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Foundation Column

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Two new corporate foundations that bear the names of giant Japanese consumer-electronics firms have issued guidelines for making grants, and both intend to invest heavily in U.S. education.

The Matsushita Foundation, founded in late 1984 with a $10-million endowment by the Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, plans to support programs that:

enhance effective learning in schools;

improve the skills and knowledge base of teachers;

promote collaborations between schools and other sectors of the comnmunity; and,

strengthen Japanese studies.

Matsushita, which markets products under the brand names of Panasonic, Technics, and Quasar, is a subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., of Osaka.

According to its guidelines, the foundation will consider requests for multi-year support for up to three years, with a maximum one-year grant of $100,000. The foundation will accept unsolicited requests but prefers to "take the initiative with regard to the activities it supports."

The second foundation, the Hitachi Foundation, is thought to be the first U.S.-based foundation endowed by a non-U.S. company.

Initially endowed late last year with $15 million, the foundation expects to make grants of $1.7 million annually by 1987, with "education and the arts" one of its three areas of interest. The foundation will make grants at all levels of education, with an emphasis on programs that address literacy and that forge alliances between schools and the business community.

The Matsushita Foundation is located at: One Panasonic Way, Seacaucus, N.J. 07094; The Hitachi Foundation's address is: 1725 K St., N.W., Suite 1403, Washington, D.C. 20006.


The Metropolitan Life Foundation has awarded $100,000 to the Committee for Economic Development to support five "teacher-business roundtables" in five cities, and a $65,000 grant to aid dissemination of the recent ced report, Investing in Our Children: Business and the Public Schools.

The first roundtable session, which will bring together some 125 teachers, top business executives, education administrators, and community leaders, meets this week in New York City.


In other developments:

The Boston Foundation has allocated $10 million over the next five years for a "Poverty Impact Program" that will focus in part on the plight of women and children, with primary interest in maternal and infant health care, teen-age pregnancy, and employment and training.

A $3-million fund has been established at the Greater Worcester (Mass.) Community Foundation for "the care of women and children."

Public/Private Ventures of Philadelphia, with a grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, has launched a new national demonstration project aimed at reducing the school-dropout rate.--jrs

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