Postsecondary and Career Pathways

New Profit Announces 20 Recipients of $100,000 Grants For Its Postsecondary Innovation for Equity (PIE) Initiative

April 6, 2020

April 6, 2020 [NATIONAL] – As our country and the New Profit community navigate the COVID-19 crisis and its many destabilizing effects that are hitting those who have been historically underserved in this country especially hard, it is more important than ever to support social entrepreneurs who are creating a more equitable future for all. New Profit is pleased to announce $100,000 Catalyze Investments in 20 organizations creating access to postsecondary and career opportunities for young people from these communities across the country.

The 20 inaugural grantee-partners in New Profit’s Postsecondary Innovation for Equity (PIE) initiative were chosen following a public application process that drew more than 300 submissions from across America. These 20 postsecondary innovators are building evidence behind new approaches to connecting young adults from low-income communities with the postsecondary credentials and work experience needed to access upwardly mobile careers. Equity-centered innovation in postsecondary education and workforce development is especially salient right now, as the COVID-19 crisis is massively disrupting our postsecondary education system and is disproportionately impacting low-income learners and workers. There is an increasing need for employers, higher education institutions, and social innovators to collaborate to find solutions to postsecondary labor market challenges that are emerging as a result of the crisis.

New Profit is providing each organization with a Catalyze Investment, which involves a $100,000 unrestricted grant, strategic advice, and facilitation of a peer learning community over two years to collectively benefit the entrepreneurs as they navigate opportunities and challenges related to building evidence and impact. The 20 grantee-partners span a wide range of models, including new and established two- and four-year colleges, K-12 schools, independent nonprofits, and employers. Each is committed to improving the way they measure and report outcomes, as well as fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work.

“These social entrepreneurs are leading the way toward a more equitable and inclusive America,” said J.B. Schramm, Managing Partner at New Profit. “By weaving together school- and work-based learning, making education more accessible, integrating wraparound supports, building social capital, and reducing costs, they’re enabling young people from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds to access the kinds of upwardly mobile careers that have too-often been out of reach.”

Sixty-five percent of the selected social entrepreneurs are from low-income or underrepresented backgrounds themselves. “We believe social entrepreneurs who have personally experienced barriers faced by learners in the communities they serve are in a particularly strong position to develop models that drive better outcomes for young people from underrepresented backgrounds,” said Glendean Hamilton, Associate Partner at New Profit and co-lead of the PIE Initiative.

The organizations supported through PIE primarily serve young people aged 15-30 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. The 20 organizations will participate in a two-year peer learning community facilitated by New Profit focused on improving their capacity to measure labor market outcomes, including employment rates and earnings for graduates.

The following organizations are part of the 2020 PIE Catalyze Cohort:

Postsecondary Institutions and Nonprofit Partners

K-12 School Systems and Nonprofit Partners

Nonprofits Creating Pathways to Employment

Employers Creating Pathways to Employment

An initiative of Learn to Earn, New Profit’s postsecondary and career strategy, PIE is a two-phase effort. The first 20 grantee-partners will be eligible for the second phase of the PIE Initiative, slated for launch in 2021, in which selected organizations will each receive $1 million Build Investments from New Profit over four years to further advance and scale their impact. Funding for the PIE Initiative is provided by Lumina Foundation, Siegel Family Endowment, Walmart, and the Walton Family Foundation.