Oak Foundation: Learning Differences Grant Program

The Oak Foundation

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Grant amount: More than US $25,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Project / Program

Location of project: Europe, Ethiopia, United States

Location of residency: Europe, Ethiopia, United States

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About this funder:




In the Learning Differences Programme, we believe that together we can build a world in which schools unlock the creativity and power of every young person and equip them to shape more just and equitable communities.

We partner with and invest in not-for-profit organisations that improve education for all students, particularly those with learning differences who experience further marginalisation due to racism and poverty.

Our Strategy

We believe that a better future and a good education are linked and that educated citizens contribute to healthier and more vibrant communities.

Appreciating the value of education, our fundamental sense of justice demands that every child has the chance to develop skills and knowledge to realise his or her potential. Too often, however, schools do not serve the students that need them the most to thrive in a changing world. Fairness demands that we do better.

To this end, we focus on three areas of partnership and investment to promote, support and build systems that unlock the potential of all students, particularly those with learning differences and face additional adversity in school due to race, income, language, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or religion.

Build knowledge and understanding of what works best

We support organisations that:

  • Conduct research to understand how teaching and learning can be transformed to unlock the potential of students with learning differences
  • Deepen understanding of how structural racism and other power systems intersect with and shape students’ agency and metacognition
  • Bring together students, parents, educators, leaders and others to explore and pursue new ways to improve marginalised students’ education.

Translate knowledge into practice

We support organisations that:

  • Build educator understanding of teaching and learning practices that meet the needs of diverse students through the curation and dissemination of evidence-based and culturally-responsive tools and resources that help students master rigorous content and define student success to include academic and social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Connect research on the science of learning with the needs of students with learning differences, particularly to ensure the science of reading informs teacher professional learning and practice in literacy instruction.
  • Address racial and other biases and inequitable structures and practices within school communities that disproportionately discriminate against the most marginalised students.
  • Promote peer networks and relationships that build agency and sense of belonging among students with learning differences.

Influence systems to embrace and adopt enabling conditions necessary for schools to meet the needs of students furthest from opportunity

We support organisations that:

  • Accelerate development of broader measures of student success and their widespread adoption in education policy and practice.
  • Build the knowledge and strengthen the will of decision makers to support policies that advance the needs of students with learning differences who are furthest from opportunity.
  • Elevate students’ and families’ voices in transforming education by amplifying their skills and agency as advocates.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • We support organisations in the United States as well as in a limited number of countries around the world. We aim to increase support to worldwide initiatives. 


  • We do not provide support to individuals, and do not provide funding for scholarships or tuition assistance for undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
  • We also do not fund religious organisations for religious purposes or election campaigns.
  • Except in special circumstances or in Zimbabwe, we generally do not provide programme grants under USD 25,000.