Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Learn about the San Francisco Education Fund’s services and how you can partner with us.

What does the San Francisco Education Fund do?

The San Francisco Education Fund harnesses the power of the local community to provide public school students, particularly those from underserved communities, with the support they need to succeed. We do this by facilitating volunteers and providing educator grants, scholarships and school-company partnerships.

Find out more about our programs.

Where does the San Francisco Education Fund provide its services?

While the Ed Fund’s volunteers dedicate time in schools throughout SFUSD, we work most deeply in a set of high-need schools we call “Priority Schools.” Find out more about our Priority Schools.

What is Circle the Schools? How can I get my company involved?

Circle the Schools is a program that pairs local companies with public schools to work together to accomplish common goals. Companies commit to participating in three to five activities a year with their partner school and focus on helping the school reach its own unique objectives. Find out more about this program and how you can get your company involved.

How can I volunteer in a classroom?

The Ed Fund’s volunteer training and clearance process will prepare you to volunteer weekly in a San Francisco public school.

What is the time commitment to volunteer?

We ask all ongoing volunteers (tutors, mentors and classroom support) to commit to a minimum of one hour per week, during the school day (typically from 8am-3pm as well as some after school opportunities from 3-5pm) for an entire school year. Mindfulness volunteers follow a 21-week curriculum.

What is involved in the clearance process to become a volunteer?

You will need to complete our volunteer application, provide us with the names and email addresses of two references, attend a specialized training, pass a background check, and test negative for tuberculosis (TB). You should bring a government-issued photo ID to your training so you can be fingerprinted for your background check and answer a few questions about your TB risk.

You will receive detailed information throughout each step of the process either by phone or email.

How long does it take to be cleared to volunteer?

After you have attended a training and been fingerprinted, it will normally take two weeks to get cleared, depending on when we hear back about your fingerprinting results and references.

If there is a delay in receiving your fingerprint results from the Department of Justice, we will contact you.

How soon can I start volunteering?

After you are cleared, it will take a minimum of two weeks but often a few weeks longer, depending on the time of year to obtain a placement at a school. Schools are busy places and so is the Ed Fund. Teachers are eager to have your help and we will definitely get you matched with a teacher as soon as we possibly can but it might require a little bit of patience. Don’t be discouraged if it does–it’s worth the wait!  Please do not start volunteering with students until you’ve been notified of your final clearance and your placement has been confirmed by an Ed Fund coordinator.

Are there any costs involved in volunteering?

Fingerprinting costs $80 (this fee is considered a tax-deductible donation). This is a hard cost to the San Francisco Education Fund, but we never want money to be a barrier to volunteering. We have scholarship forms available at our trainings for those who need assistance with paying or need to pay on a sliding scale. We ask that all volunteers pay what they can.

I’m an educator. How can I request volunteers?

Teachers and other school staff may request volunteers to serve as tutors, mentors or other classroom support by filling out a volunteer/tutor request form.

How do I apply for an educator grant?

San Francisco public school educators are invited to apply for a variety of grants offered by the San Francisco Education Fund as well as our partners. Visit our Grant Opportunities page to see all available grant opportunities and eligibility requirements.

I’m an educator. What if I have a friend who would like to volunteer in my class?

We can help them gain clearance to start volunteering in your class. Let your friend know to sign up with the Ed Fund to become a volunteer. The first step is to complete the online information session and then to let us know that they want to volunteer in your classroom.

I’m a high school student. How do I apply for a scholarship?

High school seniors in SFUSD may apply for a Maisin Scholar Award. Be sure to review the requirements and eligibility before submitting an application.

The Mayor’s Bridge to Excellence Scholarship Program also provides up to 15 high school seniors from San Francisco public high schools with $2,500 each in scholarship awards, for up to two years. Applicants must be an SFUSD high school senior with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20. Applicants must demonstrate a significant financial need and be the first in their family to attend a four-year college. This application typically opens each January through mid-March.

I want to make a difference, but I do not have time to volunteer weekly. How can I support the San Francisco Education Fund?

Donations from supporters like you make our work in public schools possible. Make a tax-deductible donation to the San Francisco Education Fund today.

Have a question we did not answer here?

Email us at info@sfedfund.org.