New Profit: Postsecondary Innovation for Equity Initiative
New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization backing social entrepreneurs creating equity and opportunity in America, will support innovators who are connecting young adults from low-income communities with the postsecondary credentials and work experience needed to access upwardly mobile careers.
An initiative of Learn to Earn, New Profit’s postsecondary and career strategy, Postsecondary Innovation for Equity (PIE) is a two-phase effort to surface and catalyze innovations that help young Americans from low-income communities acquire postsecondary credentials and access upwardly mobile careers, without incurring major debt. New Profit will engage the selected grantee-partners in a learning community focused on building their organization’s measurement capacity.
Organizations supported through PIE will primarily serve people between the ages of 15 to 30 who are high school students, recent high school graduates, learners for whom traditional colleges have not worked, or early career workers in low-skill jobs. All grantees will share a commitment to improving the way they measure and report outcomes, including graduation rate, graduate employment, and graduate earnings, as well as a holistic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Three types of entrepreneurs will be supported:
- Entrepreneurs creating new workforce-connected postsecondary programs or institutions (including established postsecondary institutions pursuing radical innovation): For example, hybrid college models that are reducing costs, providing the flexibility and support that learners need, and brokering connections to good jobs
- Entrepreneurs architecting pathways to upwardly mobile jobs through established institutions: For example, collaborations among high schools, community colleges, and companies that put young people on a debt-free track to earn a credential and get a good job
- Entrepreneurs developing solutions that support innovators in the first two categories: For example, organizations providing innovative postsecondary financing or applicant-employer matching mechanisms that help people from low-income communities access education and employment opportunities
Amount: A total of 21 organizations will be awarded a $100,000 grant over two years. First phase grantee-partners will be eligible for the second phase of the PIE Initiative, launching in 2020, in which selected organizations will receive $1,000,000 each to scale their impact.
- The organization is a 501(c)(3) organization or is in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status. (Note: if an organization is organized as a for-profit but otherwise fits the criteria for PIE, it is not eligible to apply during this round. However, New Profit would still like to learn more about for-profits. For profits may introduce themselves at PIE@newprofit.org. For-profit organizations may be included in future investment rounds.)
- The organization operates and primarily serves learners ages 15-30 in the United States (organizations may also serve older learners but it is unlikely that New Profit will select organizations that primarily serve older learners).
- The organization has a 2019 organization/project budget of at least $250,000.
- The organization is led by a full-time CEO or Executive Director.
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