Strategic Grant-Making & Impact Investment

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Strategic Grant Support

College-Ready Charter School Investment Strategy

Client: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“The CA group has been instrumental in developing our new charter strategy. Given their background and expertise they are able to provide an immediate value add along with a fresh and innovative perspective to our work. They are diligent, flexible and responsive to our many needs – exactly what any client looks for in consultant partner. We could not have done it without them!” -Ebony Lee, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Challenge

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to support innovation that can improve U.S. K-12 public schools and ensure that students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college. A key consideration for the Gates Foundation is to ensure that the grants made to charter schools and charter management organizations are effective in driving improvement and innovation. As a result, the foundation contracted with CA Group to research past foundation grant making, analyze the current state of charter schools across the country, and develop a comprehensive strategy for future Gates Foundation college-ready funding for charter schools.

Our Solution

In collaboration with Great Gains, CA Group conducted research on current Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation investments and district-charter compact cities, distilling findings into clear and concise reports on the “state of the state” of charter schools for each of the focus states in the project. These summaries emphasized the strengths and weaknesses of each state in a variety of areas, including: teacher engagement; the prevalence of fast technology adopters and readily available technical assistance providers; the local funding environment; and advocacy. In addition, CA Group completed a national evaluation of past, present, and possible future charter school investment strategies, which allowed for the creation of plans at both the state and national level.

Outcomes

CA Group’s analysis was incorporated into foundation-wide strategic planning documentation.

Collaborators

Great Gains

CA Group Team Members

  • Cat Alexander
  • Kristen Buri
  • Jamie Prijatel