Giving Compass’ Take:
• Writing for Forbes, Tom Vander Ark examines the importance of raising the number of U.S. adults with higher education credentials and focuses on the efforts of The Lumina Foundation to accomplish this through impact investing.
• Some of the startups that Lumina invested in have already seen progress, which is measured not just quantitatively but qualitatively as well (in terms of leverage and policy influence). How are other higher ed initiatives tracking their impact? Could Lumina give them a framework for positive outcomes?
• Keep in mind that student success in the postsecondary environment can be subjective, as this article points out.
The postsecondary attainment rate for adults in the U.S. is about 40%. African American attainment rates are 27%. Native American and Latino Americans complete postsecondary programs at even lower rates.
For individuals, the right kind of education can boost employability. For communities, educational attainment correlates with better social, economic and personal outcomes for citizens. The Lumina Foundation notes that societies with higher educational attainment can expect greater civic and social engagement, higher rates of voter participation and volunteerism, healthier lifestyles, and less dependence on public assistance.
The good news in the U.S. is that more young people are attending college. The bad news is that graduation rates for the lowest income group haven’t budged in a decade.
The Lumina Foundation (@LuminaFound) is attacking this problem with the goal of lifting the percentage of U.S. adults with credentials (degrees, certificates or other high-quality postsecondary credentials) from about 40% today to 60% by 2025 …
Grantmakers typically donate funds to nonprofit organizations to advance their charitable mission. The downside to that sort of change making is that it often lacks leverage (putting other people’s money to work), agility (the ability to quickly pivoting to a better idea), scalability (incentives and tools for growth) and sustainability (business models that funds ongoing operations).
Lumina is one of the few national foundations focused on postsecondary outcomes. In addition to traditional grantmaking, Lumina has been a leader in impact investing — a more aggressive set of tools that attempt to leverage profit motives and private markets.
Read the full article about Lumina’s effort to get more Americans credentialed by Tom Vander Ark at Forbes.
Interested in learning more about Impact Investing? Other readers at Giving Compass found the following articles helpful for impact giving related to Impact Investing.
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If you are interested in Higher Education, please see these relevant Issue Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects where you can get involved.