Thank you for your interest in NewSchools’ Diverse Leaders work. Our next funding opportunity will open in late summer 2020. In the meantime, we invite you to share your contact information and ideas with us here.

What We’re Looking For

We invest in innovators with bold ideas to recruit, retain, and support Black and Latino leaders 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 entrepreneurs of color 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 idea. After one year, ventures become eligible for additional support
  • Community of practice: Opportunities to build relationships and learn with other ventures, including at NewSchools Summit
  • Management assistance: Coaching and support from our team and external experts




What type of financial support do ventures receive?

Our one-year 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 or a detailed pitch deck) 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.

We provide grant funding. We do not take equity.

I’m a leader of color with an idea in education. Am I eligible?

Maybe! If your idea is about recruiting, retaining, and/or supporting diverse teachers or leaders across the sector, 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?

For the Teacher Diversity funding opportunity, you have to be working towards securing your 501c3 non-profit status to receive funding. We will ask for a copy of your 501c3 application as a final step in our diligence process before disbursing grant funds.

For our Diverse Leaders funding opportunity, 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?

Please feel free to email us directly with any questions you might have. You can also sign up to receive updates on our Diverse Leaders work, including upcoming funding opportunities.

What are your investment criteria?

IDEA: We seek bold ideas focused on increasing the diversity of the education workforce. You might be working to recruit new Black and Latino leaders, or focused on retaining and supporting existing diverse leaders. Or, you could be working to influence the field to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Ideally, you will present a differentiated approach from what already exists today.

IMPACT: You will contribute to closing the diversity gap between education leaders and public school students within your community or state, or nationally. Eventually, your efforts will achieve field-wide  impact and help create a future with far more diverse, effective leaders in U.S. public school systems, inspired and supported to remain in the education profession for many years. Your efforts will lead to improved student outcomes, especially for Black, Latino, and other underserved communities.

TEAM: We seek mission-driven, diverse entrepreneurs who demonstrate passion, personal integrity and the ability to execute and get results. We expect our entrepreneurs to build high-functioning teams to ensure they are surrounded by individuals with the range of skills and backgrounds necessary to deliver on their vision. Leaders should be open to working closely with us and being an active member of a community of practice with fellow portfolio members. 

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION: We seek teams that demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). At a minimum, organizations should have diverse teams or plans in place to become more diverse. Leaders will understand how DEI enhances their organizational and programmatic efforts. Teams will be working towards developing comprehensive DEI strategies to advance this priority across their organizations and have measurable goals to evaluate their progress.

FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY: We are interested in supporting organizations who will have field-wide impact, and it is impossible to grow and sustain models that rely on philanthropy alone. To that end, we look for organizations with plans for achieving sustainability through diverse revenue sources, including public and/or earned revenue.