The mission of the Douglas B. Marshall, Jr. Family Foundation (Marshall Foundation) is to support education and research on all levels. This includes, supporting cutting edge research at universities, laboratories, and other such institutions. It also includes supporting basic education, especially in areas of literacy, numeracy, and science. Since education and research are impossible without food, shelter, clothing, or medicine, it is within the bounds of the Foundation's mission to provide these when necessary.
The Marshall Foundation are especially interested in funding innovative projects based in developing countries that are:
- Evidence based, with rigorous research showing that they improve educational outcomes.
- Cost-effective, so that the highest impact can be achieved at low cost.
- Scalable in the long term, even if programs are currently at small scale.
The Marshall Foundation also fund projects that contribute to the evidence base on what works to improve educational outcomes, including: applied research (especially randomized trials and rigorous natural experiments); development of new monitoring and evaluation methodologies; and measurement of educational outcomes at a large (national or state-wide) scale.
The Marshall Foundation is a flexible funder, supporting projects at various levels of education, from early childhood education through secondary education. Support is provided for both specific projects as well as core activities in an organization or division within an organization. Organizations with committed and effective leadership are prioritized with the objective that the relationship could eventually develop into support on multi-year projects.