Local Portfolio Criteria

In our Local Portfolio we partner with, fund, and support schools and programs that demonstrate a consistent commitment to impact educational outcomes for East Palo Alto (EPA) & Belle Haven youth in order in increase their life opportunities.

Why We Fund In East Palo Alto:

In a place where nearly 6 out of 10 children do not finish high school on time, we are compelled to support the work of leaders who are making a real difference for youth in EPA. We are only beginning to sharpen our understanding of past efforts, current challenges, and the real possibilities for closing the opportunity gap in our community. 

What We Are Looking For:

Focused and Commitment to Community

Simplicity is key. We need to be able to understand the model and the desired outcome and be able to explain it to others succinctly. We are looking to partner with organizations that place a priority on being ingrained in the local community and amplifying the voices of those that often go unheard. EPA & Belle Haven is a small community that needs people working together to solve some of the systemic issues that have created entrenched barriers to success. We want to work with organizations that are willing to take part in broader and deeper conversations about community, while staying focused on their organization’s mission. Our partners should be able to easily answer, “Where do you fit in the big picture view of addressing the opportunity gap?”

Beneficiaries as Active Stakeholders

In order for end beneficiaries to understand the impact that an organization can have on their lives, it’s important for them to be a part of the process. We believe in solutions that incorporate the end beneficiary as an active stakeholder, engaging them as the model and designs are solidified. This should be an ongoing, iterative process.

Impact

We partner with organizations that operate with a sense of urgency. However, we rely on our grantees to determine ways to disrupt the status quo and bring forth transformational change to youth in EPA & Belle Haven. We encourage grantees to think deeply about data collection and analysis in order to best understand and meet the needs of their beneficiaries.

Feeling / “It Factor”

 We have to feel 100% excited about the relationship from the beginning.  We know it when we see it and feel it.

We Fund:

  • Programs and services based in EPA & Belle Haven for school-age youth, with a focus on the school day and school year
  • Organizations recommended or introduced by community stakeholders
  • High-quality services and transformational experiences for youth & families in EPA and Belle Haven

We Don’t Fund:

  • Programs or services that do not serve a critical mass of EPA youth
  • Programs or services that are not requested directly by schools or the community
  • Scholarships