Teach For America established a permanent endowment fund with $100 million from four donors, which will initially contribute about 2 percent to the organization’s annual operating budget.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, Calif., was the first to commit to the endowment fund with a pledge of $25 million. Three additional donors — the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Houston, Texas, the Robertson Foundation, and New York City area philanthropists Steve and Sue Mandel — stepped up and each provided $25 million in matching funds. The fund will be used to create a reliable, long-term stream of revenue to help support Teach For America’s ongoing efforts to recruit, train, and develop transformational teachers and leaders for pre-K-12 education.
“Teach For America is grateful to the four funders who have given so generously to establish a permanent endowment fund,” said Wendy Kopp, Teach For America’s founder and CEO. “This milestone comes at a critical moment as we reflect on the progress we have made over the last 20 years while recommitting ourselves to building the leadership force for educational excellence and equity.”
Founded in 1990 in New York City, Teach For America recruits recent college graduates and young professionals to work in high-need classrooms across America and become advocates for education reform. During the past 20 years, Teach For America has trained more than 28,000 recent college grads to work in rural and urban schools. Two-thirds of the program’s alumni continue to work full-time in education, half of them as classroom teachers and more than 550 as school principals or superintendents. Others hold influential positions in fields like policy, journalism, and government.
“Given Teach For America’s successful track record of recruiting the best and brightest college graduates to serve our most at-risk students, while operating with integrity, we’re proud to have made this long-term commitment,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.
The endowment will generate about two percent of Teach For America’s roughly $200 million annual operating budget and will become one of many funding sources for the organization, including federal and state government, national and regional foundations, corporations, and individuals, according to the organization.
Public funding will remain an integral part of Teach For America’s ability to grow in scale and impact, as will a strong base of national and local philanthropic support. Teach For America recently launched a five-year plan to double in size by 2015, establishing a teacher corps of 15,000 diverse leaders in 60 communities across the country and an alumni force of 44,000 leaders for educational equity.
“Teach For America is the human capital engine behind ending educational inequity in America,” said Steve Mandel, founder of the Lone Pine Foundation. “Its impact has already been significant, but will become even more profound in the decades ahead as it continues to grow.”
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. Today, more than 8,200 corps members are teaching in 39 regions across the country while 20,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.