WHY DETROIT CHILDREN'S FUND?
Choosing the most promising organizations with strong leaders
Long-term and strategic investment strategy
Deep knowledge & relationships in Detroit and the education field
How We Make Investments
To make lasting improvements, investments must be strategic, informed and carefully monitored. Investing in schools with weak leadership and structure doesn’t produce results for kids. That’s why we identify the most promising schools and networks, with strong and demonstrated leaders, and provide investments that further strengthen them and/or allow them to expand. We nurture what’s working, not band-aid what’s not. To achieve this, we carefully screen and vet schools to ensure they can deliver the type of results we expect—creating and improving quality seats for Detroit students. We set expectations and benchmarks to measure each partners’ success. Funding ceases if results are not produced within an appropriate amount of time. Before any investment is made, each grant partner is subject to a formal process of acceptance into the DCF portfolio.
In order to create and maintain more quality seats, we support the teachers, principals and leaders capable of executing quality. Our investments support great teachers already working in Detroit as well as attracting additional effective educators to the city. Our partnership with the Skillman Foundation further propels our strategy. DCF makes focused investments in schools and talent, while the Skillman Foundation supports those investments with policy and community engagement work. When you invest in DCF, your donation is protected to only fund schools, networks and talent that can produce results for Detroit schoolchildren.
MetricsWe measure a wide range of data with each of our grant partners to assess the whole health of their organization. Leadership, academics, culture, student supports, finance and operations are all evaluated to determine if the partner is investment grade, and helps us determine our investment strategy and how the return on investment should be monitored.
|Leadership||Interviews and assessment of school principals and network leader
Assessment of district and board leadership
|Academics||Percentage of students reading and performing math at grade-level
Performance, growth and trends in standardized testing scores
Graduation rates and enrollment in postsecondary education
|Culture||Rates of students expelled and suspended
Percent of chronic absences
Student and teacher attendance rates
|Student Supports||Interviews with students, teachers and parents to assess availability of student support programs
Assessment of available extracurricular activities and rates of participation
Healthy food options for students as well as health and wellness support
|Finance and Operations||Critique of audited financial statements
Assessment of strategic growth plans
Stability assessment of school and operator
25,000 seats by 2025
With your support, DCF will create 25,000 seats in quality schools over the next 8 years. These seats cover nearly one-third of schools in Detroit, and will create critical momentum needed to address the remainder. We won’t stop until every child in Detroit gets the education they need and deserve.
For students, a quality education would mean:
- Schools are welcoming and safe
- Opportunities to build key academic skills like math and reading as well as skills like communication and critical thinking
- Teachers who are well-trained and supported to help students excel
- Fiscally stable schools that are able to fully invest in opportunities for students
All great schools require great leaders and teachers. DCF invests in proven programs that will:
- Support leadership development
- Develop recruitment and retention strategies
- Create performance incentive plans for high-performing teachers
- Implement employment match systems for teachers and schools with vacancies
DCF + Skillman Foundation = Better investmentsDCF is powered by a deep partnership with the Skillman Foundation. The Foundation has been working in Detroit since 1960 and is recognized as lead advocate for children in the city. Detroit Children's Fund and the Skillman Foundation share staff, allowing DCF to leverage the Foundation's deep relationships and knowledge.