Our Grantees

Our incredible portfolio provides Chicago’s youth with the education, skills and opportunities to succeed and break the cycle of poverty.

Venture Fund

Seed investments in promising organizational models that are ready to scale

Investment to date $200K
Students Served 612

The BARR Center (BARR) is a strengths-based model applied to middle and high schools that provides them with a comprehensive approach to meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of all students.

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Investment to date $150K
Students Served 123

Braven partners with large public universities to empower underrepresented young people with cutting-edge career education and valuable networking opportunities that help them transition successfully into the workforce after graduation.

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Investment to date $718K
Students Served 597

College Possible provides intensive coaching and support to low-income students to help them get into and graduate from college.

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Investment to date $434K
Students Served 1,025

iMentor partners with high schools in low-income communities to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in college.

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Investment to date $440K
Students Served 1,015

Intrinsic Schools works to create a revolutionary new school model in order to prepare all students for postsecondary success and world-changing endeavors and to provide the education community with a roadmap to sustainable implementation.

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Investment to date $1.13M
Students Served 1,180

Pathways at NLU seeks to address the most critical barriers inhibiting bachelor’s degree attainment for low-income students. Operating as a program within National Louis University, Pathways provides an innovative, student-centered, technology-enhanced bachelor’s degree model at an affordable cost.

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Investment to date $100K
Students Served 90

The Wood Family Foundation’s Pitch In program (Pitch In) partners with middle schools to equip students in fourth through eighth grade with the skillsets and mindsets necessary to successfully transition to high school.

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Growth Fund

Significant investments to grow successful organizations with strong track records

Investment to date $1.17M
Students Served 1,036

Bottom Line is a national education organization that is addressing the degree divide by providing academic, personal and financial counselling to empower low-income, first-generation students to attend and succeed in college. The organization is committed to building strong connections with students by providing them with individualized support.

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Investment to date $2.2M
Students Served 2,407

Chicago Scholars selects, trains, and mentors academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities to enroll in, persist and graduate from college.

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Investment to date $2.81M
Students Served 3,550

KIPP is a national network of charter schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life.

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Investment to date $2.04M
Students Served 12,543

The Noble Network of Charter Schools is a catalyst for educational equity in Chicago that empowers students with the scholarship, discipline, and honor necessary to succeed in college and lead exemplary lives.

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Investment to date $5.02M
Students Served 4,491

OneGoal’s mission is to close the college divide by enlisting and training the nation’s best educators to teach underperforming high school students (students beginning 11th grade with a 2.0-3.0 GPA) how to enroll in and succeed in college.

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Investment to date $2.91M
Students Served 731

One Million Degrees accelerates community college students’ progress on career pathways to economic mobility by providing academic, professional, personal, and financial supports to highly motivated, low-income students pursuing associate’s degrees or post-secondary certificates.

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Catalyst Fund

Supporting community-embedded leaders with innovative approaches to serving youth across the South and West sides of the city

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Investment to date $25K
Students Served TBA

Austin Childcare Providers Network is an organization focused on elevating childcare provider quality and developing a collaborative pilot focused on ensuring that children leave early childcare providers ready for kindergarten by creating continuity of learning and practice among childcare (pre-K) providers and elementary schools.

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Investment to date $150K
Students Served 15

The Firehouse Community Art Center’s VIP (Very Important Process) Program is focused on the prevention and interruption of violence by providing young adult men with mentorship, leadership development and access to skills training and job opportunities.

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Investment to date $50K
Students Served 12

MAAFA’s mission is to repair and rebuild West Garfield Park by improving the quality of life of emerging adult, Black and Brown men and their families. MAAFA focuses on creating a holistic “oasis of opportunity” for these young men to equip and empower their movement from “at risk” to thriving.

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Investment to date $150K
Students Served 120

Along with learning the sport of boxing, which serves as a meaningful physical outlet for youth, The Bloc provides youth from the West Side of Chicago with academic coaching and mentorship.

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Investment to date $50K
Students Served TBA

West Side United's Cluster of Care Community Hub will provide students and families with wraparound services and resources conveniently located in the school building. The Hub’s key programmatic support areas will include primary care, mental health services, social-emotional learning support, and trauma-informed professional development training.

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Apply to Become a Grantee

A Better Chicago uses a rigorous due diligence process to select its grantees. The first step in the application process is to fill out this form. We will respond to all applications within two months of submission.