Apply for Funding

The Charter School Growth Fund is looking to support educational leaders and entrepreneurs who want to grow their high-performing public charter schools. Early-stage growth is supported through our Seed strategy, while later-stage expansion is funded through our Scale strategy.

Who We’re Looking For

We support nonprofit organizations that run some of the top public charter schools in their communities and are redefining what is possible in America’s public schools. Our portfolio members typically share the following traits:


Academic Excellence

They have had strong academic performance for multiple years, as demonstrated by measures such as student academic growth, achievement on state tests relative to peers, sub-group performance and, when available, long-term student outcome data.

COMMITMENT TO FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

They are committed to operating their schools on public funding and will not require significant philanthropy when they finish growing their networks of schools.

AMBITION TO GROW

They typically have waiting lists and want to expand their impact by opening more schools. The “Seed” organizations we support seek to open 1-2 more schools within the next two years, while our “Scale” strategy supports leaders who plan to launch 3+ more schools over a five-year period.

STRONG LEADERSHIP COMMITTED
TO UNDERSERVED STUDENTS

School leadership teams have the capacity to build the skills and expertise needed to accomplish their ambitious goals. They share a commitment to serving students who have limited access to high-quality public schools in their communities.


Select Your Stage

We offer two strategies that provide funding and support. Select the box that best describes the stage of growth your school or network is currently in:


Seed

Schools and networks growing to serve 250 to 1,000 additional students in the next two years.

Apply For Seed Funding

Scale

Schools and networks growing to serve 1,000+ additional students in the next three to five years.

Apply For scale Funding

Seed Funding

We are looking for leaders who want to expand their high-performing public charter schools by serving 250 to 1,000 additional students in the next two years.

What We Offer


FUNDING

We award general operating grants of between $250,000 and $600,000 to help promising leaders open their next one to three schools. Once awarded, these grants are disbursed over a two- to three-year period.

EARLY-STAGE SUPPORT

We support charter leaders in overcoming the common challenges facing schools and networks that are beginning to grow. The targeted support we provide includes business planning, facilities insights, and access to the best resources from the CSGF portfolio.

COHORT-BASED LEARNING

Selected Seed leaders will join a cohort of their peers who lead public charter school networks in the early stages of growth. As a community, they participate in annual events including the Portfolio Retreat and smaller convenings.

LEADERS OF COLOR

We seek to significantly expand the impact of public charter schools led by entrepreneurs who have backgrounds similar to those of the students and families they serve. Within each cohort, there are unique learning, support and community-building opportunities, specifically for leaders of color.

Applicants Should Demonstrate


PROVEN LEADERSHIP

A track record of three-to-five years of demonstrated success in a leadership role at a charter school or early-stage charter school network.

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

A record of operating schools that outperform the local school district on state-administered assessments and perform well compared to the average school in their state.

COMMITMENT TO UNDERSERVED STUDENTS

A commitment to serving students from underserved backgrounds and working in communities with few high-quality public-school options. This includes, but is not limited to, low-income students, overage, under credited students, students with special needs, foster youth, and homeless youth.

VISION FOR GROWTH

A desire to grow and serve 250-1,000 additional students, typically by adding between one and three schools in the next two years.

Application Stages


  1. SEED APPLICATION LIVE

    OCTOBER–JANUARY

    Applicants can access the application by clicking here. Start Application

  2. APPLICATION REVIEW

    FEBRUARY–MARCH

    Our team identifies semi-finalists to advance to the next round for consideration.

  3. RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

    MARCH–MAY

    We get to know our semi-finalists through focused visits to their schools.

  4. GRANT AWARDS

    JUNE

    We select ~10-15 finalists who will receive growth funding and become members of the annual Seed Cohort.

Connect

Please fill out this brief form, and we will get in touch with you to learn more.


Connect With Our Team

Scale Funding

We are looking for leaders who want to expand their high-performing public charter schools by growing to serve roughly 1,000+ additional students in the next 3-5 years.

What We Offer


Funding

We provide grants and low-interest loans of $750,000+ to help promising public charter schools pursue their multi-year plan to open new schools and increase their impact. Once awarded, these grants and loans are disbursed over a three to five-year period.

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

We work alongside charter leaders to help them navigate the challenges of growth and deliver for students and families. Our investment and structured finance team members not only bring financial and strategic expertise to their work, but have typically worked in schools and can relate to the experiences of our portfolio leaders.

Community

We build a collaborative community among the nation’s foremost charter leaders and coordinate meaningful opportunities for them to learn from one another. These gatherings include our annual Portfolio Retreat for CEOs, as well as 15-20 smaller convenings every year for senior leaders.

SUPPORT, INSIGHTS & SOLUTIONS

Through our impact team, we spotlight and share practices that make schools and organizations better. We are willing to invest in scalable solutions and innovations to accelerate performance, and can provide short-term consulting support. Our four practice areas are academics & character, talent; finance & operations, and college access/alumni success.


Application Process

The Scale strategy has a rolling application timeline and process.


  1. Connect

    Provide basic information by completing the brief questionnaire below. We will contact you to learn more about your organization. Start Application

  2. ACADEMIC Review

    After an initial conversation, we collect information on the academic performance and overall health of your school(s). Our team will then review this information and determine whether it makes sense to move forward at this time.

  3. RELATIONSHIP-BUILDING AND STRATEGIC PLANNING

    We will get to know you and your organization’s vision for serving more students, and work with you to develop a viable plan to grow and expand your impact.

  4. INVESTMENT

    We provide multi-year grants and low-interest loans to help you open new schools and increase your impact.

Connect

Please fill out this brief form and we will get in touch with you if we are interested in learning more.


Apply For Scale Funding
Our mission at KIPP Nashville is to cultivate in our students the academic and character skills needed to succeed in college and beyond. CSGF has been an invaluable partner to us on our journey to serve more students well.
Randy Dowell, Executive Director, KIPP Nashville