Venture Philanthropy Partners

Venture Philanthropy Partners

Venture Philanthropy Partners will create a powerful network of effective nonprofit organizations in the Washington D.C. National Capital Region supporting an integrated approach to addressing the education and employment needs of low-income and vulnerable youth ages 14-24.

Grantee Information
Federal Awards: 
$4 million over two years (2010-2011) $2 million in 2012
Geographic Focus: 
Washington D.C. metropolitan area (the National Capital Region)
Collaborating Partners: 
Child Trends
Collaborating Funders: 
None indicated

Children playing outsideOperating in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area (the National Capital Region), Venture Philanthropy Partner’s (VPP) youthCONNECT SIF supports an integrated approach to addressing the education and employment needs of low-income and vulnerable youth ages 14-24. At scale, the network of VPP-supported nonprofit organizations – up to eight in total – will directly serve an estimated 20,000 youth. Subgrantees are collaborating and contributing data to a common framework that focuses on increasing education and employment outcomes for low-income youth and decreasing the number of disconnected youth in the region. The potential for impact is much greater, as their leveraged investments focus attention on the challenges facing local youth and rigorous evaluations yield lessons with broad implications for the public and youth development sectors.

Track Record before Social Innovation Fund Grant:

  • Invested over $30 million in National Capital Region nonprofit organizations, allowing them to expand to 21 more sites and serve 37 new neighborhoods, ultimately increasing services to 16,000 more children and youth.
  • Developed a committed and engaged community of investors, recently securing commitments of $38 million from nearly 70 individuals, foundations and corporate partners.
  • One signature investment is Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, a nonprofit that provided an integrated set of health care, education, and social services to nearly 20,000 children over the four-year term of the VPP investment. Positive outcomes included enhanced immunization rates, healthier babies, and fewer teenage pregnancies, as compared to area statistics.
  • Another signature investment is the See Forever Foundation’s Maya Angelou Public Charter School. During VPP’s five-year investment, it grew from serving 85 student to 240 and now, three years later, serves 556 young people through four campuses and an education program at the New Beginnings juvenile detention facility which was recently named one of the best educational programs in a confinement facility.


  • VPP has selected subgrantees, completing their portfolio as follows: College Summity-National Capital Region; KIPP DC; Latin American Youth Center; Metro TeenAIDS; Urban Alliance Foundation; Year Up- National Capital Region;
  • Convened network gatherings as well as conference calls and individual sub-grantee meetings among its youthCONNECT network to build collaborative relationships across its SIF Youth Development portfolio;
  • Engaged its sub-grantees and partners in capacity building activities, including expanding and solidifying their program services and strengthening staff capacity;
  • Worked with its evaluation collaborator, Child Trends, to conduct site visits and one-on-one meetings with each network partner and begin the development of rigorous evaluation strategies, both for individual sub-grantees and for the youthCONNECT portfolio as a whole; and
  • Reached out to other SIF intermediaries to learn and collaborate about strategies for evaluation. VPP also reached out to several funders to inform them of the youthCONNECT initiative and to attract and secure additional potential match funding partners for the network.

Nonprofits Receiving Social Innovation Fund Awards from Venture Philanthropy Partners

College Summit-National Capital RegionMetro TeenAIDS
KIPP DCUrban Alliance Foundation
Latin American Youth CenterYear Up-National Capital Region

College Summit-National Capital Region
Washington, DC
Award Amount: $948,522 over two years

College Summit-NCR is part of a national nonprofit that demonstrably increases college enrollment rates by building capacity within school districts to guide students through the college preparation and application process. College Summit-NCR’s realization that the effort needs to begin much earlier in some schools led staff to develop a new model, “Launch,” to reach 10,000 students in grades 9 through 12. The youthCONNECT investment will allow the organization to further grow its core services and evaluate and expand Launch in the NCR to serve as an effective example for other College Summit-NCR sites and similar programs. College Summit-NCR will serve youth in Washington, DC; Prince George's County, MD; Arlington, VA; and Alexandria, VA. Other specific goals and objectives over the five-year period include:

  • Increase to 15-20 schools implementing Launch program grades 9-12.
  • Build a principal network for 15-20 principals participating under youthCONNECT network to provide professional development, share best practices and data metrics.

Washington, DC
Award Amount: $1,112,686 over two years

KIPP DC, a part of the national network of public charter schools associated with the KIPP Foundation, is a network of collegepreparatory charter schools in DC that serves the city’s most underresourced communities and achieves some of the best student results in the NCR. Data from other regional KIPP sites, however, reveals a troubling trend. High-performing students from these schools are struggling to complete college. With their first class now entering college, KIPP DC is implementing a new pilot, KIPP through College (“KtC”). The program, developed in partnership with the University of Chicago, the Corporation for Enterprise Development, and the United Negro College Fund, provides comprehensive support to ensure that every KIPP student has the tools and support he or she needs to succeed in college. KIPP DC estimates that in school year 2014-2015, KtC will serve 1,949 students. Continued demonstration of the pilot, with support from youthCONNECT, will provide a model for other KIPP sites and schools that struggle to get their students across the college finish line. Specific goals and objectives over the five-year period include:

  • KIPP DC’s KtC program will continue to provide programming for middle and high school students focused on “college knowledge” and college readiness skills, including life skills training and financial education.
  • KtC will implement an Alternative Pathways Program to ensure that students who have lost their way return to the path towards college and success beyond. Alternative Pathways will work with other organizations to provide comprehensive direct services for these at-risk students.
  • KtC will work with the KIPP Foundation and the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI) to implement their 6to16 college readiness program. 6to16 will provide 6-12th grade students, teachers, and parents with a high school and college readiness program that equips historically underserved students with the knowledge, beliefs, and skills to successfully select, enter, and graduate from college.

Latin American Youth Center
Washington, DC
Award Amount: $999,218 over two years

Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) provides culturally competent services to some of the most disconnected youth in the NCR. LAYC provides over 50 multi-lingual programs in education, workforce investment, art and media and more. Data showed LAYC that it needed a more unified approach to youth with multiple risk factors. Accordingly, program and evaluation staff developed an intensive new model for “reconnecting” youth—Promotores—which builds on evidence-based approaches. LAYC estimates that 19 Promotores serving 380 disconnected youth in Washington, DC; Montgomery County, MD; and Prince George's County, MD, will lead to local government savings of $16 million over the next 10 years. youthCONNECT support will allow LAYC to further evaluate and grow Promotores, providing a new solution for adaptation by others. Over the long-term, each youth working with a Promotor/Navigator will: 1) graduate from high school and enroll in post-secondary education, 2) acquire and retain employment with long-term career potential, and 3) obtain the skills necessary to lead a healthy and happy life.

Metro TeenAIDS
Washington, DC
Award Amount: $635,000 over two years

Metro TeenAIDS (MTA) is a NCR-based organization with a broad focus to address adolescent health issues including AIDS and STD infection, pregnancy prevention, and substance abuse awareness. Through a comprehensive approach that includes education, support, and advocacy, MTA promotes responsible decision-making and improves the quality of life for youth with respect to sexual and reproductive health. The youthCONNECT investment will allow MTA to expand the number of youth who receive effective sexual education in the District of Columbia by providing the MTA’s curriculum to 1,500 10th graders per school year at DC public charter schools, offering capacity building activities to 200 public charter school staff to improve knowledge, skills, confidence and willingness to teach sexual health education, make health referrals, and support youth to reduce risk, and developing 20 youth leaders in schools to increase youth leadership, create a supportive school environment, and conduct outreach to peers. In addition, the youthCONNECT investment may ultimately allow MTA to facilitate the assumption of this responsibility by the public charter schools. Finally, MTA plans to ransition responsibility to charter schools for providing this service.

Urban Alliance Foundation
Washington, DC
Award Amount: $746,152 over two years

Urban Alliance Foundation (UA) is a NCR-based organization whose mission is to prepare young adults from under-resourced areas in the District of Columbia for the world of work and a life of self-sufficiency, through education, mentoring, and meaningful paid internships. UA’s stated mission is to empower under-resourced youth to aspire, work, and succeed. Their growth model includes expansion of its services both in number of youth served and in scope of services offered. The youthCONNECT investment will support Urban Alliance aspirations to grow the number of youth served by its High School Program from 140 to 200, create a 2 pronged Alumni Services department to increase services to college enrolled and disconnected youth and increase the number of youth so served annually from 140 to 275, create a model curriculum outreach program with stand alone curricula aimed at high school youth and older, disconnected youth and increase the number of youth so served annually from 250 to 1,000, examine and explore replication strategies to identify a viable means to take the successful UA program to scale in the NCR and elsewhere, and conduct a high quality, experimental design study to confirm that program objectives of 90% high school graduation rates and 80% college enrollment are valid and attainable. Finally, UA will examine and explore replication strategies to identify a viable means to take the successful UA program to scale.

Year Up-National Capital Region
Arlington, VA
Award Amount: $513,480 over two years

Year Up-NCR, part of a national organization, is a one-year intensive training program that provides youth with technical and professional skills, college credits, an education stipend and corporate internships. Year Up-NCR believes it can increase retention rates and, therefore, student results if it provides access to health care and education. As a result of youthCONNECT support, Year Up-NCR will implement and evaluate a health education program to complement a partnership with Northern Virginia Community College and Kaiser Permanente that provides health insurance to Year Up-NCR students and eligible family members for up to three years. This pilot, once proven, can be replicated throughout Year Up nationally and adapted by other workforce development programs. Also, Year Up-NCR plans to increase the number of youth served annually from 160 to 320. Year Up-NCR serves youth from throughout the National Capital Region and Baltimore, MD. Specific goals and objectives over the five-year period also include:

  • Year Up-NCR academic staff will integrate health education issues and topics into the Year Up-NCR curriculum and Year UpNCR’s Learning Communities will offer students a safe place in which to process questions and ideas. This will improve selfefficacy among Year Up-NCR’s student population, increasing their abilities to act responsibly and make healthy choices.
  • Year Up-NCR will provide its students enhanced opportunities to practice healthy behaviors within the Year Up-NCR community. Year Up-NCR will offer students group and individual educational experiences aimed at increasing awareness of risk taking and activities to engage in healthy behavior.
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