I’m thrilled to join the Better Way Foundation


Every child should attend a great school—one that meets their academic, cultural, and social emotional needs. And every child should have the opportunity to start their education journey early on, because preschool helps set the foundation for children to reach their full potential in life.

Professionally and personally, I’ve devoted my time and capacity to expanding education access and increasing education quality. Working alongside educators, families, community organizations, and funders, I’ve helped build nonprofit organizations and coalitions, equip families with tools to navigate PreK-12, and advocate for reforms so systems do better by children that they fail.

I believe every child can thrive and succeed because I’ve seen it. And I know that our systems can do better by kids and families. I’ve seen that, too. When decision makers, funders, practitioners, advocates, community and family work together, we go further faster.

And that’s why I’m thrilled to join the Better Way Foundation as its new Executive Director, because I see how the foundation seeks to understand, works in partnership with communities, and has an unwavering commitment for systems and structures to do better—especially for those marginalized and underserved.

Most recently, I had the privilege to work at Great MN Schools—a broad coalition that I helped incubate at The Minneapolis Foundation—so children underserved benefit from schools that work. Previously, I also helped launch and advise a statewide campaign to provide Minnesota children from a low-income background with access to quality Pre-K. I look forward to leading and supporting work in more and other communities in addition to Minneapolis and Minnesota.

By investing in high-quality, culturally relevant early education, the Better Way Foundation helps strengthen children’s experiences and learning at a critical moment in life.

Investing in especially high-need opportunities and helping bring to life or scale innovative solutions, I believe philanthropy can help people find balance in the world, in their community, and in their everyday lives. The work of the Better Way Foundation—expanding quality early education opportunities for Indigenous children across several U.S. communities and tribal nations, and outside of the United States, too, with its work in Tanzania—aligns with my personal ethos; societal purpose is my north star.Many years ago, I organized a month-long tour across Minnesota, “Road to Success,” to learn from schools that delivered exceptional experiences and outcomes for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income, and English language learner students. The commitment to all students and the homegrown solutions inspired me. When we listen to, understand, and acknowledge individuals’ or local communities’ successes and barriers, then work in partnership to sustain successes and address barriers, we accomplish a great deal.

I welcome current and prospective partners to reach out, so we have an opportunity to connect and get to know one another, and to learn, together: nbanovetz@betterwayfoundation.org.


Nicholas Banovetz

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