Building better and braver coalitions is just the beginning

Frances Messano, Chief Executive Officer (Cross-posted to The Building Bridges Initiative) Earlier this month, my organization, NewSchools Venture Fund, gathered venture leaders, staff, funders, and supporters from every chapter of our history to celebrate twenty-five years of impact. Weeks later, I’m still smiling from the many inspiring moments shared with the people who have been […]

Investing in a Bright Future For All Students: 2023 Trends


Frances Messano, Chief Executive Officer If you’re only seeing the negative headlines about education, you might be missing out on the inspiring stories of progress and potential in the field. As CEO at NewSchools, I see the new possibilities that emerge when we fund courageous leaders with powerful ideas for change. This year, 1,250 education […]

What We’ve Learned from our Focus on Excellence and Equity in Education Innovation

By Frances Messano, President Over the past seven years, NewSchools has been intentional about centering racial equity and investing in leaders of color. Along the way, we’ve heard rumblings that some white leaders believe they shouldn’t apply for funding because their chances of receiving a grant are lower. Nothing could be further from the truth. […]

Becoming the Next CEO of NewSchools

By Frances Messano, President In March, we announced that I will succeed Stacey Childress as CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, beginning in 2023. I am grateful for Stacey’s extraordinary leadership and intentional transition planning. She supported my growth, giving me stretch opportunities over time and the freedom to lead different parts of our work, which […]

Our Promise and Plan of Action for the Year Ahead

Our Promise and Plan of Action for the Year Ahead

Frances Messano, President  This is a tough time to be in education. For teachers and school leaders navigating a third wave of the pandemic and fighting to deliver an excellent education, there are no “time outs.” Education philanthropy has a shared responsibility to support educators who are responding to unrelenting demands every day. Here at […]

MacKenzie Scott Makes Historic Gift to NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund received $35 million Gift from MacKenzie Scott

By Frances Messano and Stacey Childress We are thrilled to announce that NewSchools Venture Fund has received an incredible $35M investment from MacKenzie Scott—a gift that allows us to continue to provide unrestricted dream capital to the innovators we fund. This is the single largest contribution NewSchools has received to date, and these funds will […]

Dream Capital for Innovators Advancing Racial Equity in Education

By Frances Messano, President, NewSchools Venture Fund For the past year, there have been loud calls for justice and change stemming from the ongoing police killings of Black and Brown people and the violence against Asian-Americans. This week, George Floyd was given a measure of justice after a jury in Minneapolis convicted his killer, the […]

Our Moral Imperative: Racial Equity and the Public School System

Frances Messano

By Frances Messano, senior managing partner, NewSchools Venture Fund Educators are preparing for a fall as their school communities — and the rest of the world — grapple with the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic anti-Black racial injustice. As a national nonprofit that supports and invests in promising teams of educators and innovators who want to reimagine learning, […]