News

Case Study on Cross-Sector Partnership

Case Study: Cross-Sector Partnership to Develop Teachers and Unlock Student Potential through Brain Science

June 2019

This new case study, told from the funder’s perspective, reflects on the history of the cross-sector partnership of Crimsonbridge, the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, and Teach for America D.C. Region. It documents a philanthropist’s path in establishing and maintaining a successful long-term collaboration, offers examples of the unique roles funders can play, and shares insights on actions that donors and foundations can take to ensure partnership success.

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Lessons on Advancing Latino College Success

June 2019

A new report by MDRC offers lessons on culturally responsive approaches that colleges and universities can implement to support Latino student college success. Through interviews with students, faculty, staff, and administrators at five California colleges, MDRC researchers collected feedback and information on campus programs, services, and interventions that served Latino student needs. The report, funded in part by Crimsonbridge Foundation, is part of MDRC’s Latino Academic Transfer and Institutional Degree Opportunities (LATIDO) Project, which examines approaches to increasing the transfer and college completion rate of Latino students attending Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

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Expanding College Completion Programming and Advancing College Success for Students in the Greater Washington Region

June 2019

The Crimsonbridge Foundation has awarded $110,000 in grants to six organizations in the Greater Washington Region that help first-generation students and others of underrepresented backgrounds navigate and complete their journeys in higher education.

Since 2015, Crimsonbridge has invested $260,000 in programs and research to advance college completion for students who are the first in their family to attend college or of diverse or under-resourced backgrounds. Driven by a shared goal of increasing college success rates, Crimsonbridge partnered with the Scheidel Foundation in 2017 to launch the College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative. In addition to the foundations, C3 partners include six exemplary nonprofits that shepherd students to and through college graduation: Capital Partners for Education, Collegiate Directions, College Success Foundation – District of Columbia, CollegeTracks, Generation Hope, and New Futures.

In this second year of partnership, Crimsonbridge grants are tailored to meet the unique needs of each C3 nonprofit. Grants will support the expansion of college completion programming, as well as the creation and build-out of career readiness services for students in college.

“Investing in college success is a priority for the foundation and for our country,” said Crimsonbridge Foundation President and Founder Gabriela Smith. “We are excited to continue learning and collaborating with our partners in the C3 Initiative to advance college success regionally.”

C3 participants gather three times per year to reflect on challenges, share best practices, and embrace opportunities for collaboration. Through program feedback, participants have shared that it is “beneficial to connect with other organizations with similar missions” and state that sessions have “opened up my eyes to the challenges everyone is having, so I don’t feel alone.” The next meeting, launching year two of the C3 cohort, will be held in July 2019.

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Leadership Profile: Michelle Edwards

June 2019

Can someone with nearly 25 years of experience in education, a doctorate and three years of experience as a nonprofit executive director find something to learn in the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program at Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership? The answer was a resounding, “Yes,” for Michelle Edwards of Live It Learn It.

“Learning every aspect of nonprofit management was amazing,” said Michelle, a certificate program graduate and executive director of Live It Learn It, a rigorous experiential learning program that turns the region’s parks, museums, and monuments into rich learning experiences and helps local children of color feel like they belong in these spaces.

Michelle became Live It Learn It’s executive director in 2016, taking over from Founder Matthew Wheelock. Enrolling in the certificate program in the summer of 2018, with support from the Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund, gave her a window into the theory behind the hands-on practice she was already getting in nonprofit management. It also gave her more confidence as she translated her leadership skills from nearly 25 years in education, including 10 as a school principal, to the nonprofit realm.

While Michelle was interested in every part of the certificate program’s curriculum, learnings around board development and engagement, and fundraising have been immediately applicable over the past year.

“I really truly understand our roles now and how the board and executive director are the twin engines in this jet,” said Michelle.

Since completing the program, Michelle has guided Live It Learn It to update its board roles and responsibilities and organizational by-laws, and the organization is now ready to bring on new board members. With new clarity around fundraising, Michelle has also built a development team and felt better able to articulate what was expected of them.

The week-long, immersive program also allowed for deep conversations with a diverse mix of leaders working in various kinds of nonprofits. These leaders are now part of a network that Michelle feels proud to contribute to, as well as one she is comfortable reaching out to for support.

In addition to time with her classmates, Michelle appreciated meeting with Crimsonbridge staff during the program and encourages more funders to get to know participants and to support participation by diverse leaders.

“Hear what people are learning. Have lunch with attendees. Continue to build relationships and be sure that diverse voices are in the room. Those we serve need to see us in these leadership roles,” said Michelle.

Learn more about Live It Learn It, Georgetown’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program or the Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund.

Connect with Michelle on Twitter.

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The Invaluable Role of Coaches in College Success

May 2019

In this new video, meet CollegeTracks, which serves more than 1,600 Montgomery County students and is a community partner in our College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative. The video features College Access Director Lindsey Barclay (an incoming Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund recipient in the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program at Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership) who speaks to the value of coaching in college success.

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Growing Networks and Diversity in Partnership with Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership

May 2019

Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership and the Crimsonbridge Foundation have partnered since 2016 to conduct targeted outreach to attract local nonprofit leaders of diverse backgrounds and provide scholarships to support their participation in the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program. To date, the partnership has supported more than 30 diverse leaders, strengthened the capacity of nonprofits serving our local community, and significantly increased the diversity of the Certificate Program.

In this new piece, learn how program alumni are joining the effort and leveraging their networks and experience to support local leaders and nonprofits. Click below to read “Growing Networks and Diversity: CPNL and Crimsonbridge Foundation Partnership,” written by Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership.

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Latino Student Fund Recognizes Crimsonbridge Foundation

April 2019

During its 25th Anniversary Gala on March 14 the Latino Student Fund (LSF) recognized Crimsonbridge Foundation with the Community Builder Award.

“Over the years, the Crimsonbridge Foundation’s commitment to our mission has enabled the Latino Student Fund to expand its programs, offer professional development to our staff, and showcase our work to the community in new ways,” said Mario Acosta-Velez of Verizon, who presented the award on behalf of the Latino Student Fund.

LSF and Crimsonbridge have partnered since 2016 to expand and build the capacity for LSF’s academic support, college prep services, and independent/parochial school guidance for Hispanic students in grades K through 12 and their families.

Crimsonbridge has also supported translation of key LSF communications materials into Spanish, including the website, and creation of bilingual videos highlighting organizational success stories, and provided a challenge grant to increase individual fundraising.

“What we love about working with the Latino Student Fund is their openness to ideas, to connecting with others, and to growing as an organization in strategic and meaningful ways,” said Crimsonbridge Foundation Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes. “Being honored and recognized during such a special anniversary is truly meaningful for me, for our President and Founder Gabriela Smith, and for our Program Officer Caitlin Furey who works very closely with the program team.”

Learn more about the Latino Student Fund. Watch the Crimsonbridge Community Builder Award video.

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“Naturalist Quarterly” Profiles Crimsonbridge Executive Director

April 2019

As a preview to its second Naturally Latinos Conference on March 27, the Audubon Naturalist Society profiled Crimsonbridge Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes in the Spring 2019 issue of “Naturalist Quarterly.”

The profile highlight’s Danielle’s passion for the outdoors, work to connect the community to nature, and desire to encourage people of color to take leadership roles. Danielle, who served on the conference planning committee, is on the Crestwood Citizens’ Association Green Team and the board of Rock Creek Conservancy.

Read the profile starting on page four of the Spring 2019 issue.

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