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Operating Principles

Expressing our core values and exploring our beliefs provides a framework in which to articulate the outcomes that we wish to see from our philanthropic investments. To foster these outcomes, the BellSouth Foundation has, over the years, developed a distinctive approach to its philanthropy. In our work we seek to:

  • Ensure that all we do is geared to improving results for students, teachers, administrators, and communities.
  • Pioneer in identifying emerging issues and in encouraging innovative approaches to them.
  • Create learning communities through networks of committed individuals and institutions that, by working together, will learn from one another, test new ideas, and disseminate widely what they have learned.
  • Draw on the different experiences, insights, and strengths that diverse members of communities can bring to our philanthropy.
  • Operate primarily at the system or district level in public K-12 education and invest in places that demonstrate the will and capacity to sustain an initiative and bring it to scale.
  • Increase the capacity of education systems and institutions primarily by expanding the leadership skills of those at the center.
  • Adopt the latest technologies to make our work more effective and our interactions with grantees, partners and colleagues rich and more varied.
  • Foster the use of effective technologies and technology tools among those with whom we work.
  • Collaborate with other funders, public agencies, non-profit organizations, and business entities on issues of concern to us.
  • Communicate regularly to a wide array of stakeholders about our philanthropy, its impacts and what we are learning.
  • Assess results (both short- and long-term) of our investments and use what we learn from these studies to inform later efforts.
  • Leverage a variety of corporate resources on behalf of our philanthropic mission, and strive to add value to the BellSouth Corporation from the work we do.

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