We focus on “inflection point” funding within a venture philanthropy framework. We closely consider specific obstacles that keep underserved youth from realizing their full potential, and then we identify key junctures, or inflection points, where our grants might change the course of their lives. From there, we look for innovative programs, partnerships, and solutions that address those junctures, and are grounded in positive, long-term outcomes, dividing our giving into four main categories: Catalytic Giving, Strategic Partnerships, Targeted Problem Solving, and Proven Models.
The Heckscher Foundation introduced a revolutionary workforce development program, awarding $7.6 million to 20 grantees who are partnering with employers across New York State to train young adults from underserved communities with a goal of placing them in more than 1,100 full-time jobs.
We fund approaches that have the potential for wide application but have not reached a scale broad enough to attract investment by larger private foundations or government.
We promote collaborations between foundations, not-for-profits, for-profits, and the public sector that may have overlapping approaches, goals, or skill sets in the areas of education, job skills, and innovative revenue models.
We define specific challenges that have attainable solutions and then encourage creative problem solvers to test those solutions, which often address barriers to equal opportunity that have been overlooked or under-appreciated.