Giving Compass' Take:

• In this Harvard Business Review blog post, the Executive Director of the Seattle-based nonprofit City Year discusses the need for higher risk tolerance to move social progress forward.

• City Year deals primarily in the education sector, but the discussion here can apply to a wide variety of organizations. Are we willing to make capacity-building investments?

• Here's what impactful education funding looks like.

I’ve learned this simple lesson too many times to ignore it this far into life: Stepping back from a problem or opportunity and looking at it from afar generally leads to greater clarity. The “hamster wheel” is real and even when I recognize I’m on it, stepping off in the heat of the moment feels counterintuitive, but is ultimately rewarding.

This is especially true when the stakes are high. For the first time in 50+ years, the majority of U.S. public school students are living in poverty and every 26 seconds a student drops out of school. The nation faces a significant opportunity gap for students of color — leaving behind incredible voices, talent, and potential in our communities. Seattle, my hometown, has the 5th largest achievement gap in the country despite a booming economy.

City Year is working to change those statistics.  An education nonprofit with 28 sites across the country, City Year seeks to transform the way students see themselves and their possibilities for their futures. Through the power of National Service, City Year trains and deploys AmeriCorps Members into urban schools to work with students from 3rd-9th grade as full-time tutors, mentors, and champions. By linking arms with teachers, families, and administrators, City Year’s goal is to empower students to stay on track to achieve their dreams, build civic leaders, and transform communities.

Read the full article about student achievement by Kyle Angelo at Harvard Business School.