Every Child Capital

Every Child Capital is a venture philanthropy fund that funds early literacy interventions that are proven to be effective in improving kindergarten readiness and third grade reading and have a business case for public funding. Every Child Capital seeks to transform philanthropy to ensure more private and public dollars are directed toward what works and sustainable outcomes are achieved.

About Us

Every Child Capital is a national model for philanthropic grant-making that borrows from approaches used in venture capital investing. Every Child Capital is distinguished from anything ever tried before in philanthropy by three major principles:

  1. Grant Sourcing: Prospective grant investments are proactively sourced (not found through an RFP process) from research on hundreds of randomized control trials and studies of effective early childhood and early literacy programs.
  2. Deep Due Diligence + Innovation: No single intervention is likely to be powerful enough to achieve the ultimate goal of every child reading at grade level by third grade, so Every Child Capital works to combine the best elements of proven programs to increase their efficacy.
  3. Public Partners are Identified Up Front: Every Child Capital defines a "transition strategy" for each grant investment that includes public dollars to bring the program or practice to scale and ensure long-term sustainability. Every Child Capital is designed to take the next big leap in philanthropy by directing public dollars to grant investments that have been privately tested and proven to achieve impact at scale. The objective is to ensure more public dollars are flowing to what works.

Years of research from some of the country's leading thinkers in education, early childhood development, and economics have identified early childhood education and early reading success as the most reliable indicators of future academic achievement. Students who are not reading on grade-level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than those who are. The problem is even greater for low-income students, who are 13 to 17 times less likely to graduate from high school if they cannot read successfully by the end of third grade. Nationally, 80% of low-income third graders miss this milestone every year.

Partners Involved

Initial funders of Every Child Capital include The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, the Gladys and Ralph Lazarus Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, the Thomas J. Emery Memorial, the Duke Energy Foundation and the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank. These initial funders have raised $4 million and are the principal funders in Every Child Capital's first grant investment with Imagination Library and the Reach Out and Read program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

This initial grant allows Cincinnati children to enroll in Imagination Library through their pediatric health provider to receive a free book each month from birth to age 5.

Every Child Capital is directed by an Advisory Board - chaired by Leslie Maloney of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. The fund is managed by KnowledgeWorks and supported by the StrivePartnership, with the Lewis & Clark Company. Venture capital investor Elizabeth Edwards helped to launch the fund and secure its first deal.

For more information:

For inquiries about Every Child Capital contact Leslie Maloney, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation: leslie.maloney@haileusb.org; 513-632-4654
For inquiries about Imagination Library, contact Tiana Henry: cincyIL@cchmc.org.