IMPACT / WHAT WE DO

What We Do

The work of the Ed Fund is focused on San Francisco public schools and students who are under-served and under-supported

Programs

The San Francisco Education Fund envisions a San Francisco in which all students have access to critical educational resources that will enable them to thrive. Building upon a 40-year history of serving over 270,000 San Francisco students and counting, the Ed Fund serves and invests in students, families, teachers, and schools and partners with inspiring organizations and corporations to maximize impact.

The Ed Fund mobilizes the community through its range of programs, all of which serve K-12 public school students, families and schools in San Francisco with a priority on low-income students, students of color, and English language learners. SFUSD serves approximately 50,000 students, over half of whom are faced with financial challenges and limited access to academic support beyond the classroom. In 2022, new data revealed that SFUSD’s literacy proficiency further dropped during the pandemic, of which students of color were most impacted. Pandemic disruptions deflated already struggling proficiency scores across SFUSD. Now, just over 50% of students are reading-proficient and under 50% of students are math-proficient, with certain middle school outcomes dropping as much as 12% through COVID.

In mobilizing the community to increase resources to students and schools, we aim to holistically support critical academic and socio-emotional learning areas necessary to recover from the pandemic.

Quality Learning

Academic and social-emotional learning are necessary foundations to a successful life

Tutoring

After a spring of virtual learning, parents came to the Ed Fund in fall 2020 asking for tutors for their children. Immediately, the Ed Fund partnered with families and family organizations to assess different tutoring providers and identify the highest priority students. Together, we realized elementary-aged students saw the largest unfinished learning in literacy and found a virtual literacy tutoring service with experienced tutors, BookNook, to support San Francisco learners. BookNook brings in qualified tutors from across the nation who lead students through guided reading sessions, learning games, and virtual assessment. Students log onto a computer either in their classrooms, in an afterschool program, or from home.

In partnership with SFUSD and DCYF, the Ed Fund piloted the program in the summer of 2021 with 1,000 students and families. By summer 2022, the Ed Fund and its partners scaled literacy tutoring to 3,000 students most affected academically by the COVID-19 pandemic. These students began working with teachers who tutor students in small groups three times per week to support students to catch up at twice the rate of other students. Over 40 percent of students who began tutoring with 1-4 years of unfinished learning ended last school year on grade level following this intervention. The Ed Fund is continuing to work with other literacy providers in San Francisco to secure access to literacy support for 10,000 students over the next few years as we continue to address unfinished learning amongst our students.

At the end of 2022, the Ed Fund was awarded with a $250,000 grant to further efforts in literacy tutoring as one of 31 non-profits taking effective action with high impact in addressing the academic achievement gaps made worse by the pandemic. Read about the Accelerate grant here.

In March 2023, the Ed Fund announced “Accelerate Learning SF,” an initiative that immediately expands high-impact learning acceleration services to an additional 5,000 public school students. This effort specifically addresses unfinished learning in core subjects brought on by disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. It prioritizes the most under-resourced schools in San Francisco whose students may not otherwise have access to high quality tutoring services to help them reach grade level proficiency. In total, with Accelerate Learning SF, we will reach over 10,000 students. Read the press release here.

Accelerate Learning SF Campaign

Literacy Coalition

The San Francisco Literacy Coalition is a collective of local organizations providing strategically coordinated, highly effective reading and writing supports to students from TK through 5th grade. Established in 2022, the Coalition leverages deep expertise and relationships of participating organizations to create strategic, citywide alignment on how to increase grade level reading and writing scores for San Francisco Public School (SFUSD) students.

SFUSD, philanthropic, community, and citywide organizations convene regularly as part of the San Francisco Literacy Coalition. We collaborate, exchange insights, and coordinate strategies to enhance literacy outcomes in San Francisco’s highest need public schools.

Learn more and find out how to get involved at sfliteracycoalition.org.

Mental Wellness

Positive mental wellbeing of students and teachers is critical for students to engage in learning

Mindfulness Volunteers

The Ed Fund provides volunteer-led mindfulness practice to upwards of 1,000 elementary students every year. In partnership with Mindful Arts San Francisco, volunteer mindfulness educators are trained to provide weekly 20-25 minute instruction to SFUSD TK through 3rd grade students. Using “Mindful Arts in the Classroom”, a 21-week curriculum that utilizes focusing techniques, storytelling, theater and art, volunteers guide students in learning to focus, self-regulate, and employ other vital social-emotional skills. The Ed Fund has placed hundreds of volunteers in 40 schools since 2014, benefiting 4,000 students since the program was founded.

Mindfulness

 

Educator Well-Being Stipends

The Ed Fund partners with Room to Breathe to provide Educator Well-Being Stipends to educators at 11 SFUSD schools, supporting hundreds of teachers per year in the form of $400 mental health stipends. This stipend is designed to empower educators to attend to their own personal well-being so that they are best positioned to model well-being for young people and positively contribute to a culture of well-being within the school. In the 2022-23 school year, the Ed Fund facilitated $60,000 in educator well-being stipends.

For the 2023-24 school year, educators from the following 11 schools are eligible for the Educator Well-Being Stipend Initiative from Room to Breathe:

  • Dr. Charles R. Drew College Preparatory Academy
  • Cleveland Elementary School
  • E.R. Taylor Elementary School
  • James Denman Middle School
  • John Muir Elementary School
  • June Jordan School for Equity
  • Longfellow Elementary School
  • Malcolm X Academy Elementary School
  • Paul Revere (PreK-8) School
  • Sanchez Elementary School
  • Sheridan Elementary School

Community Support

Caring and skilled volunteers add capacity to schools to enable a quality school experience

Tutor and Classroom Volunteers

The Ed Fund’s Ongoing Volunteers program places over 350 volunteers per year in classrooms across the San Francisco Unified School District to support students and teachers in TK-12th grades and in every subject matter area. Those volunteers support nearly 4,000 students each year.

Our volunteers are caring neighbors, professionals, parents and community members who simply want to make a difference. By partnering with teachers and showing up in the classroom every week, they play an important part in building a brighter future for San Francisco’s public school students. Ed Fund volunteers are matched with teachers who have requested a volunteer to help them in their classroom. The two most common requests are for 1:1 tutoring, and for general help in the classroom. Teachers also request volunteers for support in more specialized programs like Robotics, Debate, Art, Music, College Applications, and many others.

Become A Volunteer

 

Mentors

Mentors are positive role models who encourage students to become the best version of themselves. Research shows that students who participate in school-based mentoring programs are absent less often, show improved academic performance, and are more likely to attend college. Mentoring is a proven strategy to help students build resiliency and other important life skills.

In contrast to tutoring, mentoring is a non-academic intervention with a student. The San Francisco Education Fund partners with the SFUSD’s Mentoring for Success Program to engage community volunteers as mentors for public school students. A volunteer mentor will meet with their student one hour a week on school grounds.

Become A Mentor

 

Circle the Schools (CTS)

A partnership between sf.citi, the Ed Fund, and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), CTS cultivates our corporate community as champions and stewards of our schools. CtS matches local companies with a public school to bring volunteers and resources into San Francisco’s highest needs schools. Our 49 partnerships have volunteered over 40,000 hours and brought $1.5 million of resources to our public schools. Each CTS company participates in 3-5 volunteer events each year that align with school priorities and company interests. Some examples of events include: read alouds, college application support, classroom setup day, hackathons, and company office visits.

For Corporate Partners

 

Financial Resources

Financial Resources help mitigate economic burdens so students and teachers can thrive

Educator Grants

The Ed Fund’s Educator Grants support teachers, principals, and administrators from priority schools with funding for projects that enhance student learning. Elementary and middle school educators can receive up to $5,000 per grant cycle. The Ed Fund awards grants that engage teachers in professional development, support schools and classrooms with instructional materials, and expose students to experiences they otherwise would not have. In the 2021-22 school year, the Ed Fund awarded $56,000 to grantees for field trips, project-based learning, arts enrichment, and in-class workshops through the Create Joy educator grant. In 2022-23 school year, we are doubling the number of educator grants we provide!

For Educators

 

High School Student “Awesome Fund” Grants

The Awesome Fund provides financial support for student-led projects at priority high schools that help enhance the school community, keep students involved in school, and/or provide students with a more meaningful educational experience. Students can apply for a grant ranging from $100 to $1,000. The application is open to any registered student club or high school student with a faculty advisor sponsor from six eligible high schools: Balboa, Burton, John O’ Connell, Misson, June Jordan, and Thurgood Marshall. The Ed Fund recently distributed over $13,500 in Awesome Fund grants to recipients from 15 school clubs in January 2023. Read about the grant winners and their projects here.

More Details

 

Mayor’s Bridge to Excellence Award

The Mayor’s Bridge to Excellence Scholarship Program 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. Funding for the scholarship comes from the generous sponsorship of philanthropic partners.

More Details

 

FISCAL MANAGEMENT & SPONSORSHIP

At the Ed Fund, our mission is to mobilize community resources to support all public-school students in San Francisco. We know that this work takes a community, and we work strongly together with ours through Citywide Collaborations and Fiscal Sponsorship opportunities.

The Ed Fund is proud to be the 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor for initiatives and projects that work to improve outcomes for San Francisco kids. Let us manage your administrative responsibilities, so you can focus on serving children, teachers and families.

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?
Fiscal sponsorship allows you to operate your education-based project under the Ed Fund’s 501(c)(3) status. Fiscal sponsors hold all fiduciary and legal responsibility for a project while you remain the experts on programming.
Why choose SF Ed Fund?
As an independent and small nonprofit, we are able to be agile and respond quickly with flexibility to adapting needs of our community. When you need to move quickly to launch efforts to support our learners, we are here to help!
Increase Efficiency & Impact:
501(c)(3) status requires $10K-100K in startup costs alone. Running a non-profit requires much administrative time that could be focused on your program work.
Access Expertise in Financial Management and Human Resources:
Our team has extensive experience in financial management, fundraising, program design, and more.
Engage Donors & Funders:
We provide a reputable and established vehicle for funding — from online donors to private foundations to government agencies. Your donors receive tax donation letters regardless of the amount and as our fiscal sponsored project your work is eligible for foundation and government grants.
Eligibility
To set up fiscal sponsorship with the Ed Fund, your project, school, or department must be aligned with our mission to support public education and have a project presence in San Francisco.
Services and Fees
We offer a suite of services above and beyond the industry standard and can customize a fiscal sponsorship plan that meets your project’s unique needs.
  • Financial Management & Oversight: including procurement function processing requisitions to purchase goods and accounts payable and check disbursements
  • Fundraising & Donation Management: tax receipts for donations and customized online donation page and portal with access to donation information; fundraising event support.
  • Coaching & Capacity Building: Our staff can support you with the many facets of running your project, from strategic planning to fundraising to volunteer engagement.
Additional Opportunities
For large gifts, and/or for funds that are being routed to a specific school or project, please contact us at info@sfedfund.org for more information.
Citywide Collaborations

It takes a community to create impactful, lasting change, and the Ed Fund is proud of the many strong partnerships we have to support SFUSD students, families, teachers and schools. Learn more about some of our recent collaborations below.

The Literacy Coalition

The San Francisco Literacy Coalition will transform access to literacy supports, ensuring that 5,000 youths from birth to 5th grade facing poverty and unfinished learning will have access to high quality, proven strategies.

The SF Literacy Coalition’s goal is to ensure that every child is reading and writing at grade level. We want to partner and create a more equitable access to quality literacy supports across SFUSD, focusing on birth through 5th grade students who live at or below poverty, and who are not yet grade-level proficient or meeting their milestones for early literacy. We will prioritize communities with a higher concentration of this population such as the Mission, Visitacion Valley and Bayview Hunter’s Point. Based on SFUSD’s estimates, there are at least 5,000 students who fit this demographic.

The idea of a literacy collaboration started off as a tutoring pilot within the city-wide Summer Together program. For the summer pilot, the SF Ed Fund, the San Francisco Department of Youth, Children & Families, SFUSD, BookNook, and local community-based organizations and families partnered to bring high-impact literacy tutoring to 1,000 students. Students who participated regularly in the summer 2021 tutoring pilot saw a 30% growth in literacy. This kind of impact that only happens through collaboration is inspiring the launch and growth of the SF Literacy Coalition, which now includes all the top literacy providers to scale and serve 5,000 SFUSD learners.

When the providers first came together, the group mapped out their services across San Francisco schools to begin the important work of understanding where they have successfully provided services for students in our focal population and where gaps exist—either in neighborhoods, schools, or age levels. This mapping has been a critical first step in understanding what is needed most as the partners come together to determine the future plan to ensure citywide coverage of literacy supports for priority families. From there, the group designed a shared commitment to continue identifying opportunities to align efforts and best support students collectively as a community.

The SF Literacy Coalition consists of a group of committed, long-standing partners of San Francisco schools and students. Various organizations of the coalition have been serving schools for years if not decades and have trusting relationships with schools, teachers, families, and students. All the partners have proven literacy support programs that have led to student growth.

The literacy partners include:

  • Stacey Wang, CEO of SF Ed Fund, co-lead of the Coalition
  • Bita Nazarian, Executive Director of 826 Valencia, co-lead of the Coalition
  • Hector Ramon Salazar, Executive Director of Reading Partners
  • Teresa Arriaga, West Executive Director of Springboard Collaborative
  • Roberta Gonzalez, Programs Supervisor at Tandem
  • José Magaña, Director of Partnerships of BookNook
  • Patricia Cogley, Deputy Director of Innovation and Impact, Raising a Reader

If you’d like to get involved in the Literacy Coalition, please contact communications@sfedfund.org.

 

Literacy Tutoring Free for Families

Our vision is for San Francisco to become the first city to offer universal access to free tutoring. Why tutoring?

It is a researched-backed intervention approach that can catch students up to two grade levels in one year.

This matters because a student who is reading proficient by 4th grade increases their chances of making it to college by 400%. And that could lead to $1M earning increase in their lifetime.

SFUSD data showed that elementary students experienced lower literacy gains in 2020-21 than expected, which means our youngest students started the 2021 school year academically behind. In summer 2021, we partnered with BookNook to provide 2,000 students with virtual literacy tutoring by professional tutors – and saw what a profound impact this had on students. Our goal for the 2021-22 school year is to serve at least 5,000 and possibly up to 20,000 students via free, high-impact tutoring.

Our Response to COVID School Closures

The Ed Fund was proud to collaborate with many organizations throughout the early days of COVID to support San Francisco students. Highlights include:

Covid Relief Fund for Families

Spring, 2021: The San Francisco Education Fund and SFUSD understood that families were hit hard throughout the pandemic and many were struggling to meet their basic needs.  In partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District, the Ed Fund solicited donations in order to offer SFUSD families the opportunity to receive financial assistance in the form of $250 per family. Families were able to use the funds at their discretion, increasing their flexibility around paying rent, buying groceries, or purchasing the next size of clothes, shoes or supplies for their children.

In Person Community Hubs for Learning During Pandemic

DCYF and the SF Recreation and Parks Department, in partnership with community-based agencies and other City departments, implemented the Community Hub Initiative, a Citywide, neighborhood-based strategy to support children, youth, and families throughout the 2020-21 school year. Community Hubs provided support for students in grades K-12 who were utilizing SFUSD’s Distance Learning Curriculum, and prioritized children and youth with high levels of need.

The Ed Fund sponsored a case study to document and analyze the impact of these Community Hubs: “Showing Up While Everything Is Shutting Down: A Story of Cooperation in San Francisco” written by David Phillips and Carolyn Gramstorff.

Community Hub Initiative Case Study — SF Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (dcyf.org)

Summer Together: Getting Kids Back in Person

Summer Together was an initiative started to connect SF public school students with free in-person and virtual educational opportunities this summer. In partnership with the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, the Ed Fund helped facilitate over $4M in funding to the private camps, so that over 2500 kids could attend summer camp in 2021 and 2022. Camps ranged from soccer camps to STEAM camp to language immersion camps.

The Ed Fund helped facilitate over $4 million in funding to tuition-based summer camps. These distributions allowed 2,500 SFUSD youth to attend private camps — ranging from soccer to STEAM to language immersion — in the summer of 2021. https://summertogether.org/

ACTIVITIES & EVENTS

Check back soon for new activities and events.

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Back to School Gala: It Takes a Community

October 19, 2023

Join us for an unforgettable evening at the Back to School Gala, the Ed Fund’s biggest fundraising event of the year! We will be joined by local education leaders and community members, all united by a common belief: that every student deserves equitable access to an excellent education.

Secure your sponsorship now. Let’s come together and make a difference in the lives of San Francisco’s students!

Event Details