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Philanthropy Column

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A Boston group, seeking to avoid the opposition from grassroots parent organizations that has derailed many education-reform efforts, wants to involve parents from the start in a reform project planned for five districts around the country.

The Institute for Responsive Education has won grants from three national foundations to support its plan for the community-based demonstration project.

The Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago, and the Danforth Foundation of St. Louis have together awarded $600,000 to the group.

The institute plans to work with two to six schools in each of the five districts: Boston; Chicago; Las Cruces, N.M.; Harts, W.Va.; and Flambeau, Wis.

It will provide training, guidance, and funding to teams of teachers, students, parents, business people, and social-service providers to help them decide what changes are needed in their schools.

The Foundation Center has launched a new information service on the Internet.

Users can access the center's directory of its five libraries and 200 cooperating collections, its publications catalogue, and its annual report. They can also peruse the Philanthropy News Digest, an electronic news service that features summaries of articles about philanthropy from the print media.

The service can reached on the Worldwide Web at

In the future, the service will offer access to the center's information on foundations and their grants. And the center will work with grantmakers to make their funding data and publications available on-line.

The Foundation Center is an independent nonprofit organization with its headquarters in New York City. Established with foundation support in 1956, its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on philanthropy.

The Hitachi Foundation has announced that it will no longer accept unsolicited proposals. The Washington-based foundation says it will instead use a request-for-proposals process, internal publications, and other methods to pursue its grantmaking objectives.

Information on requests for proposals will be available from the foundation's automated document-delivery system at (202) 457-0588, ext. 555; the Foundation Center; and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

--Meg Sommerfeld

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