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Our Approach

ECMC Foundation uses a range of funding methods, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments to support nonprofit and for-profit organizations that are working to improve postsecondary outcomes for students from underserved backgrounds.

In keeping with our core values, we prioritize investments that advance systemic change through increased student supports, improved and expanded career pathways, reduced barriers to persistence, and transformative leadership.

Building a postsecondary education system that works for all learners


Strategic Grantmaking

ECMC Foundation awards more than $35 million in grants each year that support organizational capacity building, new program or model development, existing program refinement or expansion, capital, research, and evaluation across two core focus areas:

  • College Success aims to increase the number of currently enrolled students from historically and presently underserved backgrounds who attain a bachelor’s degree. Learn more about the College Success portfolio
  • Career Readiness is committed to improving postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) outcomes for students from underserved backgrounds. Learn more about the Career Readiness portfolio

Realizing Our Vision: How All Learners Unlock Their Fullest Potential


Education Innovation Ventures

ECMC Foundation’s program-related investment portfolio, Education Innovation Ventures (EIV), makes below-market-rate investments into nonprofit and for-profit ventures that seek to generate both social impact and financial returns.

Complementing ECMC Foundation’s strategic grantmaking, the Education Innovation Ventures (EIV) program provides catalytic, risk capital to early-stage ventures working to increase postsecondary educational outcomes and economic mobility among learners and jobseekers from systemically disadvantaged backgrounds. Through program-related investments, EIV’s capital generates impact alongside financial returns, which are recycled to fund further impact initiatives and drive changes in economic mobility for learners and jobseekers.

Learn more about Education Innovation Ventures

Special Initiatives

Within and across focus areas, ECMC Foundation makes concentrated, multi-year investments in promising ideas and solutions that could result in significant impact that moves the postsecondary education field forward. These initiatives include:


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What We're Learning

As a learning organization, ECMC Foundation prioritizes measurement and evaluation as one of its core values.

Learn More