National nonprofit launches comprehensive plan with major investment from Ballmer Group
CINCINNATI, OHIO — StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working to improve education for every child, today announced the details of its new and ambitious comprehensive plan to improve outcomes and reduce racial and socioeconomic disparities in communities across the country.
As part of the five-year plan, communities in the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network will reduce inequities for children of color and low-income children through specific strategies that build better systems for student success. The plan calls for stronger collaboration among traditional school systems, education-focused service organizations and other systems of care, such as housing and health, to improve the lives of children and families in this country.
The plan was developed with extensive input and guidance from leaders and practitioners affiliated with 70 Cradle to Career Network communities from Albany to Austin and Seattle to Spartanburg. Communities in the Network form local partnerships of education, business, nonprofit, philanthropic and civic leaders who work together to improve outcomes across six major milestones in a child’s life, from kindergarten readiness through postsecondary success and employment.
The Network identified and will work across seven core capacities that are essential to improving the strength and impact of local community partnerships:
- building the leadership and talent pipeline
- improving access to data and information to inform decisions
- supporting practice improvement and scale
- improving communications and broadening community engagement
- influencing policy, advocacy and community mobilization
- ensuring local partnerships have sustainable resources
- working toward equitable implementation and results by race/ethnicity across all these strategies
“At the heart of our new plan is the belief that every child deserves to reach his or her full potential,” StriveTogether Interim CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “We are asking communities to shift the focus from institutions and systems to students and families. The plan recognizes the strong work underway while acknowledging the complexity of what’s ahead and the scale of support required to create lasting change for kids and families.”
The first investment in StriveTogether’s plan comes from Ballmer Group, which will invest up to $10 million per year over the next six years to launch a community challenge fund to accelerate progress in the Cradle to Career Network. StriveTogether also will receive support as the national intermediary to deepen its efforts to offer coaching in communities and spread learning to influence the field locally and nationally.
“Through learning about the work of StriveTogether and visiting local partnerships in the Cradle to Career Network, we have witnessed the amazing power and possibility of intensive, inclusive community-based work,” said Connie Ballmer, co-founder of Ballmer Group. “StriveTogether is a national leader, and we hope that our support strengthens existing partnerships to go farther and inspires more communities around the country to join in.”
Ballmer Group is the organization co-founded by Connie and Steve Ballmer to improve economic mobility for children and families in the U.S. who are disproportionately likely to remain in poverty. Steve Ballmer is former CEO of Microsoft and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
StriveTogether began in 2006 as a local education collaborative in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Now a nonprofit, StriveTogether serves as the support system for a national network of communities intent on closing gaps in opportunity and achievement. StriveTogether has received support from Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ford Foundation, KnowledgeWorks, Living Cities, Schusterman Family Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
StriveTogether is a national nonprofit working to improve education for every child. We coach and connect partners in 70 communities and work together to get better results. Communities using our approach have seen measurable gains in kindergarten readiness, academic achievement and postsecondary success. The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network reaches 8.2 million students, involves 10,800 organizations and has partners in 32 states and Washington, D.C.