California College Pathways: A Case Study on How Strategic Philanthropy Leads to Systematic Change


The Excellence in Public-Philanthropic Partnerships Exchange (Exchange) hosted a webinar featuring the California College Pathways (CCP) Project, which received the 2018 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

This webinar was an opportunity to learn about how the CCP Funder’s Collaborative strategically invested in research, data, and advocacy to motivate large-scale system change and how this approach can be replicated elsewhere. The Funder’s Collaborative consists of 14 philanthropic partners, and their strategic investments have resulted in improvements in college preparation, access, and achievement among youth and young adults in California's foster care system. Some impacts include $4.8 million expansion in financial aid, 83 colleges across California establishing foster youth support programs, 47 county offices setting up systems and procedures to assist high school seniors in care with college matriculation, and more.

The Exchange is hosted by the Council on Foundations in partnership with HUD and brings together all of the foundations and their public-sector partners that have received a HUD Secretary's Award since 2012. This particular learning opportunity for the Exchange was opened to all Council members, as well as the networks and friends of CCP Funder’s Collaborative.

The webinar was an opportunity to learn about the evolution of CCP and the method behind strategic philanthropy.


  • Jeannine Balfour, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Yali Lincroft, Walter S. Johnson Foundation
  • Debbie Raucher, John Burton Advocates for Youth
  • Rhonda Mohr, California Community College Chancellor’s Office
  • Alexia Everett, Stuart Foundation