The national funders of the Launch Initiative are dedicated to advancing economic and social mobility for all learners. Throughout their expansive philanthropic efforts, they are champions for improving access and equity in education and enhancing the quality of life for all people.

Click on each organization’s logo to learn more about their role in this work.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private philanthropy that creates a brighter future for the nation’s children and youth by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity, and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work, and grow.
“The Launch initiative is a major step toward ensuring that high-quality, equitable career pathways are more widely available to high school students across the country. Through this coalition of public and private partners, we have a unique opportunity to improve how education and employment systems at local, state, and national levels can best serve youth and young adults — particularly those who struggle to complete high school — as they prepare for the rest of their lives.”

-Patrice Cromwell, Vice President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Center for Economic Opportunity

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is guided by the belief that every life has equal value and works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.
Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.7 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

“We are proud to be a part of this critical effort to help scale and spread the innovative strategies we have seen working across the country over the past six years… said Jenny Sharfstein Kane who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies post-secondary education work. We are also excited to continue collaborating with our fellow funders to maximize our impact in a field that only continues to grow in scale and importance.”
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York is one of the nation’s oldest philanthropic foundations, established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mission, the Corporation’s grantmaking focuses on the issues that Carnegie considered of paramount importance: education, international peace, and a strong democracy.
“We need to expand and strengthen college and career pathways so that all young people have access to postsecondary options that prepare them for thriving futures. We’ve seen pockets of innovation that can guide us towards that vision, but isolated progress is not enough, especially when it comes to historically marginalized students. Carnegie Corporation of New York is proud to support Launch because it aims higher, bringing education and community leaders together to collectively redesign and realign our education to employment systems as an engine of opportunity for all.”

-LaVerne Srinivasan, Vice President, National Program, and Program Director, Education

Joyce Foundation
The Joyce Foundation is a private, nonpartisan philanthropy that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. The Foundation has six program areas: Culture, Democracy, Education & Economic Mobility, Environment, Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform, and Journalism. The Foundation focuses its grant making primarily in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, while exploring promising evidence-informed policy solutions nationally and at the federal level.
“As we move forward from the pandemic, it’s critical to ensure that young people, especially those from historically marginalized communities, have what they need to thrive at school, the workplace, and in their communities. This requires collaboration, new ideas coupled with evidence-based approaches, and a commitment to provide students with equitable opportunities to develop skills that will help them transition smoothly into adulthood. Given the Joyce Foundation’s focus in the Great Lakes region, we are proud to support the Launch initiative in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.”

-Chibuzo Ezeigbo, who leads the College and Career Readiness portfolio at the Joyce Foundation


Salesforce empowers companies of every size and industry to connect with their customers through the power of data + AI + CRM + trust. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit:

“Salesforce is excited to be part of building more pathways to success for students, especially those furthest from success. The Launch initiative showcases the power of partnerships – between K-12 and higher education institutions, between the education sector and industry, and between business and government. Together, we’re creating systemic change to benefit students for years to come.

Emily Anthony, Senior Director, Philanthropy, Salesforce

Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Gen Z wants high school to help them find their path and purpose. We are thrilled to support visionary, cross-sector teams who have proven and novel ideas on how to build and scale equitable career pathways and social capital networks for students, particularly Black and Latino students and students experiencing poverty.”

-Romy Drucker, Director of the Walton Family Foundation Education Program

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