Of course there is nothing "democratic" about these sham non-profits. Their whole purpose is to influence, not to help. Invariably their little grants have strings attached as to how the money is being spent.
For that matter, so do these federal grants coming from the Department of Education, which is basically an arm of the Gates Foundation.
In this, we see a vicious cycle that undermines democratic control. Big money interests use anti-democratic campaign finance laws to fund anti-tax policies that deprive public institutions of resources. Those policies make public institutions desperate for private resources. When philanthropists offer those resources, they often make the money contingent on public officials relinquishing democratic control and acceding to ideological demands.
Most of these "foundations" are tax exempt, thus the taxpayers are financing their delusional crap.