Investment Profile


Investment Highlights

PeerForward works with school leaders, educators, and students to ensure high schools have the kind of culture in which going to college is the expectation, not the exception.


collegesummit_minorDATES & AMOUNT OF INVESTMENT

2004 – 2009 | $2,126,542


PeerForward (formerly known as College Summit) targeted the DC metro area to establish a proving ground for a metropolitan college access model that could potentially send 3,000 students from low-income families living in this Region to college annually—many of whom would not otherwise attend.

While PeerForward is a national organization headquartered in Washington, DC, they needed to demonstrate local economies of scale with a viable and replicable regional platform and solution. The DC metro area—with its large school districts, high concentration of college-educated citizens and officials, large investment in schools, region-wide focus on closing the achievement gap, and growing numbers of talented, college-ready students from low income families—offered PeerForward the most favorable conditions for it to demonstrate a successful regional solution that establishes a platform on which to grow nationally.


PeerForward-NCR’s increased effectiveness has allowed the organization to grow from serving 400 to 2,838 students: a 609 percent increase in five years.  The organization has established partnerships with seven key universities and twenty-seven schools in DC, Maryland, and Virginia (including three VPP investment partners), greatly expanding its impact on the Region’s talented low-income students.

Other noteworthy accomplishments that will contribute to increased effectiveness and improved capacity include:

Planning and Focus: Completed business planning in February 2006, facilitated by Monitor Group, resulting in a well-defined plan that describes the relationship between the local and national operations and management.

Human Capital—Board and Senior Management: Hired executive director after long recruitment period to complete six-member local staff team. Built new board, recruiting eight out of eight needed members.

Operational Effectiveness: Business planning helped PeerForward gain greater clarity to move the organization to a higher level of impact by:

  • Shifting to a “geographic” model for all sites that calls for tighter calibration across site-specific programs, sales, and development strategies;
  • Redesigning criteria for selecting strategic partners (schools and school districts). Criteria designed around research-based principles that must be in place for the PeerForward program to be successful.