The University of Pennsylvania's Center for High Impact Philanthropy's Report on Pathways to Student Success
Hilary J. Rhodes, Kathleen Noonan, Katherina Rosqueta
Children’s Literacy Initiative identified as an exemplar agent in improving early literacy instruction and a charitable organization where invested dollars do the most good.
If you had a million dollars to give to charity, would you know where to invest it to effect the most change? Despite good intentions, charitable individuals often lack the time and expertise to understand where their investments can have the greatest impact.
Noting that over a million students—mostly poor and not white—drop out of U.S. schools each year, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy wanted to help philanthropists address the achievement gaps in American education. It recently completed an investigation of national scope addressing the critical questions that must be answered to achieve the biggest bang for every philanthropic buck, including what is a meaningful change to target, what activities lead to that change for at-risk students, and how much does it cost to make that change.
Their analysis Pathways to Student Success: A Guide to Translating Good Intentions into Meaningful identified Children’s Literacy Initiative as an exemplar agent in improving early literacy instruction and a charitable organization where invested dollars do the most good.
Four key strengths of Children’s Literacy Initiative influenced their decision:
- Our results are externally evaluated.
- Our programs are evidence based.
- Our approach is cost effective.
- CLI leverages public investments already made (teachers, classrooms) by increasing productivity.
The Center for High Impact Philanthropy was founded in 2006 by alumni of the Wharton school with the goal of assisting philanthropists to determine where their funds can have the greatest impact in improving the lives of others. It is housed at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice.
The full report and a brief executive summary are available at http://www.impact.upenn.edu/our_work/Pathways-ExecutiveSummary.html.