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Our Approach

Since 1921, the Heckscher Foundation for Children has worked to level the playing field for underserved youth with a particular focus on supporting programs in the field of education. Today, we embrace a venture philanthropy approach to funding, looking at key inflection points where we might help change the course of a young person’s life at a key juncture, while also supporting programs that are proven models or that address quality of life issues for youth. For a close look at programs we are proud to have supported in this or prior years, please see our Year in Review.

Venture Philanthropy

Catalytic Giving

We fund approaches that have the potential for wide application but have not reached a scale broad enough to attract investment by larger foundations or government. Our catalytic giving seeks to “embolden government” and other funders, to paraphrase Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Strategic Partnerships

The foundation promotes 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.

Targeted Problem-Solving

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.

Proven Models

Proven models are investments that have consistently met or exceeded metrics of success. They may have originally been venture philanthropy investments but have achieved a level of maturity that merits our continued support.

Quality of Life

These investments address specific youth-related issues that may not be met by government or other private funding quickly or efficiently enough.

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