Funding Criteria

Proven leadership

The Drexel Fund invests in people – either a visionary individual or a founding team – who can evidence a capacity to lead others successfully in pursuit of a mission and who possess an indefatigable spirit necessary for the creation of a new, network of sustainable private schools.


Photo courtesy of HOPE Christian Schools.

In particular, the Drexel Fund seeks visionary founders and, where there is a committed founding group, visionary teams who meet the following profile:

Committed to working with an underserved student body:
Nationwide – and particularly in states with vouchers and state scholarships – there remains a paucity of high-quality schools demonstrating outstanding results with low- and middle-income students. The Fund is committed to working with visionary founders who want to serve a student body that includes a significant percentage of low- and middle-income students.

Articulate and ambitious in creating a vision for new, sustainable private schools:
The magnitude of the achievement gap requires educational leaders to accelerate the gains that underserved students should be making. The Drexel Fund invests in visionary leaders who resolve to think differently, with different approaches and different models, while maintaining a financially sustainable formula for success.

Grounded in a working knowledge about what makes schools successful:
Visionary leaders – or founding teams – must demonstrate a working knowledge of the components necessary for the strong organizational success of a school. In particular, the Fund will look to the individual/team acumen in financial, operational, managerial, governance and curricular matters.

Humble in spirit to learn from proven practices:
Exceptional leaders do not kid themselves about what they do and do not know. The Fund invests in individuals with the self-assurance and self-awareness to ask questions about design and implementation.

The school models developed by Drexel-supported founders must meet the Fund’s criteria. Most of all, these founding leaders will embrace being held accountable for one goal: to attain impressive outcomes for children.