ECMC Foundation uses a spectrum of investment structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments to support nonprofit and for-profit organizations. ECMC Foundation awards grants that support organizational capacity building, new program or model development, existing program refinement or expansion, capital, research, and evaluation across two core focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness.
At ECMC Foundation, they aim to increase the number of students from historically and presently underserved backgrounds who persist through and graduate from an institution of higher education with a bachelor's degree. Understanding that many of our students begin their postsecondary pathways at community colleges, we actively engage in opportunities to invest in transfer success.
College Success invests in postsecondary programs and initiatives that:
- Improve and scale systemic reforms and supports to increase student success at postsecondary institutions.
- Increase currently enrolled students' persistence toward a degree.
- Support on-time transfer from two-year to four-year institutions.
- Enhance students' pathways to graduation with career-ready skills.
- Elevate new research findings and publications that promote student success outcomes.
The Career Readiness focus area is committed to improving postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) outcomes for students from underserved backgrounds. Grants made as part of the Career Readiness focus area typically fund intermediaries supporting, institutions and organizations implementing, or third parties researching or evaluating credit-bearing postsecondary pathways for adult learners that lead to credentials and provide a pathway to careers paying family-sustaining wages.
Career Readiness supports projects, programs and initiatives that aim to:
- Build the capacity of institutions and organizations to provide accredited, credit-bearing, industry-informed and transferable postsecondary CTE pathways.
- Conduct research and evaluations to inform the field and promote postsecondary CTE programs that are part of educational pathways that lead to portable certificates or degrees.
- Support adult learners' postsecondary CTE advancement toward a certificate or associate degree with the inclusion of learner-centered approaches and academic and non-academic wraparound supports.
Demand for funding has increased dramatically in the last several weeks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on postsecondary institutions and the students they serve. As a result, the Foundation is giving priority to those requests that address the immediate challenges and opportunities arising from the pandemic. They're especially interested in those proposals that focus on implementing systemic reforms to increase college success and career readiness for students from underserved backgrounds.