Here to help
We strive to make our processes equitable, transparent, and as supportive as possible. We have these resources available to support you with applying.
Application Preview & Walkthrough | Webinar | Office Hours | Contact Us | Frequently Asked Questions
Application Preview & Walkthrough
Download our 2023 funding application to preview the questions that you will be asked to answer. View our application walkthrough video here.
Watch our webinar to learn more about the funding opportunity and tips for applying.
Join us during one of our office hour sessions if you have questions about the funding opportunity, the application process, the venture experience, or to discuss your idea with a member of our investment team. You do not need to join the entire time, just come at any point during the hours below. Please register in advance so that we have a sense for your questions and can follow up with you after the session. We strongly encourage you to watch the webinar before attending office hours.
Also, if you have technical questions about the application, please submit them through our inquiry form.
At NewSchools, our priority is to fund ideas from leaders who represent a diverse set of experiences and identities. In 2022, 76% of the leaders we funded identified as people of color. And yet there are still areas where we need to do better, including recruiting more Latino and Native leaders to our funding opportunities. That’s why this year, we’re offering office hours sessions designed specifically for Latino and Native leaders, as well as for first-time applicants of all racial identities. We’ll also have several general office hours available to all potential applicants throughout the application window.
- [Register] General Office Hours: February 22nd, 9 – 10:30am PT
- [Register] Office Hours For First-time Applicants: March 8th, 12:30 – 2pm PT
- [Register] General Office Hours: March 9th, 9:30 – 11am PT
- [Register] Office Hours For Native Leaders: March 13th, 10:30am – 12pm PT
- [Register] Office Hours For Latino Leaders: March 17th, 12 – 1:30pm PT
- [Register] General Office Hours: March 21st, 3 – 4:30pm PT
- [Register] General Office Hours: March 27th, 7 – 8:30am PT
For specific questions, reach out to our team. Use our inquiry form for the fastest response or call our applicant hotline (415) 615-6864.
The eligibility form is a tool to identify alignment with this funding opportunity. Below we’ve outlined common reasons for why this funding opportunity may not be the best fit for your idea. If you believe this result is incorrect, please reach out to us here for further support before you decide to start an application.
- One common reason why some applicants are ineligible is that their organization or initiative launched before 2020. This means that the organization / initiative was launched prior to the timeframe (0-2 years) we use to define “early stage.”
- If you are a school or school system interested in designing and /or opening a new school, please do not apply to this funding opportunity. Instead, please reach out to our Innovative Public Schools team here.
If you believe your idea is more aligned with another investment area, please move forward with submitting an application. In the application, you will be asked to provide more details about your idea including its primary focus, your organization’s mission, the team behind your vision, and more. Our team will review your application and ensure it’s considered by all investment area(s) to which it aligns. If you have additional questions, please reach out to us here.
Our team invests in both “new organizations” (founded 2020 or sooner) and “new initiatives” (launched 2020 or sooner). A new initiative is a new idea that is launched within an existing organization. Going beyond an “incremental improvement” or “new feature,” a new initiative should represent a novel strategic approach that is distinct from the historic work of the organization. It should be aligned with the organization’s overall mission, and have at least one designated leader who is responsible for managing and executing the idea.
Over the years we’ve heard feedback from applicants that it can be hard navigating our different funding opportunities. Applicants are eager to share their ideas with us but don’t always know how to do it. To make our processes more accessible and equitable for applicants, we have decided to launch a centralized funding opportunity for our Learning Solutions, Diverse Leaders and Racial Equity investment areas, as well as our EDge Fund.
No! While we do have several distinct portfolios, the first part of our application is specifically tailored to help you determine where your idea fits best. Moreover, as we read your application, we will make sure to refer it to any other portfolios where it might fit.
Ventures will receive a one-year, unrestricted grant ranging from $150,000 to $250,000, depending on the stage of the idea. If you are still developing your strategy or are in the process of piloting your idea, you are likely to receive a grant on the lower end of our range. If you already have a clear strategy and a successful pilot under, you will probably land toward the top of our range.
If you are considering our other investment areas: Ventures receive a one-year, unrestricted grant ranging from $150,000 to $250,000, depending on the stage of the idea. If you are still developing your strategy or are in the process of piloting your idea, you are likely to receive a grant on the lower end of our range. If you already have a clear strategy and a successful pilot under your belt, you will probably land toward the top of our range.
Yes! In addition to financial support, venture leaders participate in an active community of practice to build relationships with and learn from peer organizations. We convene our cohorts approximately two times a year to facilitate this exchange.
In addition, ventures receive relevant, timely and differentiated support, including one-on-one support with a member of our staff, as well as access to experts and resources to meet their needs in areas such as school model or program design, staffing, DEI, fundraising, financial sustainability, and operations. We also provide support in relation to data collection, impact measurement, analysis, and continuous improvement.
You can learn more about what it is like to be a part of our portfolio in this showcase featuring some of our Diverse Leaders innovators.
No, you do not have to be legally incorporated to apply for NewSchools funding. We can grant funds through fiscal sponsors or, at times, to individuals directly, but we expect that you are working toward securing your non-profit or for-profit status.
While we prioritize investing in new, early-stage organizations (which are typically 0 to 2-years old), we also invest in new initiatives at existing organizations. If you fall in the latter category, know that we are interested in truly new and untried efforts, not incremental improvements to your current work. The early-stage organizations and new initiatives within existing organizations that we fund have a vision for scale — whether it is growing the number of people you serve, deepening the offerings you provide, or influencing the practice of others.
NewSchools does not fund 501c4s or policy-focused efforts.
You must first start an account in our funding portal to access and submit the application. We suggest you start your account as soon as possible so that we may send you email updates through the portal. You can preview our application by reviewing this downloadable copy of the application. View our application walkthrough video here.
We are excited to learn more about you and your idea through your application, and want to support you in submitting the strongest application possible. We encourage you to watch this webinar and to attend office hours for you to meet with a member of our team and learn more about the funding application process.
- General Office Hours: February 22nd, 9 – 10:30am PT
- First-time Applicant Focus: March 8th, 12:30 – 2pm PT
- General Office Hours: March 9th, 9:30 – 11am PT
- Native Affinity Space: March 13th, 10:30am – 12pm PT
- Latino Affinity Space: March 17th, 12 – 1:30pm PT
- General Office Hours: March 21st, 3 – 4:30pm PT
- General Office Hours: March 27th, 7 – 8:30am PT
In addition, feel free to reach out to our team. Use our inquiry form or call our support hotline (415) 615-6864.
Office hours are informal and a time for you to ask any questions you have regarding the funding opportunity or application. We strongly suggest that you view our webinar prior to joining our office hours as many of your questions may be addressed. Please register for office hours so we have a sense for your questions and can follow-up with you after the session.
If you are not ready to apply, that’s okay. You can join our email list to learn about future opportunities. Remember, we invest in early-stage ideas, so you do not need to have a fully operational organization to apply. If you are unsure whether to apply, reach out to our team using our inquiry form or call our support hotline (415) 615-6864.
- If you are a school or school system interested in either designing and/or opening a new school in the coming school years, please do not apply to this funding opportunity. NewSchools offers a separate funding opportunity focused on new innovative public schools. Our most recent funding opportunity closed on January 27, 2023. If you would like to submit an overview of your idea and receive future communications about our school-specific grants, you can do so here.
- If you are applying to implement a specific program or project at only your school, please do not apply to this funding opportunity. We invest in ideas that can scale beyond one school site.
- If you are a school with an idea that can be scaled to impact students beyond your school or if you are a district with a new idea that will be implemented across your system and is aligned with our focus areas, investment criteria and eligibility requirements, then you may apply for funding.
If you are still unsure if you should apply, please send us your question using our inquiry form for fastest response or call our support hotline (415) 615-6864.