Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking

Partners Advancing Values in Education, Inc.

  • Milwaukee, WI

Mission Statement

PAVE's mission is to make excellent educational opportunities possible for more families, particularly low-income families in Milwaukee.

Excellence from the Boardroom to the Classroom is not only our goal, but a belief we have about a key component of a school's journey to educational excellence: talented, engaged, and passionate leaders taking responsibility for the academic outcomes of students at independent schools in Milwaukee.

PAVE's Board Corps - recruiting, training, and connecting professionals to serve on volunteer school boards in the city of Milwaukee - began about three years ago, and we're happy to share stories and data that express the success of Board Corps on our 2014 Annual Report microsite:

PAVE's Partner Schools are leveraging the services, support, and resources we offer. We've trained more than 440 school leaders and board members, provided more than 65% of our schools with direct advisory services, and participated in $100 million in successful school expansion projects.

Main Programs

  1. Board Corps
Service Areas



City of Milwaukee schools and low-income families residing in the City of Milwaukee

ruling year


Principal Officer since 2016


Dave Steele



Milwaukee, nonprofit organization, K-12 education foundation

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Also Known As







Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Management & Technical Assistance (T02)

Other Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking Foundations N.E.C. (T99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

Excellence in any organization is sustained by good governance and visionary leadership - that's why PAVE helps recruit, train, engage and support knowledgeable board members for our Partner Schools, while providing access to the funding and networks those boards need to realize their long term vision for success.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Board Corps

The purpose of PAVE’s Board Corps is to attract the best and the brightest candidates, people of extraordinary talent, skills and abilities who have a passion for excellence in education, to serve as board members for schools.
Developing exceptional school boards will draw on the diverse strengths of the whole community. PAVE has created a process that is designed not only to train board members, but also to identify, recruit and connect them to schools that are the best possible matches for the school. A candidate that completes the entire process will be awarded a Board Corps Member Certificate. Schools can be confident that the potential board member has received instruction in the best practices in board governance and the Board Corps member can feel confident that he or she will be able to contribute substantively to improving education in Milwaukee


Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- Other Specified Group



Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    PAVE seeks to transform the boards of Milwaukee schools to become governing bodies that are working collaboratively with staff to go beyond the "what is" to the "what can be."

    With a high performing board that works effectively with the Principal or CEO, schools can build and execute a strong business plan, implement a successful academic program that achieves impressive outcomes and develop key partnerships that support and enhance their mission.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

    Seeking visionary leaders for high-potential schools. Recruiting, training and engaging 100 professionals to serve as board members for PAVE's Partner Schools.

    Supporting and rewarding excellent schools. PAVE focuses on advancing good governance as an essential factor in effecting positive change in Milwaukee's independent schools.

    Providing access to essential resources. PAVE is committed to providing the funding, training and counsel independent school leaders need to bring their bold visions to fruition.

    Maximizing the effectiveness of resources. PAVE's investments are leveraged by school leaders and boards who manage their resources effectively through comprehensive planning.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    PAVE’s Partner School Initiative works to increase the number of schools that can demonstrate excellence in educating children from low-income families in Milwaukee.

    PAVE's School Assessment - The beginning of PAVE's work with schools is the School Assessment. Every two years almost 100 Milwaukee schools complete PAVE's assessment that evaluates a school's capacity to create and sustain educational excellence through analysis of Governance & Leadership, Financial Stewardship, Partnerships with Parents & Community, and Academic Infrastructure.

    The assessment serves as a guide for an individualized service and support plan for each Partner School. PAVE provides a variety of services and programs to our Partner Schools, based on the immediate and longer-term needs of each unique school community.

    Service, Support and Resources - In the Assessment Feedback Tool, schools receive a detailed and unique proposal of partnership goals based on their assessment, along with an offer of PAVE's assistance to meet these goals. Each service and support plan is designed to strengthen governance and the school's business organization through a mix of board development, recruitment and training, coupled with advisory services, community connections, and financial support.

    PAVE is a non-profit organization and provides advisory services and access to our Board Corps program, including associated workshops and events, at no cost to our Partner Schools. When outside consultant services are recommended, PAVE generally contributes financial support up to 90% of the consultant fee.

    Advisory Services (Provided by experienced PAVE staff members): Board Development; Fund Development; Communication Services; Search Committee Participation

    Outside Consultant Services: Planning; Human Resources; Fund Development; Marketing

    Board Corps - PAVE recruits, trains and connects talented and passionate Milwaukee professionals to serve on the board of directors for our Partner Schools. PAVE identifies what our Partner School boards need through the assessment process and connect talent and networks accordingly. We also support schools in strategically utilizing the skills and abilities of their board members and provide continued support to further develop understanding of governance and its applied functions.

    Funding for School Growth, Improvement & Innovative Programming - PAVE also invests in building improvement and expansion projects. Since 2001, PAVE has contributed $23.3 million dollars to schools in the form of planning and challenge grants and loans, and by working with other financing partners we have supported school growth and expansion projects totaling $99.5 million.

    Partner Schools may also have the opportunity to receive strategic insight and financial support for educational programs that are innovative and supported by board-driven plans for school growth and improvement.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    PAVE has hired a third party program evaluator to study the impact of its Board Corps program on student achievement over the next three years. Results of this research will reveal what impact governance has on student outcomes and inform what changes to the program need to be made for greater impact.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    During the 2014-2015 school year, PAVE worked with 48 Partner Schools, serving approx. 23,000 students in Milwaukee. Partner schools utilizing PAVE's services: 66% Advisory Services; 38% Independent Consultative Services; 56% Board Corps. 444 Milwaukee School leaders and Board Members were reached as a result of PAVE's BoardSource training, totaling 77 hours of training. With $5.2 million invested in the form of planning and challenge grants - and $18.1 million in loans for the growth and expansion of 30 different school networks in Milwaukee - PAVE has participated in $100 million of successful school expansion projects since 2001.
Service Areas



City of Milwaukee schools and low-income families residing in the City of Milwaukee

Additional Documents

Social Media


Funding Needs

To meet its annual goals for FY 2009-2010, PAVE needs to raise $1,200,000.  PAVE strategies for this year include: - Provide grants worth $600,000 to college prepatory schools in the Milwaukee area to build capacity and to support current scholarship students.  While PAVE will continue to assist our scholarship students over the next four years, the essential shift in our strategic plan means that scholarship support will gradually be replaced by capacity building grants to excellent schools. - Continue to support the summer learning initiative which is designed to eliminate the achievement gap for low-income students in Milwaukee.  PAVE resources leverage additional support to enhance the capacity of high performing schools and offer extended learning opportunities outside of the traditional school year and curriculum. - Sustain excellence at high quality schools and expand or replicate these schools through existing capital investment, leadership and block grant programs.


External Reviews


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Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Partners Advancing Values in Education, Inc.



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Dave Steele


Dave Steele was unanimously selected by PAVE's board of directors in April 2016 as the organization's second President & CEO, after an extensive national search. Steele had previously served PAVE for 11 years, first as Director of Capital Investments and later as Director of School Partnerships. Under Steele's leadership, PAVE expanded the scope and reach of its services to 54 Partner Schools throughout the city of Milwaukee and first-ring suburbs. Steele led the development of high impact partnerships with each of these schools, their boards of directors and leaders, based on shared goals of student achievement, financial stability, and parent and community partnerships.

A native of the South Side of Milwaukee, Steele holds a masters degree in urban planning from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a bachelors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has studied non-profit management at Harvard Business School's Social Enterprise Initiative. Steele serves as co-leader of Milwaukee Succeeds 3rd Grade Reading Network. He resides in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood and is the father of two young boys.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Every day, across Milwaukee, in schools of all kinds, teachers and students work incredibly hard. But too often, our teachers and kids' hard work doesn't lead to results we want to see. We know that our teachers, families and kids can do it. But the great potential that lies in our classrooms is all too often never fully realized. Why?

PAVE knows that great schools are, at heart, well run organizations that allow teachers to teach, and kids to learn, at their fullest potential. We unlock the potential of great schools by helping school leaders overcome those organizational hurdles that too often hinder great teaching. No other organization in Milwaukee – or nationally – focuses on building schools as strong organizations. And our success in helping schools reach their potential shows that PAVE's work is needed now more than ever.

PAVE network schools make bold, strategic decisions to improve student learning. They draw outside resources, both financial and human capital, into the school and direct those resources to support student learning. They seek out, recruit and retain the most talented teachers, and make personnel decisions focused on student learning and outcomes. They cultivate powerful partnerships that improve learning, and hold outside partners accountable. They improve and expand their buildings through leveraging building financing options, including PAVE's participation in low-interest loans.




Mr. Cory Nettles

Generation Growth Capital

Term: July 2015 - June 2017


GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization



Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Race & Ethnicity
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity