Education, Investment Announcements

Announcing $100K Investments in 8 Innovative Education Organizations

Announcing our new EdCatalyst cohort

April 28, 2020

April 28, 2020 [NATIONAL] – We are excited to announce that eight innovative education organizations will receive $100,000 capacity-building grants through a partnership with New Profit and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organizations and their visionary leaders are working directly on advancing educational equity for learners from historically underserved populations, from English language learners to first-generation college students. This work is even more critical given that our country’s educational disparities have been starkly exposed and heightened by the COVID-19 crisis. This cohort of eight organizations is being funded and supported by EdCatalyst, a pilot initiative that is part of New Profit’s Catalyze Investments portfolio. The purpose of the EdCatalyst pilot initiative is to partner with a set of high potential organizations spearheading innovation in K-16 education and beyond on their capacity building to accelerate their growth and potential for scaled impact. “In this time of unprecedented crisis, we are thrilled to partner with visionary leaders and organizations that are leading innovative models addressing the educational and economic challenges we face,” noted Yordanos Eyoel, a Partner at New Profit who leads Catalyze Investments.

The eight organizations in the EdCatalyst cohort are:

  • Basta, led by Sheila Sarem, seeks to create a bridge of opportunity between employers and first-generation college-goers of color to increase knowledge workforce diversity at all levels
  • Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), led by Daniel Zaharopol, aims to create pathways for underserved students to become STEM professionals
  • COOP, led by Kalani Leifer, is dedicated to overcoming underemployment through digital skills and peer connection for underrepresented college graduates
  • English Learners Success Forum (ELSF), led by Crystal Gonzales, seeks to improve the supply and accessibility of instructional materials that address the linguistic and cultural needs of English Learners
  • nXu, led by Yutaka Tamura, is a nonprofit youth organization with a mission to catalyze and equip youth and young adults to explore, articulate, and pursue their purpose
  • Profound Gentlemen, led by Jason Terrell, provides an effective retention-focused program for male educators of color so that they receive the support and resources they need to commit to a career in education year over year
  • The Calculus Project, led by Dr. Adrian Mims addresses the achievement gap in mathematics that has historically plagued Black, Latino, and low-income students
  • The Center for Inclusive Innovation at Digital Promise, led by Kimberly Smith, is a startup endeavor that centers marginalized communities in creating solutions to their identified challenges

EdCatalyst organizations were selected based on the leaders’ deep insight into the problem they aim to solve as well as the solution they have developed, track-record of success, their potential for growth, alignment with New Profit’s support model, and a vision for systemic change. 75% of the organizations in the EdCatalyst cohort are led by people of color. New Profit, in line with our Inclusive Impact strategy, is committed to funding and supporting leaders of color, as they have innovative solutions that are responsive to communities’ needs yet are underrepresented and underfunded in the social sector.

Like all breakthrough leaders and organizations supported by New Profit, this group will receive an unrestricted general operating grant and strategic advice to help them build the capacity of their organizations, collaborate with each other, and take aim at changing the larger systems in which they operate. In addition, the cohort will form a peer learning community that will provide an opportunity for social entrepreneurs to connect, receive and give advice, and participate in virtual and in-person convenings structured around tackling key organizational challenges they face in order to deepen their impact and scale their models.