Grantmaking Beliefs

We believe in the importance of scaling evidence-based projects to achieve greater social impact, while helping early-stage initiatives develop and validate their evidence base. Our goal is to fund work that opens doors for every child in the U.S. by measurably enhancing education both inside and outside the classroom.

Investment Principles

We make our investment decisions based on the following principles:

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Invest in CATALYTIC and INCREMENTAL impact

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SCALE what’s proven to work

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Account for CONTEXT and TIMING

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Look for INNOVATION at intersections

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TAKE RISKS and LEARN from failure

Two children working on a project on a computer. Image provided by NewSchools Venture Fund.

Grantmaking Approach

Operate a PERSONALIZED and EFFICIENT process, incorporating feedback loops

Take a USER-CENTERED approach in evaluating potential and outcomes

Be GRACIOUS and HUMBLE in our funding

Seek to be a true PARTNER, supporting grantees’ overall success

Build ACCOUNTABILITY TO GOALS and measure improvement valued by all

Use instinct and data to guide THOUGHTFUL decision-making

LEARN TRANSPARENTLY from successes and failures

Data Values & Practices

We aspire to support our grantees in developing the skills and capacity needed to operate rigorous organizations and drive improvement in their work. And because actions speak louder than words, we strive to model the data practices we expect from our grantees by being a data-informed organization that is continually learning and improving.

Internally, we commit to:

  1. Ensuring responsible data use by employing data standards, thoroughly documenting data, following best practices in data privacy, and demonstrating strong data ethics
  2. Transparently discussing how we intend to use data and acknowledging the tensions between data for accountability and data for improvement
  3. Maintaining empathy about the difficulty of building a learning- and data-informed culture
  4. Defining “data” comprehensively by valuing a combination of qualitative and quantitative data, and a broad set of analytical techniques and methodologies
  5. Democratizing access to data, when possible, especially from research
  6. Highlighting the connections between data and people through storytelling and narrative
  7. Looking at data in context to understand the nuances
  8. Disaggregating data by subgroups in order to facilitate deeper understanding about what works for whom, under what conditions, and why
  9. Gathering only the data required to inform decisions and action
  10. Tracking what data are useful for measurement and evaluation and regularly assessing our data requirements based on what we’ve learned