StriveTogether Receives $175 Million from Ballmer Group to Put Millions More Young People on a Path to Economic Mobility

Largest investment in StriveTogether’s history is a critical step toward this bold vision

Cincinnati, Sept. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StriveTogether announced today that Ballmer Group is committing $175 million to support StriveTogether’s Vision 2030, designed to put at least 4 million more young people on a path to economic mobility. This investment recognizes not only StriveTogether’s record of success but also the urgent need to address and scale efforts to grow economic mobility for kids and families in communities across the U.S., especially within communities of color where systemic inequities continue to create barriers.

“This is frankly a game-changing investment for us, allowing more local leaders to access the resources and support needed to address economic mobility in their communities,” said Jennifer Blatz, StriveTogether president and CEO. “Our new strategic plan supports this and holds us accountable to helping at least 4 million more kids and families by 2030. We believe every child should have every opportunity to reach their full potential, and we will hold ourselves accountable to ensuring systemic barriers are removed.” 

StriveTogether’s proven Theory of Action™ supports local leaders using the Place-Based Partnership methodology to improve cradle-to-career outcomes for kids in their community, working in partnership across the government, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Research shows that young people who achieve key academic milestones are more likely to achieve economic mobility as each milestone builds upon the next. Deeply entrenched systemic inequities create an uneven playing field and limit opportunities for all kids. 

“StriveTogether has built an incredible network of place-based partnerships across the country, helping communities improve outcomes from kindergarten readiness to college completion overall,” said Connie Ballmer about Ballmer Group’s third investment in StriveTogether. “We are proud to continue to support them as they expand the number of children and families their network members reach across the U.S. and champion this movement.” 

StriveTogether’s 2030 vision is driven by a new $280 million strategic plan, which will focus on three things: 

  1. Strengthening and expanding the StriveTogether network of rigorous Place-Based Partnerships nationwide. 
  2. Beginning to address the larger policy and systems changes needed to help communities achieve better outcomes.  
  3. Building and training a larger field of practitioners using data and cross-sector partnerships to hold themselves accountable for results for kids and families.   

As part of this historic investment, StriveTogether will regrant $130 million to transform systems and strengthen local and state infrastructure to improve cradle-to-career outcomes. The need is more acute now than ever: Since the pandemic, cradle-to-career outcomes have seen some of their steepest declines in the last 30 years — this investment enables support for nearly 70 communities across the country to accelerate their ability to achieve better and more equitable outcomes as part of the Cradle to Career Network. With nearly four out of 10 kids in America not on a path to economic mobility, it is time to scale solutions that work.  

“This work — this bold vision for 2030 — would not be possible without this anchor investment,” Blatz said. “To realize our vision for transforming systems for better, faster, equitable outcomes for young people, we will invest more in place-based partnerships and state policy coalitions. We cannot do this alone and ask other changemakers to join us. We will need another $105 million from funders to fully deliver on our plan.”

About StriveTogether

StriveTogether is a national network of nearly 70 communities across 29 states and Washington, D.C. working to build a future where a child’s potential is not dictated by race, ethnicity, zip code or circumstance. The organization provides training, resources and rigorous approaches to create opportunities and eliminate inequities in education, housing and more. Together, the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network reaches 14 million youth — including 8 million children of color and one in five children experiencing poverty. For more information about StriveTogether, visit

Why Place-Based Partnerships  

This contribution is a part of Ballmer Group’s growing commitment to Place-Based Partnerships—a methodology for working in communities, neighborhoods and places that brings multiple sectors together to address system-wide goals. It’s about building a network of people and organizations in the same geographic area who will work together to change systems, improve community outcomes and achieve shared goals. This work empowers local leaders in communities to determine solutions that will work for their communities and reduce racial and systemic inequities by engaging stakeholders — like parents, teachers and other community leaders — in the work to create change. 


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