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Chapter 7: Menus of Possible Investments

Obstacles that have for decades prevented millions of children from having access to excellent schooling are gradually being overcome by high-quality charter schools. Charters are bringing more entrepreneurial leadership and much more innovation into education. They are entrusting classroom authority to educators who long to be professionally empowered in this way. They are fostering greater accountability for student results.

By harnessing these new approaches, high-performing charter schools are changing the life trajectories of legions of children. Parents whose zip codes once relegated their offspring to dreadful education now have options.

So how can philanthropists give this wagon an additional push? The answer will depend on your objectives, interests, region of operation, quantity of money, and tolerance for risk.

To generate ideas for donors looking to expand their giving to charter schools, or those just getting started, The Philanthropy Roundtable recently surveyed experienced individual givers, foundations, nonprofits, and education-reform leaders on funding strategies. The table that follows presents some of their recommendations for investing at different levels. We’ve organized the ideas by the topics focused on in each chapter of this book.

Of course, general operating support for high-quality charter schools already educating students is often the most helpful assistance of all. Donors should be careful about telling schools what they ought to be doing next. And it’s important not to offer funding only for new projects that create new duties for schools. When it comes to today’s high-quality charter schools, getting them to just do more of the same can be wonderfully productive.

There are options here for everyone.


Investment 01

Investment 02

Investment 03

Investment 04

Investment 05

Investment 06

Investment 07

Investment 08

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