Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education (ECE) non-profit facing pressure from philanthropic funders develops a sustainable finance model aligned with its mission.

<5 yrs

to sustainable operations with single round of philanthropic capital raise


increase in breadth of impact


additional services to diversify support


This ECE client’s mission is to improve the quality of early childhood education, improve the lives of early childhood educators, improve equity of access to pre-K education, and advocate for our youngest humans. The program puts theory into practice and offers knowledge and skills that early childhood educators can apply at work every day — in the classroom and beyond.

The client’s major funder, a well-known family office, determined that continued funding would be dependent on the nonprofit client creating and implementing a plan to move to a sustainable, self-funding model for operations. As a result, the client’s immediate need was to build a sustainable finance model without jeopardizing their mission.


The client had been providing products and services for many years to university faculty, and more recently to professional development organizations. Most content was free, with fees for premium and custom services covering 25% of costs and philanthropy covering the rest. Their primary funder tasked them with creating a new business model that would cover 75% of all costs and 100% of operating costs.

Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs) and their faculty had been the traditional focus for the client, but presented several challenges: faculty don't have budgets, effecting change in existing coursework is difficult, and IHEs have trouble reaching underserved groups. The client was, therefore, looking for a more direct business model selling either to state agencies or other sources.


Artemis assessed the current state of business and finances with internal experts, prioritizing market hypotheses, testing hypotheses, and generating a go-to-market plan. We:

  • interviewed internal customer and product experts, harmonizing internal vision, skills, and ideas. Integrated with external subject matter experts and developed hypotheses.
  • interviewed dozens of key external stakeholders including potential customers, collaborators, competitors, alternative funders, and other major players in the ECE space. Tested hypotheses, received feedback, and refined models.
  • modeled several alternative scenarios for future paid services, including projecting sales, headcount needs, and capital requirements. Identified major structural issues to resolve with potential solutions.
  • built the pitch for the philanthropic funder and prepped the client team to present.


The business plan received enthusiastic support from a variety of stakeholders including the funding agency director. Multiple new avenues for collaboration were opened during the course of Artemis’ work. The client requested that all of the main and optional features be included in the final proposal, as the client took the plan forward for final approval and organizational buildout.

We feel that Artemis is fully a part of our organization” Deputy Director- Educational non-profit

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