NewSchools Venture Fund: Racial Equity FundingDeadline: June 4, 2021
NewSchools Venture Fund seeks innovators of color with bold ideas to advance racial equity in education. The freedom to thrive is every person’s fundamental right, and access to a great education, regardless of race or ethnicity, is essential to that freedom. And yet, despite important areas of progress, the promise of an equitable educational opportunity remains unfulfilled. NewSchools is committed to being part of the necessary change, and recognizes the need to work on racial equity in a deeper way. Through this funding opportunity, NewSchools wishes to bring powerful, imaginative ideas to life that reach toward a racially equitable education system. This funding opportunity is exclusively focused on supporting leaders of color with bold new ideas. Additionally, given the prevalence of anti-Black racism in our society, and its impact on outcomes for Black students, NewSchools will allocate at least 50% of this fund to Black leaders.
Instead of a traditional grantmaking approach, the process for choosing ventures in this investment area will cede power to a Racial Equity Council—parents, students, and education innovators—who will decide how to allocate Racial Equity funds through a participatory grantmaking process.
Grantees will receive funding as well as management assistance to support the development of the proposed idea. Awarded grantees will be asked what types of support they need. Management assistance can include one-on-one coaching, communities of practice, consulting support and/or access to national experts. Efforts typically help leaders with strategic planning, fundraising and financial sustainability, team design, program models, and impact measurement.
Note: NewSchools will host an informational webinar on May 7, 2021.
Amount: Up to $1.5 million is available to make awards. The Racial Equity Council will determine how to allocate funds.
Eligibility: Applicants must be individuals who:
- Identify as a person of color. At least 50% of this fund will be allocated to Black leaders.
- Have an idea focused on advancing racial equity in PreK-12 education; proposed ideas must not fall into one of NewSchools three existing investment areas (Innovative Schools, Learning Solutions, and Diverse Leaders).
- Lead an organization that is in the early stage of development. Applicants may have an idea and need to create a strategy or implementation plan; have been operating an organization for less than two years; or have founded an organization more than two years ago but have been unable to launch planned programs, hire staff or access the necessary funding to get started. New initiatives or programs launching within existing organizations are not eligible. Organizations are not required to be legally incorporated, as NewSchools can grant funds through fiscal sponsors or to individuals directly, however organizations should be working towards securing non-profit or for-profit status.
Note: Policy efforts or university-based programs are not eligible.