Frequently Asked Questions

Start-up Grants

What are start-up grants? 

Start-up grants were designed to ensure that every Black Teacher Leader has sufficient capital to launch their microschool and begin from a place of abundance. We want educators to feel secure, knowing that if they do their part, funding will be waiting for them, without the need to work multiple jobs or undercompensate themselves during the first year of operation.

Who is eligible to apply for start-up grants?

In order to qualify for a start-up grant from Black Wildflowers Fund, at least one of the founders of your school must identify as Black. You must also be in the later stages of your School Start-up Journey, formally affiliated with Wildflower Schools, and be recognized as a 502(c)(3) organization.

What does it mean to be “formally affiliated” with Wildflower Schools? 

The Wildflower School Start-up Journey follows a structured process, 1. Discovery, 2. Visioning, 3. Planning, 4. Start-up. Once schools in the start-up journey complete Planning it is then they decide to formally join the Wildflower Network. This legal agreement signifies a formal affiliation with The Wildflower Foundation. 

I’m a Black educator that already has a microschool. Can I still apply for funding?

After listening to current and emerging Black Teacher Leaders, we've learned that the most critical need for launching a microschool is startup capital. Based on this guidance, we will prioritize school startup grants and providing Montessori credential scholarships.  Then, we will turn our attention to providing Ignite grants for open schools in Wildflower’s national network. Black Teacher Leaders that serve on the BWF Founding Council will determine who obtains ignite grant awards of up to $10,000.

I haven’t opened a school yet, but I’ve already begun the planning process. Can I still join the Wildflower Network?

Yes! Even if you’re already in the later stages of your own independent school start-up journey, you can evaluate and consider whether or not there is alignment between your school vision and the principles and norms of Wildflower Schools. There is an option for open schools to convert and affiliate with Wildflower Schools to join our national network. 

What about public charter schools, school district partnerships, independent schools, or varying age levels?

Black Wildflowers Fund supports all schools from Infant/Toddler to Adolescence. Nationally, open Wildflower Schools currently serve students as young as six weeks and as old as 18 years. We are model and governance agnostic – meaning, we believe that Teacher Leaders are best positioned to understand the school model that will meet the needs of their community. We are experienced in supporting the development of public charters, independent K-12 schools, and early childhood programs as well as schools that operate in unique partnerships with women and children’s shelters and affordable housing development.

Are schools operating outside of the United States eligible? Can I apply for a grant for a school operating in South America, Caribbean or Canada?

We welcome schools in any state (including Puerto Rico & District of Columbia) to apply. However, schools located outside of the United States and its territories are not eligible.

Is there any financial means testing for grants – either as an individual school leader or for the families my school will serve?

While grant award amounts will reflect the specific financial needs, budgets, and circumstances of each school, there is no means testing requirement for Teacher Leaders. On the contrary, part of the goal of the Black Wildflowers Fund and Wildflower Schools is to help Black educators experience greater economic prosperity and find pathways to higher professional compensation levels.

As part of the Wildflower principles, we do envision that schools serve at least ⅔ students who live in below median-income households and at least ⅓ from low-income households. Many microschools in Wildflowers Network serve a much higher share of families who earn low incomes, often operating in states with generous public funding streams or via public charters.

What is my commitment to Black Wildflowers Fund if I accept a grant?

Knowing our liberation and futures are bound up together, we will embrace every member of the Black Wildflowers community as enthusiastic champions of the Fund. This may include hosting funders, potential Teacher Leaders, members of the media or other partners in your school, sharing photos/stories, and being storytellers for this movement. Members also commit to being active participants in this collective work, by attending convenings, sharing advice and supporting their peers with connections and support as needed.

What is the likely size of grants offered?

Grants will increase as we build and secure philanthropic investments for the fund. We expect there to be a range in the size of the school startup grant sizes we award based on the application. We fall in the range of $25,000-$35,000. Black Wildflowers Fund aspires to ensure that our grantees open schools from a place of abundance and will want to understand how School Founders are leveraging various sources of capital to fund their schools.

When can I apply for a school start-up grant?

We expect to open our first round of school start-up  grants in June 2023.

Montessori Credential Grants 

What are Montessori Credential grants? 

To invest in the future of Black leadership in Montessori classrooms, we will provide scholarships to Black educators who are interested in pursuing Montessori training through credentialing programs. Our goal is to train and foster communities of practice for 60+ Black Montessori educators. Grant funds will be distributed directly to the Montessori training center to cover tuition for Black educators.

Who is eligible to apply for these grants?

This fund is designed to support Black educators. Teachers who have already applied or been accepted to a Montessori training program will be prioritized for grant awards.

I’m already working at a Wildflower School. Can I still apply for a Montessori scholarship?

Yes! If you have not obtained your credential from a MACTE certified training center or want another level of training feel free to apply. 

When can I apply for a Montessori credential scholarship?

We expect to open our first round of grants this Summer.

Ignite Grants for Innovation and School Sustainability

What are ignite grants? 

After schools open, systemic inequities continue to take a greater toll on Black school leaders than their white counterparts. To combat this, Black Wildflowers Fund will offer “just-in-time” microgrants for Black-led microschools that need assistance overcoming unforeseen financial or legal challenges. These grants will be issued by a council of teachers who are best positioned to understand and support their peers through financial awards.

Who is eligible to apply for Ignite grants?

Black Teacher Leaders within the Wildflower Network.

When can I apply for teacher training grants?

We will open applications in Fall 2023. Black Teacher Leaders will be able to apply for ignite grants year-round.


To apply for a grant, do I have to be a certified Montessori teacher?

No! All Black-identifying teachers are encouraged to apply. Grants are open to teachers with Montessori training and certifications, individuals that are currently studying, and those interested in seeking scholarships for training. What matters most is the commitment to operating a school and a passion for the Montessori method.

Beyond funding, what does being a part of the Black Wildflowers Fund community mean?

The Black Wildflowers Fund will listen and remain connected to Black Teacher Leaders in open and emerging Wildflower schools to ensure we offer the critical, just-in-time support they need. Black Wildflowers Fund will grow and invest in a thriving community of Black Leaders. Grantees will gather annually to connect and exchange wisdom that will strengthen their leadership and impact in their communities. Together, we will create a national network where every Black educator can show up authentically, be affirmed, be challenged and be inspired to meet their limitless potential as education entrepreneurs.

I have more questions. How should I contact you?

Please send your questions to