Meet the Supporters: Funders & Intermediaries | Bellwether Education Partners Skip to main content

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Reimagining the Road to Graduation

The Need for Extraordinary Systems to Get Students to and Through College

Who assists students on their journey to and through college and career, and how can they work together to build better systems of support?


Counselors & College Access Organizations   /   K-12 Staff   /   Higher Education Staff   /   Families   /   Peers   /   Employers & Community-based Organizations   /   Policymakers   /   Funders & Intermediaries


Funders & Intermediaries


Funders and intermediaries, at the local, state, and national level, provide resources, measure outcomes, and shape the broader ecosystem. College access and success intermediaries are the organizations that work to coordinate individuals and organizations in a local ecosystem — bringing together districts, college access organizations, policymakers, employers, and students to improve postsecondary outcomes through collective effort. Due to COVID-19, they are experiencing an influx of funding needs and challenging coordination demands. Intermediaries play a crucial role in facilitating and encouraging coordination across disparate organizations and efforts. Funders can play this role as well, or champion the creation of a coordinating entity, such as a college access and success intermediary. 

Common Pitfalls That Funders and Intermediaries Face
  • Disconnected leaders and organizations, often working in silos or at cross-purposes and competing for funding.
  • Many demands on financial resources and competing investment priorities.
  • Constraints on staff bandwidth and ability to support education leaders and organizations.
Mindset Shifts to Help Funders and Intermediaries Better Target Their Support
  • Champion local, regional, and state-level accountability for student success in navigating toward college and careers and for the system as a whole
Opportunities to Build a More Coherent System in Concert with Adults
  • Listen to the concerns and stories of students and families.
  • Elevate student and family stories to K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, community-based and college-access organizations, and policymakers.
  • Listen to K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and community-based and college-access organizations to understand the challenges they face and existing capacities to address those challenges.
  • Lead or coordinate systemwide actions that individual organizations are not capable of undertaking.
  • Hold other actors accountable for collaborating with one another.
Further Reading

View a complete list of concrete recommendations for funders and intermediaries here.  

Meet the Supporters
Who supports students on their journey to and through college and career? What mindset shifts can these supporters make to better coordinate high school, postsecondary, and workforce systems?