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Activating Change

Reflections on Our Journey

From Our President, Peter J. Taylor

To know where you’re going, you've got to know where you have been. In this annual report, you will read about the impact from the last year that has informed our evolving and expanding work moving forward—as a champion of the equitable promise of career and technical education (CTE), a trailblazer in funding efforts to address students’ basic needs and a resourceful philanthropic partner using all of the tools at its disposal to drive equitable change.  

This report also reflects an exciting moment of transition—for the Foundation and for me, personally, as I retire and prepare to pass the reins to a new president in 2023. I joined ECMC Foundation as president in 2014 with the task of transforming what was primarily a scholarship program into a national strategic grantmaking foundation. In the nine years since, our team has grown from two to 20, established field-shaping grantmaking programs focused on Career Readiness and College Success, launched a program-related investment arm to multiply our potential for impact and deployed more than $278 million in investments across the country. I am deeply proud of the work our growing team has accomplished in less than a decade.

I believe we were able to accomplish as much as we have because our commitment to innovation and evidence-based approaches is embedded into everything we do. Each investment is an opportunity for learning and refining our approach.

After eight years of learning including more than two years of navigating uncertainty amid the pandemic, 2022 offered us space to reflect on what we’ve learned so far and how our work can best adapt to the evolving landscape facing postsecondary education and the workforce. These learnings and reflections have informed a new expansive view of how we plan to harness our resources to meet this moment of transformative change in 2023 and beyond.

Watch: President Peter J. Taylor reflects on ECMC Foundation’s journey from its beginnings in strategic grantmaking to now.

With ECMC Foundation poised to become one of the largest exclusively higher education-focused foundations in the country over the next five years, this report aims to honor the ideas and learnings that got us to this exciting point in our journey as a foundation. Whether it is reaffirming our founding commitment to CTE or launching new work focused on supporting the success of men of color in higher education, I am especially excited to see how ECMC Foundation continues to build on the groundwork of evidence-based innovation for which it has become known.

As I reflect on my own path, I keep coming back to the vision that has guided ECMC Foundation since the beginning: that all learners unlock their fullest potential. We are emerging into a new era for postsecondary education and society, but our commitment to this vision fuels our work as much as ever.