term Consequences of the Voting Rights Act for Black-White Disparities in Childrens Later-Life Outcomes,”
  • A $153,262 grant to University of Maryland Baltimore County to study “The Impact of Black Lives Matter Mobilization on Police Departments Policies to Reduce Racial Inequality,” and
  • A $118,483 grant to the University of Virginia for “Developing an Effective White Bystander Intervention to Reduce Racial Inequality in Higher Education.”

The foundation’s tax filings from 2021 show grants to many policy and media organizations. Examples include:

The Shift Toward CRT Objectives

In recent years, the foundation’s funding has transitioned away from social science research toward funding leftist efforts to advance CRT. After Grant’s death in 1973, the William T. Grant Foundation established the Youth and America’s Future: The William T. Grant Foundation Commission on Work, Family, and Citizenship under the foundation’s first female president, Beatrix Hamburg, who was also the first African American woman to attend Yale School of Medicine.