The philanthropic value of impact investing

One of the questions we are continuously grappling with is how to maximize the impact of our giving. We want to know that the products or services we are investing in actually meet the needs of beneficiaries. To this end, we are learning that the market can serve as a powerful mechanism to ensure that products or services are responsive to and meet the needs of beneficiaries.

Putting the ‘impact’ back in impact investing

In 2011, our India team came across two brilliant young brothers in Bangalore – Harsha and Soorya Mahabala – who had formed an organization called Edutel. The two brothers discovered they could broadcast lessons from high-quality teachers to affordable private schools across urban and rural Bangalore using spare government satellite bandwidth.

Jennifer Green, Urban Teachers: Preparing great teachers

Teaching is a high stakes, demanding profession that requires a highly trained and highly skilled professional to ensure every child in a classroom is learning. For too long, inconsistent teacher quality in urban schools has resulted in declining student achievement and widening opportunity gaps. As noted in a case study published by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, at Urban Teachers we are working hard to change this. We have committed to preparing a pipeline of demonstrably effective teachers who are accountable to student learning and who are dedicated to teaching in high-need schools for the long haul.

Reina Olivas: Financial aid + guidance = college success

As an AVID student, I received tremendous support in applying for college (and all that comes with it.) They encouraged us to apply for scholarships, so I spent a lot of free time in the computer lab doing exactly that. This was when I first became familiar with the Dell Scholars Program. Since the Dell Scholars Program is known to provide support to its scholars, my AVID teacher encouraged the entire class to apply, reminded us of deadlines and guided us through the process.

More than dollars for scholars: The benefit of combining financial aid with counseling support

To get to college, students must navigate a series of incremental steps, well beyond simply being prepared academically. Taking the SATs, applying to schools that are a good fit, accessing financial aid, getting to campus—the list goes on. Students – and particularly would-be first-generation college goers – face many potential pitfalls on the path to college. Researchers, practitioners and policymakers have developed a deep understanding of the barriers students can face and the programmatic and policy solutions to support students over them.