Our next funding opportunity will open Summer/Fall 2019. In the meantime, we invite you to share your contact information and ideas with us here.


What We’re Looking For

We invest in entrepreneurs with bold ideas to grow, advance, and support Black and Latino leadership in education. Our goal is for Black and Latino leaders to represent at least 40 percent of the PreK-12 education workforce, mirroring the demographics of U.S. students today. We want your best, most creative ideas to help us get there. You might be:

  • Recruiting new Black and Latino leaders into education
  • Accelerating the careers of Black and Latino leaders already working in education
  • Creating networks of Black and Latino leaders
  • Building the capacity of education organizations to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive
  • Influencing the field to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, such as through research, design, policy, and/or advocacy

You might also be contributing to our goal in some other way, and we’d love to hear about it.


While we prioritize investing in early-stage organizations (0 to 2 years old), we also invest in new initiatives (0 to 2 years old) at existing organizations. Given our strategic focus, we especially encourage Black and Latino entrepreneurs to participate in our funding opportunities. In addition, all ventures (i.e., organizations or initiatives) must align with NewSchools’ overarching investment criteria.


What We Offer

We accelerate your efforts by providing support in three key areas:

  • Funding: A one-year grant of $100,000 to $200,000, depending on the stage of the organization or idea. After one year, ventures become eligible for additional support.
  • Community of practice: Opportunities to build relationships and learn with other Diverse Leaders ventures, including at NewSchools Summit (see dates below)
  • Management assistance: Access to coaching and support from our team and external experts


Key Dates

  • August 1, 2018: Submission period opens
  • August 15, 2018: Webinar to answer common questions
  • September 7, 2018: Submission period closes
  • October 3-24, 2018: Phone interviews
  • December 2018: Funding decisions announced
  • May 8-9, 2019: NewSchools Summit


What type of financial support do ventures receive?

Our investments range from $100,000 to $200,000, depending on the stage of the organization or idea. If you don’t yet have a strategy document (like a business plan, detailed slide presentation, or a logic model) or an ongoing pilot, you’re 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’ll probably land toward the top of our range.

All our funding is grant funding. We do not take equity.

I’m a Black or Latino leader with an idea in education. Am I eligible?

Maybe! If your idea is about growing, advancing, and supporting Black and Latino leadership across the field, not just one or a handful of leaders, then yes. We want your best, most creative ideas to close the diversity gap between education leaders and students. If your idea is about something else – say you’re looking to start a school or build an ed tech product – perhaps our Innovative Schools or EdTech investment areas may be a better fit for you. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us!

What counts as a “bold idea?”

We partner with entrepreneurs in the early stages of developing ambitious ideas to dramatically improve student outcomes. Our long-term goal is to have a catalytic impact on student success nationally, so we look for ventures with aspirations to expand their impact over time by growing their organizations and/or influencing the work of others.

Must I have a legally incorporated organization to be eligible for funding?

No, we can grant funds through fiscal sponsors or to individuals directly.

Must I have a new organization to be eligible for funding? What about a new program or initiative at an existing organization?

While we prioritize investing in early-stage organizations (0 to 2 years old), we also invest in new initiatives (0 to 2 years old) at existing organizations. If you fall in the latter category, know that we are only interested in diversity-related initiatives that are truly new and untried, not incremental improvements to your current work. Also, we do not fund individual organizations’ diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, but we may fund collaborative efforts involving multiple organizations.

What materials do I need to complete the application?

Before you begin the application, you should have the following materials available:

  • Your senior team and board’s demographic data (race/ethnicity, gender identity)
  • Your budget(s) – if a new initiative at an existing organization, we need one for the organization and one for the initiative
  • List of current and prospective funders for the idea or organization seeking funding, along with the amounts granted/requested
  • Two to three references – preferably pilot/program participants, clients, funders and key partners
How can I learn more about your funding opportunities?

For insight and ideas on how best to complete the application, please review the slides from our webinar, held August 15, 2018. You should also feel free to email us directly with any questions you might have. Lastly, you can sign up to receive updates on our Diverse Leaders work, including upcoming funding opportunities.