Creativity and Innovation in the Midst of Crisis

by | Oct 5, 2020 | Insider

During the pandemic, we’ve seen first-hand the generosity of our community. While our cities have faced vast challenges, Boston-area residents worked to support one another.

Whether giving directly or indirectly, we saw families reach out and come together. Everywhere you looked, there were signs of humanity. 

One family offered meals to the neighborhood while another helped with household jobs. Whatever the case, our community is stronger because of partnership, charity, and resiliency.

In today’s update, I share how our how creativity and innovation in the midst of crisis have helped us keep hope alive and provide strength to those most vulnerable in our community.


2020 Alumni Assistance Fund

We know parents and students are struggling during this unprecedented time. Over the last 6 months, we’ve heard the difficulties families are battling.

Between college expenses, student loan payments, and unexpected costs… families have battled huge odds to stay afloat.

The 2020 Alumni Assistance Fund was launched to provide some help needed due to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact.

In August, Inversant Founder, Bob Hildreth generously donated $50,000 to the Alumni Assistance Fund. His sole goal was to support Inversant families in a time of exceptional need.

Within 24 hours of launch, we saw an outpouring of response. The results made an immediate impact in the lives of Inversant families:

  • 560 applications flooded in – a 48% conversion rate to completion
  • Approved 435 requests for Alumni Assistance
  • 12 messages and announcements or 136 campaign elements were generated to distribute 100% of available funds 

With the help of Metro Credit Union, we were able to get those funds into the hands of those 435 Alumni in less than 3 days. 

We couldn’t have handled the incredible response without their support. Metro went above and beyond, helping us move fast to distribute assistance across the community.  

2020 Cash for College Fund

With school starting in September, we knew many families would have unexpected expenses or a gap that wasn’t covered by their financial aid package. That’s why we were thrilled to announce the 2020 Inversant Cash for College Fund in September.

The Cash for College Fund is a data-driven, need-based scholarship that is optimized to award the most at-risk members of the community.

Results to Date

  • 3,922 New Contacts Acquired
  • 7,800 Application Starts
  • 308 Application Completions

We’re awarding 10 Massachusetts students up to $2500. If you know someone who might be eligible, please share the details and the application here.

Editor’s note: A previous update had completions at 3,088. It has been updated to accurately reflect the correct number.


Chairman’s Challenge

Seeing the heightened need for assistance during the Alumni Assistance Fund, we knew there was more work still to do. On August 17th, we launched the Chairmans’ Challenge.

This time-based fundraising campaign leveraged Inversant Founder Bob Hildreth’s generous emergency aid gift to generate new support and relationships.

Through the Chairman’s Challenge, we increased our fundraising channels, expanded our reach, and increased awareness for our 2020 fundraising goals.

Over a two-week period, we engaged nearly 3,000 people, grew engagement and reach over 24%, and increased brand awareness by 33%. We did this through a very targeted and specific campaign that included over 100 elements.

We’ll share additional details over the next few weeks. Be on the lookout in the next Insider!

Back to School Savings

As the pandemic has raged on, Inversant families face difficult decisions. For those with high school seniors, the decisions have been excruciating. 

As we’ve talked with families over the last several months, we’ve heard the impact of COVID-19. The effects are far-reaching and heartbreaking. And that’s what Back to School Savings is all about.

With it, we’re utilizing insights gained during research and interviews with Inversant families as well as underserved communities. What we know is the severity of destruction the pandemic has left in its wake for high school students and their families.

  • Students dreamt of going to college and were making plans to attend on-campus in the fall. Due to the pandemic, many had to change their plans.
  • A significant portion of families were already living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Several families say everyone in the family works to support monthly bills
  • Parents had reduced hours or faced job loss. Many families work in a high-risk environment
  • Most Inversant families have a small family and college savings and have continued to save throughout the pandemic with the support of Inversant

Inversant is dedicated to helping our families keep their college dreams alive.

Support our work to keep college aspirations alive with Back to School Savings. The craziest thing any of us can do right now is stand by and do nothing.

Your monthly gift of as little as $50 helps us deliver the programs and services to get our students into, back to, and graduate college, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.


Cash for College

Though this year has been especially tough for our families, we still believe in a bright future. 

Inversant’s Cash for College is designed to do just that. Through it, we’re removing barriers for the most at-risk populations within the low-to-moderate income community.

Before the Coronavirus outbreak, college completion was already precarious for these students. COVID-19 has only further exposed systemic inequities.

You can safeguard Massachusetts college student dreams with your sponsorship. With your support, we will help students graduate on time and earn their degrees without crushing student debt. 

Sponsoring Inversant’s Cash for College is a visible way to:

  • Be seen as a strong supporter of first-generation college students
  • Help close opportunity gaps for low-to-moderate income families
  • Stand up to make higher education attainable for all

For more information, contact Christine Jauregui.

Inversant Insights

Inversant Insights is a 5-part live video series dedicated to uncovering inequality and exposing inequity in higher education. 

This monthly series streams live to Facebook and Twitter, putting you at the front and center of our community of families, board members, donors, and more.

Thank you to Acadian, our sponsor on October 8th. Join us at 12:30 pm for, “Is Student Debt a Social Justice Issue?”

We have only two episodes left that are available for sponsorship at $5,000 each. These are highly visible events with long-lasting reach.

Sponsoring an episode is the perfect way to make a stand for education and equity. For details on the benefits of sponsorship, please contact Christine Jauregui.

Unconventional Wisdom: Parity, Equity, and Higher Education

Higher education is often seen as a way to close the racial wealth gap. But it's not as simple as it sounds.Chipping away at the startling gaps in racial equity will take more than a degree. To solve the problem, we must fix the system.Join Dr. Charles Desmond, Inversant CEO, and his stellar expert lineup. From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' Center for Household Financial Stability (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis), we welcome:- William R. Emmons, Ph.D.- Ana Hernández Kent, Ph.D.- Lowell R. Ricketts Together, they'll explore race, ethnicity, and prevailing structures in higher education. Join us LIVE (right here) on September 1st at 12:30 pm ET.

Posted by Inversant on Tuesday, September 1, 2020


We’re excited to welcome Roz Hill to the Inversant Board. Roz is a long standing supporter and advisor. Her work within Boston Public Schools has given us real insight into the needs of at-risk students and families. 

With her help, we’ll continue to build our internal capacity, leadership, and foundation structure that will take us into the next decade. 

Inversant CEO, Charles Desmond, shared his thoughts on Roz during the nomination process:

“I believe strongly that Roz Hill has the interest and motivation to help advance the work and mission of Inversant. She has a wonderful personality, is a gracious and pleasant person to be around, and her commitment to social justice, diversity, and inclusion are commendable. 

If you happen to run into Roz over the coming weeks, make sure to say a big congratulations and thank you for her tireless efforts.


The Coronavirus has presented an unprecedented challenge for everyone, including Inversant families. Every day brings new and unique hurdles, but still, we power through.

Thank you to everyone that’s courageously stepped forward to offer support. We are grateful and humbled by your dedication, energy, and kindness throughout 2020.

With you by our side, we look forward to the coming year with enthusiasm and renewed hope.

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