Grant guidelines

Advancing equitable access to experiential learning in schools



The Braitmayer Foundation seeks to support organizations advancing equitable access to experiential learning that is meaningful and relevant to students’ lives, including project-based and other active learning approaches. Grants will support efforts that increase the quality and quantity of teacher-facilitated projects and programs that amplify and spread the practice of experiential learning in K-12 schools. The Foundation will focus on projects and programs serving low-income students in coastal New England and coastal Pacific Northwest. *Update regarding Washington and Oregon’s geography: the Foundation will give priority to applicants from Western Washington and Western Oregon while also considering applications from the entire state.


The Foundation’s funding opportunity this year offers a limited number of one-year grants of $35,000 – $50,000 to organizations at various levels of capacity. The Foundation anticipates inviting a limited number of follow-up requests for continued and sustained support from this cycle’s pool of grantees, depending on progress and interest.


Timeline – 2024 Grant Cycle


Activity Date
Concept Proposal Application Opens April 1
Concept Proposals Due May 1
Concept Proposal Decisions June 1
Full Proposals Due July 1
Grants Announced August 24




The Braitmayer Foundation is a 4th generation family foundation that seeks to honor our shared values and continue our family legacy of giving to strengthen education. We seek to fund organizations that are increasing access to quality education for all students, especially in the communities with the least resources.

The Braitmayer Foundation has a history of supporting experiential education. Over the years, it has observed how experiential learning aligns with the demands of the global world and helps students be adaptable, innovative, and self-directed learners and leaders in their communities. It knows teachers have been the leading advocates of experiential learning in schools, addressing its challenges and spreading its practice. The Foundation has also seen how experiential learning centers young people as visible leaders and problem-solvers in their schools and communities.

The Foundation seeks to continue championing experiential learning in schools and support efforts that increase the quality and quantity of teacher-facilitated projects in schools serving low-income students.


Defining experiential learning


The Foundation is not dogmatic about the definitions of experiential, active, authentic, or project-based learning pedagogies. The Foundation encourages organizations taking creative approaches to advancing equitable access to student-centered learning to apply, even if they do not directly identify with experiential learning. The Foundation prioritizes projects or programs aligned with the following design elements considered essential for learning:

Real-world relevance: Authentic activities match the real-world tasks of professionals in practice as nearly as possible. Learning rises to authenticity when youth work actively with abstract concepts, facts, and formulae inside a realistic—and highly social—context mimicking “the ordinary practices of the [disciplinary] culture.”

Ill-defined problem: Challenges are not simulations and cannot be solved easily by applying existing solutions. Instead, authentic activities are relatively undefined and open to multiple interpretations.

Sustained investigation: Problems cannot be solved in minutes or even hours. Instead, authentic activities comprise complex tasks to be investigated by youth over a sustained period, requiring significant time and intellectual resources.

Collaboration: Success is not achievable by an individual learner working alone. Authentic activities make collaboration integral to the task within the course and in the real world.

Voice and Choice: Authentic activities enable learners to make choices and reflect on their learning individually and as a team or community.

Interdisciplinary perspective: Relevance is not confined to a single domain or subject matter specialization. Instead, authentic activities have consequences that extend beyond a particular discipline, encouraging youth to adopt diverse roles and think in interdisciplinary terms.

Integrated assessment: Assessment is not merely summative in authentic activities but is woven seamlessly into the significant task to reflect real-world evaluation processes.


What the Foundation looks for in a project or program


The Foundation seeks to learn from projects and programs that can help build the field and spread the pedagogy, systems, and tools to a broad audience. It is especially interested in projects that have inclusive strategies for students – specifically student populations that are often overlooked, such as students with disabilities, including mobility, sensory, or are considered neurodiverse.

While the concept applications will provide more of a summary, we are looking for full proposals that communicate most or all of the following:

Familiarity with the theory and practice. As leaders, applicants should be grounded in the field and the challenges of active learning, problem-based learning, experiential education, etc.

Equity. The project explicitly tries to address equity – racial, class, gender, ability, etc.

Universal design. Projects are accessible to people with various abilities, disabilities, and other characteristics.

Clear goals and objectives. The project is outcome- and results-oriented.

A learning orientation. The project addresses exciting questions about the challenges of the work that is useful to others.

Experiential learning is core to the mission. Providing experiential or active learning for young people is a central aspect of the organization’s mission and a driver of the organization’s creativity, innovation, and ongoing partnerships.

The proof is in the projects. Participants take leadership in producing tangible and authentic products, services, or experiences that benefit the larger community, build social capital, and showcase their talents. Does it feel real to the students?


Eligibility Criteria


  1. Nonprofit organizations. Applicants must be U.S.-based nonprofit organizations, institutions, or schools with approved IRS 501(c)(3) status or fiscal agents with a 501(c)(3) status. Collaborations may include organizations that do not have this designation.
  2. Target communities. Provide services or collaborate with schools in coastal New England and coastal Pacific Northwest. *Update regarding Washington and Oregon’s geography: the Foundation will give priority to applicants from Western Washington and Western Oregon while also considering applications from the entire state.
  3. Local teacher leadership/participation. Applicants should demonstrate participation, support, or “buy-in” from teachers.
  4. Match requirement. There is no funding match requirement, but financial and in-kind contributions to the project and evidence of interest and support from other funders will strengthen the case.
  5. Organizational size. The Foundation will favor requests that have the potential to benefit the most students and teachers in a district. Large organizations are not a priority. We encourage small organizations to apply, potentially in coalition with other community partners.