Our Model

Our unique approach allows your dollar to go further.

Together, we can build a better Chicago.

Our model dramatically improves educational opportunities for low-income Chicagoans. We harness best practices from the public and private sectors to find, fund and scale ideas that have the greatest potential to drive impact.

It starts with you

You share our belief that education equals opportunity. You take action by donating to A Better Chicago because you want to amplify your impact. And, 100% of your donation goes directly to our grantees thanks to the generous support of our board.

We search for the best

We scour the nation to find ideas with the potential to dramatically impact the life trajectories of low-income students. We assess the effectiveness and potential of organizations to select the best investments.

Our approach unlocks potential

We invest growth capital and tailored support to help grantees significantly expand their reach while continuing to achieve great outcomes and plan strategically for the future.

Together, we create opportunity

By helping Chicago’s best nonprofits grow, we are supporting more young people in gaining the education they need to pursue their dreams. Educational opportunity has the power to break the cycle of poverty and create stronger communities for us all.

Our selection criteria

We employ a rigorous and comprehensive due diligence process to ensure that we consistently make strong investment decisions. Our team assesses candidate organizations across four key criteria areas:


Compelling models that produces a meaningful lift in key educational outcomes


Leaders  capable of mobilizing resources, building strong teams and driving results



Organization is financially and operationally sound



Program model is designed to scale meaningfully with a high level of fidelity