Nonlinear Project Funding

We develop great schools. Most importantly, we create unique funding solutions for operations and capital finance.

While our projects usually include “linear” funding sources (fund raising, government funding, tuition and fees), we specialize in developing unexpected or less-obvious strategies, which is part of what we call “Nonlinear Project Funding.”

Take a look at our Portfolio page for some examples of our work.

Our approach involves extensive research, getting creative, and carefully modeling our concepts (usually with 10-year projections), and then we test those models for feasibility.

After developing actionable solutions for our clients, we are prepared to stay all the way to project completion (upon request) – even if that takes years.

Natural Light: Transforming a School on East Eight Mile

This short film (8 minutes) provides an inside look at our recent K-8 charter school project in Detroit.

Over the course of three years we secured financing, completed 110,000 SF of interior renovation, added new athletic facilities, removed five acres of asphalt, and added a new student-designed (and community built) playground – among many other significant improvements.

For more information, including a full length mini-documentary with more details (18 minutes), see our portfolio entry for the Academy of Warren.

Recognition for "Natural Light"

Since our founding in 1995, our work and funding models have generated more than $1 billion in non-philanthropic funding for education, primarily in low income communities in the US.  Click below to read our full 2021-2022 Progress Report.

Featured Projects


In many of Rick’s engagements clients have been talking about their projects for years and years, with little movement. His incisive approach helps boards to understand their options, take advantage of their assets, break the logjam and move through to completion.

Equity Schools was relentless in their commitment to finding a successful solution for the Academy of Warren. Rick’s unwavering ability to guide the project through regulatory, financial, architectural and community challenges was outstanding. The end result is sure to add tremendous value to the AOW students, staff and community for generations to come.

Richard Murray was able to foster a tie between institutions far distant but associated by the common desire to provide hope for students across thousands of miles.

Equity Schools in more than a Benefit Corporation… but there is no designation for Miracle Corporation, which is more accurate.

The answer to our prayers.

The Equity Schools solution for us is so compelling that anyone who sees it would support it.

This seems too good to be true… are you sure it’s legal?


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