A range of organizations have supported the OER movement one way or another, none greater than the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The OER movement owes much of its existence to this Foundation, which continues to be a driving force.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
In relation to OER, the website states: ‘Increase economic opportunity and civic engagement by educating students to succeed in a changing world through deeper learning’; and to ‘Equalize access to knowledge for teachers and students around the globe through Open Educational Resources55’. (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 2010). The strategic plan includes a logic diagram that shows how the Foundation plans to leverage OER to ‘Equalize access to knowledge for teachers and students around the globe through OER’ (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2010).
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
‘Our belief that every life has equal value is at the core of our work at the foundation. We follow 15 guiding principles57, which help define our approach58 to our philanthropic work, and employ an outstanding leadership team to direct our strategies and grantmaking.’ (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2010).
‘CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the U.S. and worldwide. Using an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the “FlexBook,” CK-12 intends to pioneer the generation and distribution of high quality educational content that will serve both as core text as well as provide an adaptive environment for learning.
The content generated by CK-12 and the CK-12 community will serve both as source material for a student's learning and provide an adaptive environment that scaffolds the learner's journey as he or she masters a standards-based body of knowledge, while allowing for passion-based learning.’ (CK-12 Foundation, 2011).
Open Society Foundation
‘Priorities for 2010-2011 include expanding the number of pilot countries we are supporting, addressing the need for online search and discovery of OER, movement-building activities, and research on business models and standards for OER which are needed to support further policy initiatives.’ (Open Society Foundations, 2011).
‘Lumina is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, by encouraging effective public policy, and by using our communications and convening capacity to build public will for change.’ (Lumina, 2011).
The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) offer monetary awards for ‘insightful, reflective case studies into the use of open educational resources OER for learning and teaching’ (JISC, 2011).
The focus of the Saylor Foundation since 2008 has been its Free Education Initiative, through which they aspire to ‘make education freely available to all.’ Currently the focus is on undergraduate college level, with plans to include primary, secondary and post-graduate courses in future. (Saylor Foundation, 2011).