Charter School Growth Fund: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Charter School Growth Fund invests in the growth and expansion of successful charter schools and charter school networks in the U.S. Since its inception in 2005, it has supported over 60 organizations with multi-year grants and growth plans. 

IP TAKE: The Charter School Growth Fund supports successful charter organizations of all sizes. Through three separate funds it supports growth and expansion, organizations with strong leaders who have backgrounds similar to those of the students in their communities, and programs serving urban communities New Orleans, Memphis, and Nashville. Potential applicants may complete a questionnaire on the fund's website.

PROFILE: Established in 2005, the Charter School Growth Fund "identifies the country's best public charter schools, funds their growth and helps to increase their impact" through strategic multi-year investments. Based in Bloomfield, Colorado, the organization is supported by some of the biggest education funders, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

To date CSFG has invested in over 60 charter school networks through three separate programs: the national fund, the emerging charter management organization fund and the regional funds. The national fund supports nonprofit organizations that run multiple charter schools and have plans for growing their operations. This initiative has supported some of the largest networks of charter schools, such as KIPP and New York City's Success Academies. Smaller grantees of the national fund include Indianapolis Classical Schools, which runs two college preparatory high schools, and the Bob Hope School of Port Arthur, Texas, which runs an elementary school and a combined middle and high school. CSGF's emerging charter management organization fund was established in 2013 to "expand the impact of charter schools led by people who share the backgrounds of the students and families they serve." Grantees of this program tend to be smaller organizations or individual upstarts. Recipients include Scuola Vita Nuova, in Kansas City, Missouri and the Elsie Whitlow Stokes elementary school in Washington, D.C, which both serve diverse urban communities. With a narrower focus, the regional funds invest in organizations serving the greater New Orleans, Louisiana area and the cities of of Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee. One recipient, The Gestalt Community Schools serve K-12 students in low income areas of Memphis and have outperformed local public schools on Tennessee state tests. Another regional grantee, the Audubon Schools of New Orleans serve grades PreK-8 with a rigorous academics and an accredited French language program.

The Charter Growth Fund restricts its funding to the charter school organizations in the United States that have demonstrated academic excellence, strong leadership, financial stability and the potential for growth and expansion. Profiles of past grantees are available on CSGF's portfolio page.

The application process begins with an online questionnaire on the fund's application page, after which qualified applicants will be contacted for further screening. Funding generally adheres to collaborative growth plans that are executed over a three- to four-year period. General inquiries may be made via the organizations contact page.


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