Facing nation-trailing achievement gaps and high school graduation rates, scores of funders, advocates and schools have assembled a coalition – Minnesota Comeback – with an unprecedented goal: 30,000 rigorous and relevant school seats for students from low-income backgrounds by 2025. Social Venture Partners Minnesota (SVP MN) was paramount to the coalition establishing its footing.
Some local district, charter and independent schools are changing the odds for low-income children today. We need many more of them.
MN Comeback is intentionally developing 50 additional great schools by providing the critical resources and conditions that high-performing schools need to succeed and grow – funding, leaders, teachers, policy and facilities. Initially focused on Minneapolis, the growing movement of partners helped develop a citywide plan to align and implement systems-level strategies that improve K-12 education.
MN Comeback is building on success and offers the most concrete path to ensure that all children in Minneapolis – no matter the color of their skin or their zip code – will have access to a rigorous and relevant education.
MN Comeback now consists of 28 foundation partners and dozens of schools, community organizations and leaders committed to working together, across school sectors. They have assembled a passionate, highly capable team, raised over $8M to-date (on track to growing an $85M investment portfolio) and recently awarded $2.7M in initial grants.
SVP MN partners have been instrumental in the conception, development and leadership of MN Comeback:
- The original “Education Innovation Platform and Investment Fund” concept that evolved into MN Comeback was conceived of by SVP MN Board Member Ron Anderson at a brainstorming session organized by Jon Bacal, conducted at SVP MN Investee Students Today Leaders Forever offices and hosted by SVP Associate Partner Josh Reimnitz. The early stage development team, led by Anderson, also included SVP partner Taylor Larson.
- SVP MN Partner Chris Smith led the creation of the MN Comeback coalition and currently serves as its co-chair, along with Tad Piper, former vice chairman of Piper Jaffray Companies.
- SVP MN Partner Rob Albright was an initial funder providing the seed funding for development of The MN Comeback and is currently a member of the MN Comeback Board of Directors and its treasurer.
- Charter SVP MN Partners Phil and Margie Soran were among the initial funders of MN Comeback and Phil currently resides on its board.
- Former long-time SVP MN Partner Al Fan leads MN Comeback as executive director.
MN Comeback is a superb example of how SVP MN “punches above its weight class.” We not only help improve the trajectory of the lives of underserved teens by accelerating and amplifying the impact of our portfolio of outstanding investees, we move the needle through the relationships and collaborative efforts of our individual partners. We look forward to a continued long and fruitful collaboration with MN Comeback as they help all students, regardless of their background, access high-performing schools!
SVP MN will be celebrating it’s 15th anniversary in 2017, sharing it’s impact with underserved teens and 49 nonprofits in the Twin Cities metropolitan area all interested in scaling and growth.