Education, General, Investment Announcements

New Profit Will Invest $1 Million in Springboard Collaborative

Organization’s fast-spreading model coaches teachers and families on how to nurture reading habits among pre-K to 3rd-grade students in underserved communities

May 23, 2019 – New Profit, a national venture philanthropy organization, announced that it will support Springboard Collaborative with $1 million in unrestricted funding to help founder and Chief Executive Officer Alejandro Gibes de Gac and his team expand the organization’s impact. Since founding Springboard in 2012, Gibes de Gac has been recognized as an Echoing Green Fellow, a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, and a member of the Claneil Emerging Leaders Fund.

Springboard believes that parents’ love for their children is the single greatest–and most underutilized–natural resource in education. Children spend 75% of their waking hours outside of the classroom, yet families are often overlooked as liabilities rather than assets. With limited access to learning time across the home-to-school continuum, low-income children fall behind their peers. Research shows that a low-income student who cannot read on grade level by 4th grade is 13 times more likely to drop out of high school than his or her middle-income, proficiently reading peer. Nationally, only 17% of low-income 4th graders are reading proficiently, with only 9% eventually earning a college degree. Low educational attainment leads to financial hardship. A McKinsey study found that the achievement gap costs the U.S. economy $300-500B each year.

Springboard closes the literacy gap by closing the gap between home and school. They do so through summer, afterschool, and in-school programs that coach teachers and parents to help their kids read on grade-level. Springboard envisions a world in which all children have the requisite literacy skills to access life opportunities, and they are taking strides to bring this vision to life. Springboard’s summer program helps students replace the typical 3-month summer regression with a 3.1-month reading gain, closing the achievement gap by 36% in just 5 weeks. Springboard’s afterschool program accelerates struggling readers’ progress during the academic year. Last year, students averaged more than a 4-month reading gain in just 2 months of programming. Springboard also operates Springboard Schoolyear and is developing an app to help families cultivate and maintain home literacy habits. Springboard is currently operating programs in California, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. 

Gibes de Gac reflects on Springboard’s growth and his vision for impact: “Though Springboard is off to a good start, we’re dreaming bigger. Our goal is to help 100,000 children reach reading goals by 2022. In order to make this happen, we’re scaling up Springboard’s flagship programs while innovating through franchising, technology, and systems change. We are so grateful to have New Profit’s support and guidance in this next phase of the journey. The counsel, community, and capital will be transformative for Springboard. The last 5 years have been productive; the next 5 will be groundbreaking. It took a long time for the education field to embrace the idea that all children can learn. It is Springboard’s ambition—and our charge—to prove that all parents can teach.” 

Kelly Cutler, the New Profit deal partner for Springboard who will be advising Gibes de Gac, shares why New Profit has made this transformative investment in Springboard: “We are excited to partner with Alejandro and the Springboard Collaborative team to continue to accelerate children’s reading growth. Given New Profit’s expertise, Springboard is at an ideal stage of growth: they have developed a high-impact, high-potential program model and are now assessing opportunities for broader scale. Springboard leverages existing funds at the school and school district level, affirming their value to educators and creating a path to scale the model. Springboard has found a way to forge relationships between teachers and parents, which we believe will lead to broader and sustained progress for children.”

New Profit’s investment of unrestricted funding and strategic support in Springboard builds on 20 years of experience catalyzing the impact and growth of more than 100 high-potential, social entrepreneur-led organizations. The large majority of New Profit’s grantees over time have been working to transform educational outcomes for low-income students, including Teach For AmericaKIPPBellXcellNew Teacher CenterANetMATCH, and dozens of other organizations. Recently, New Profit unveiled a new Parent Power in Education web resource focused on activating parents to change education and released a comprehensive report of its Reimagine Learning initiative, a 5-year effort to engage a cross-sector network of education leaders to improve the way our education system serves the holistic and diverse learning needs of all students.

To hear more about New Profit’s investment in Springboard and how we came to select this breakthrough organization to join our portfolio, watch the video below.