2023 Annual Report

Catalyzing Postsecondary Transformation

Message from Our President, Jacob Fraire

Esteemed colleagues,     

As we continue our strategic evolution and growth, two foundation tenets remain constant: our resolve to work alongside philanthropic and higher education partners to advance equity across the postsecondary landscape and our deep gratitude to grantee partners whose commitment to students and transformational change fuels our optimism. 

Last year was an important marker for us; we advanced our new strategic framework and awarded more than $56 million in grants and program-related investments, ECMC Foundation’s largest single-year investment, bringing our total funding to nearly $335 million since inception. We also welcomed new staff members and launched the Rural Impact Initiative. Moreover, 2023 was a period of reflection on the state of postsecondary education and in particular the historic, vexing inequities in degree completion across the nation. But history does not predetermine our future. We can, indeed, we must, urgently charter a bold path to create a future state in which all postsecondary students are equally likely to cross the finish line and earn their credential. 

We are elated that the ECMC Foundation Board of Directors recently approved our North Star, with an audacious and clear goal: By 2040 equity gaps in postsecondary completion are eliminated, so that underserved learners have greater opportunity for social and economic mobility. 

Jacob Fraire
Board Chair, James McKeon

Message from Our Board Chair, James McKeon

ECMC Foundation has thrived throughout a year of significant change that brought a new president, the implementation of our strategic framework and a record-breaking year for grantmaking and program-related investments. We reached nearly $335 million in funding since inception as we entered into innovative new partnerships, strengthening ECMC Foundation’s role in the national postsecondary ecosystem.  
Jacob’s leadership of our growing team is positioning the Foundation for a new era of impact as we advance our mission to improve higher education for career success among underserved populations through evidence-based innovation. I’m especially excited about the collaboration that’s taking place across our ECMC Group family of companies as we work together to help students succeed. The ECMC Foundation team embodies a culture of dedication and learning that is evident throughout the enterprise. As a learning organization, we are committed to sharing actionable knowledge generated through our partnerships with higher education organizations, institutions and systems. Our strategic evolution is further energizing us in service of a newly minted North Star that declares to the postsecondary sector exactly what we aim to achieve alongside our partners in philanthropy. 

The ECMC Foundation Board of Directors and I are very eager to build on the momentum we saw in 2023, and we invite our partners to join us in creating a better system of postsecondary education for all learners. 

Our North Star

The ECMC Foundation Board of Directors recently approved the Foundation’s North Star: By 2040 equity gaps in postsecondary completion are eliminated, so that underserved learners have greater opportunity for social and economic mobility. Our focus represents an unyielding commitment to equity and student-centered strategies to eliminate gaps in postsecondary completion. 

While some may consider this an audacious goal, we believe it is achievable, especially if we stand shoulder to shoulder in a common cause. 

2023 Grants Snapshot

Since inception, ECMC Foundation has committed nearly $335 million in funding. In 2023, the Foundation committed $56.8 million in grants, program-related investments and gifts to 382 programs that aim to improve postsecondary outcomes for underserved learners.


Strategically Responsive Grants

(Emerging Themes, New Models, Enhancing Data and Media Strategy)



Initiatives Grants

(Basic Needs, CTE Leadership Collaborative, Men of Color, Single Mother Student Success and Transfer and Credit Mobility) 



Education Innovation Ventures

(PRIs and Grants)



GO! Program Grants