Thrive’s funding priorities and approach to grantmaking

Because of Thrive, there is more public AND private money for those proven and innovative early learning programs and experiences that will make the biggest difference statewide.
Thrive raises private dollars and advocates for public funds and then leverages the two to help build and support the very best early learning programs for all children.

Our role

Thrive manages a multi-faceted, strategic and highly regarded annual grants portfolio of about $11 million that is helping to build the very best early learning programs for all children. These funds are invested in agencies, coalitions and nonprofit partners; they support innovation, sustainability and expansion.

Because we maintain rigorous, responsive and accountable grant cycles, Thrive is a trusted partner to the state and philanthropic community. We also run “pilot-learn-scale cycles” to test innovative program design, development, evaluation and scaling, so that the most effective ideas are tested, recognized and expanded. Our vision is to balance knowledge-building and investment birth to third grade.

Our approach

Thrive uses a competitive grant-making process with clearly articulated values and funding priorities. The primary functions of a competitive process are to:

  • Increase certainty that grants are awarded in a transparent, equitable manner
  • Facilitate contract negotiation between Thrive and the grantee
  • Ensure proper stewardship of funds entrusted to Thrive


Our grant making values:

  • Portfolio Approach to fund a range of models and programs, supporting the needs of diverse communities and populations.
  • Diverse Representation to reach different geographic and racial and cultural communities.
  • Funding a Range of Capacity to support the growth of an early learning system.
  • Grantee Participation to engage grantees across technical assistance and evaluation processes.


Grantmaking programs and initiatives