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By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Bellwether Education Partners?

Bellwether is a national nonprofit dedicated to helping education organizations – in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors – become more effective in their work and achieve dramatic results for students. Bellwether works with those committed to dramatic educational change in an effort to serve all students better, especially low-income students. We particularly value innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to solving education problems.

What does Bellwether Education do?

Bellwether helps our clients better meet their challenges through three primary areas of work. Bellwether’s Policy and Thought Leadership team analyzes timely issues that are being debated within the education field, as well as emerging issues we see on the horizon. Our publications often challenge conventional wisdom. We also undertake research and policy analysis for our clients and help them better understand the education policy landscape.

Our Strategic Advising team partners with clients to design the best strategies to accomplish their goals, given their capabilities and context. The pragmatic, on-the-ground reality we encounter through our strategy practice enriches, informs, and grounds the research and analysis of our Policy and Thought Leadership team. Likewise the innovative thinking and research from our Policy and Thought Leadership work enables our Strategic Advising team to lead the field in creativity, problem solving, and strength of analysis.

We also provide talent services to clients, because who is on a team, how it is structured, and how decisions are made are often as important as having a strong strategy. Our talent work includes a talent-ready organizational diagnostic and high-impact organizational development services, comprehensive executive searches, customized search advisory services, and individual coaching services.

Does everyone at Bellwether agree on educational reforms?

One of Bellwether’s greatest strengths is that diversity of viewpoint is encouraged among the partner team and throughout the organization. Everyone at Bellwether is committed to dramatic improvements in our public education system, but internally there are different views about how to accomplish that work. We believe that challenging ideas and analysis, an evidence-based culture, and respect for competing theories of action is a key part of what makes Bellwether highly effective.

What doesn’t Bellwether do?

Bellwether is not a lobbying or public relations organization. We believe that “representing” clients in the media or before government agencies and public officials is incompatible with how we approach our overall work.

Who is on your team?

Bellwether brings together a team of more than 30 outstanding professionals who collectively have decades of hands-on leadership experience in education. Our team combines leaders with experience in the highest levels of state and federal education policy, founders of organizations, early stage and scale-up senior executives, accomplished strategy consultants, executive search and human resources professionals, former teachers, and organizational development experts.

Who funds Bellwether?

Bellwether is dependent on a blend of philanthropic support and donations coupled with fee-for-service consulting work to accomplish its mission. All of our funders and clients can be found on this website.

Why is Bellwether a nonprofit?

Bellwether’s founders sought to create a sustainable organization that can also undertake field-building activities that cannot be monetized, yet help to improve the education sector. A blend of service offerings and grants allows us to work toward this goal and stay focused on our underlying mission. As a practical matter, this means that Bellwether is governed by a volunteer board of directors and that no partners or employees of Bellwether have an equity or ownership stake in the organization.