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Advancing K-12 Achievement through Florida’s Local Education Foundations

Catalyst • Connector • Convener • Champion

2015 Annual Investment Report


Sparking Innovation in Florida’s Classrooms

2014-15 Financial Snapshot Total Revenue


Total Program Services


Management & Fundraising Expenses


Net Assets as of June 30, 2015


Sources of Funding Dear Friend of Education: As you read this message, there are people who care about their public schools gathered in communities throughout our state, rolling up their sleeves and trying to make a difference in their local classrooms. They are connecting students and teachers with business and community resources. They are raising dollars to invest in innovation and recognize excellence. They are learning about the challenges of raising student achievement and increasing graduation rates. We know what they are doing today will have a positive impact on our state’s future.



Corporate & Foundation




(Through School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program)


As their statewide association, we are honored to represent 61 school district-wide education foundations, their 1,100+ volunteer leaders and thousands of contributors. Many of our member foundations are celebrating 30- and 25-year milestone anniversaries while others are just getting started and gaining traction. They all stand for their community’s interest in their public schools and that is a powerful, important interest that transcends any single individual or organization.



Membership Services


Grants to Local Education Foundations

We invite you to learn how we serve as a catalyst, connector, convener and champion for Florida’s vibrant network of K-12 local education foundations through this report. We thank you for the vital role you play in increasing student achievement in our state through our collective work.

Our Presenting Partners

With gratitude,

Regional Focus Partner ($50,000+)

Statewide Impact Partner ($100,000+) Amscot Financial • AT&T • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation • CenturyLink • State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program • Suncoast Credit Union Duke Energy • Motorola Solutions Foundation

Consortium Champion ($25,000+) Wells Fargo

Presenting Partner ($10,000+) Helios Education Foundation

Event Showcase ($5,000) Bank of America • Florida Power & Light • Publix Super Markets Charities

Mary Chance, CFEF President

Carman Cullen-Batt, CFEF Membership Chair


Membership Matters ($2,000) ClassWallet • Enjoy the City • Florida Humanities Council • LifeTouch Photography • School Spirit Pays • TD Bank

The CFEF administers the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program, a $1 for $1 match incentive for charitable giving to increase student achievement . This year’s allocation of $4.5 million is funding 147 locally developed initiatives in 59 school districts throughout Florida! Here’s how it works: Each school district’s designated local education foundation applies to receive funding to support projects in any of six target areas: Support for Low-Performing Students, STEM Initiatives, Literacy, Technical/Career Education, Teaching Quality, and Increasing Graduation Rates.

Connector Fostering Public & Private Partnerships

Individual Contributions Also Add Up for Students!

These non-profit organizations raise business, community and individual contributions with the incentive of matching dollars to encourage investment. The School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program provides a $1 for $1 match to double the impact of each project. Community and school district leaders work together to roll out funded projects that address local needs and are accountable for measurable outcomes to the state More than $12 million has been contributed for local education foundation initiatives by Florida drivers who buy and renew the Support Education tag.

Business and philanthropic organizations often partner with the CFEF to develop and implement projects in a strategic, turn-key manner with CFEF staff facilitating the relationship, providing accountability and recognizing the donor on a statewide level as well as on the local level through the CFEF member network. Through both grant opportunities and affinity programs, the CFEF is committed to serving as a conduit for rolling out statewide and regional initiatives for maximum impact within the donor’s area of interest.     

Customers Giving ‘Just a Dollar’ Adds up to $1.2 Million through Annual AMSCOT Financial Campaign AT&T ‘STEM@Work’ Connects Today’s Students to Tomorrow’s Careers CenturyLink Offers up to $5,000 for ‘Teachers and Technology’ Classroom Grants Motorola Challenges Florida’s Education Foundations to Create Solutions-Based STEM Projects $100,000 in Student Scholarships through ‘Suncoast Credit Union Scholars’ Program

School system employees contribute more than $715,000 annually to their local education foundations through voluntary payroll deduction contributions.

Several CFEF members have opted into our crowdsourcing platform that allows citizens to support a teacher-led project in their schools or a specific area of interest. Check it out on our website at, “Support a Local Classroom Now”

Escambia County Public Schools Foundation Creating an Appetite for the Science of Nutrition Students performed two sets of experiments quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing foods for carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Students then applied this knowledge to evaluate their diet and create a personal weekly meal plan that included healthy school lunch choices.

The Education Foundation of Gulf County Robotics on the Gulf with STEM Professionals This project teamed teachers, students, military personnel and private-sector volunteers and mentors to establish a Robotics team for 4-6 grade students and to provide LEGO STEM learning and encourage them to explore careers in the STEM fields. Teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving, applying science and math principles, presentation skills, research, and creativity were all key elements.

Public Education Foundation of Marion County Tools 4 Teaching Tools 4 Teaching allows teachers to provide their students with the supplies necessary for success in the classroom. During the 2014-2015 school year, Tools 4 Teaching provided $216,000 in free supplies during teacher shopping visits and online shopping.

Education Foundation of Sarasota County Restoring, Preserving & Protecting Phillippi Creek Students restored 200 feet of creek shoreline by removing invasive plants and stabilizing with native plants. Through this real-world experience they learned about the importance of tidal creek, estuaries and marine/shore life, and the components of shoreline restoration including which native aquatic plants were best suited for shoreline stability and estuary development. Collier Champions for Learning Using Drones to Study & Analyze Ecosystems After establishing a systematic plan to study biodiversity, water quality and sediment analysis, students built an aerial drone and programmed it to make sweeps over mangrove ecosystems to evaluate the various factors that determine the growth/ decline of mangrove zones.

Columbia Public Schools Foundation FIRST High School Robotics & Engineering Competition Baker County Education Foundation Energy from the Wind: Expanding Renewable Energy Education Students researched, constructed and monitored wind turbines while learning how to generate renewable energy from wind. They became more aware of the weather around them and how it impacts energy use.

Students designed and built a robot and competed against other teams from around the world in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The team and robot performed very well and other teams quickly noticed the new machining capabilities, which led to new explorations of CAD and CAM in the workforce.

Polk Education Foundation Pharmacy Academy Work-Based Experiences Middle and high school students had workplace experiences within the high wage field of pharmacy technician. Students were able to learn how to operate a functioning pharmacy, including the business and industry aspects of owning and operating a pharmacy

Education Foundation of Martin County Mindstorm Robotics for Elementary & Middle Schools The district-wide Elementary and Middle School Robotics program included classroom instruction and after-school teams at 16 schools. Teachers and team coaches were provided professional development training on how to best utilize the Lego Mindstorms robotics kits in and out of the classroom setting. Students had the opportunity to build their STEAM skills, work with the EV3 Mindstorm Lego kits, research the posed problem, create solutions, strengthen their team-building skills in competition-style play. The Education Fund IMPACT II – Multiplying the Impact of Classroom Grants This program improves teaching quality by providing a time-tested structure for the delivery of standards-based curriculum proven to raise student achievement. Hundreds of Miami-Dade educators gathered for a day of learning and mentoring others in innovative teaching strategies, increasing the impact of the Education Fund’s individual classroom grants.


Bringing Stakeholders Together for Better Student Outcomes

Cohort of CFEF Members Receive Training & Coaching Support in Community Engagement This year, the CFEF offered members comprehensive training in facilitating productive community conversations on important education issues in order to improve student outcomes at the local level. In December 2014, 46 representatives from 16 districts across the state learned how to “turn outward” in their approach to identify community issues rooted in shared aspirations, develop strategies for using community conversations that fit the local environment and use public knowledge to shape organization priorities. Local representatives included education foundation executive directors, school board members, school public information officers, as well as business and chamber leaders.

Snapshots from Statewide Forums Senator Aaron Bean (District 4) shares his enthusiasm for local education foundations and the story of the newly established Nassau Education Foundation at the CFEF’s Legislative Day in Tallahassee. 2015 Macy’s/FDOE Teacher of the Year Christie Bassett (second from right) inspires local education foundation leaders and supporters at the CFEF Annual Partnership Celebration.

FDOE Chancellor of Education Hershel Lyons thanks CFEF members for the vital role they play in connecting communities to their classrooms.

FDOE Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart (center), Chancellor Lyons and CFEF President Mary Chance meet students benefitting from hands-on education opportunities provided by the Foundation for Leon County Schools.

The CFEF partnered with the Florida Chamber Foundation on an Education Solutions Summit that brought together 200 state and local leaders to learn what is working in education and workforce partnerships.

Bringing Communities Together Around Shared Aspirations for Students CFEF members hosted community conversations around the state about improving outcomes for students, choosing various stakeholders to bring to the table to share common aspirations and input. Some hosted large forums with hundreds of participants who broke into smaller conversations to dig deeper into certain issue, for example, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund on issues of mental health resources in schools. Others held smaller gatherings on issues that fit the current, local climate, including Polk Education Foundation that hosted multiple conversations with first year teachers, and Investing in Kids (St. Johns County) that held ten conversations around their district to explore community perceptions of the public school.

Education Works Forums Connect State Leaders & Resources with Local Stakeholders The CFEF regularly provides forums to connect statewide policymakers and resources to local education foundation leaders. A March virtual forum with Senator John Legg (District 17), chair of the PreK-12 Education Committee, and House Chair for the Education Appropriations Subcommittee Representative Erik Fresen (District 114) provided an overview of 2015 Legislative Session priorities. In October, webinar participants learned about a free communications tool-kit developed by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund to help citizens understand what is happening with the transition to the new Florida Standards when it comes to setting a new baseline for student assessments and school grades.

Outstanding Superintendent and School Board Member Receive Statewide “STAR” Recognition Two Florida school system leaders — Dr. Walt Griffin, Superintendent of Seminole County, and Pam Gould, School Board Member of Orange County — were recognized for their exemplary leadership by the CFEF December 3rd at the 70th Annual Joint Conference of Florida School Boards Association and Florida Association of District School Superintendents in Tampa. They were chosen from among several local nominees for championing community and business involvement in education through their local education foundations. “We think it’s important to celebrate the school district leaders who make it a priority to foster private-sector support of public education through their local education foundations,” said Carman Cullen-Batt, CFEF Membership Chair. “This year’s recipients are outstanding examples of the many individuals who advocate for our local education foundations and help us raise more than $45 million annually to support our students, teachers and schools.”

Helios Education Foundation Named Outstanding Partner The exemplification of Helios Education Foundation’s core belief that education changes lives and strengthens communities is what propelled the CFEF to honor Helios as their 2015 Partner of the Year. Helios Education Foundation’s 2014 investment in the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations served as a catalyst for an increase in organizational capacity. This enhanced capacity has enabled the CFEF, an organization representing Florida’s school districtwide local education foundations, to provide new communication resources for local school boards and superintendents alike. The CFEF has also grown to become a state-wide source of substantiated and timely information on the implementation of the Florida Standards. The CFEF Partner of the Year Award is bestowed upon an organization that exemplifies engagement in education not only at a community level, but also through state-wide involvement and influence. Previous honorees have included - among others - Wells Fargo, AT&T and Clear Channel Outdoor.

CFEF Colleague Named First ‘Consortium Champion’ The strength of Florida’s K-12 local education foundations is largely dependent on having a strong culture of collegiality and sharing of best practices among colleagues serving as the executive directors, volunteer leaders and staff of member foundations. The Jim McKenzie Consortium Champion award was presented to the spouse of the former executive director of the St. Lucie County Education Foundation at the CFEF’s annual partnership celebration dinner in June. Jim passed away unexpectedly in December 2014 while pursuing his passion of enhancing education opportunities for students and teachers in his community. “Jim was always positive and enthusiastically tapped into resources to improve the St. Lucie foundation,” said CFEF Associate Director of Programs Tracy Burger. “He also reached out to his colleagues regularly and always focused on working collaboratively with others. His energy and great attitude benefitted our full CFEF membership and collective cause.”

Champion Celebrating Success and Those Who Make it Happen

Bradford Educator Receives ‘Invested in Excellence’ Award at Statewide Teacher Recognition Event Elizabeth Oody, the School District of Bradford County’s 2015 Teacher of the Year, received statewide recognition and an award of $1,000 from the CFEF and Florida Power & Light July 10 for tremendous impact on the lives of her students, school and community. She was chosen from among 67 county-wide teacher of the year honorees as the CFEF’s annual “Invested in Excellence” recipient for exemplary dedication to her students. Florida Power & Light sponsored the award with FPL Education Manager Maureen Wilt making the surprise announcement during concluding presentations at the Macy’s/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program in Orlando. She was singled out for her focus on developing strong relationships with her students coupled with high expectations — efforts that have resulted in writing scores doubling for her 10th grade English students in her classroom at Bradford High School. “Elizabeth Oody epitomizes what it means to be a professional educator,” said Bradford County School District Superintendent Chad Farnsworth. “Her efforts also represent what so many teachers do every day to help each of their students maximize their full potential.”

Consortium of Florida Education Foundations - Investment Report 2015  

The CFEF advances K-12 public education in Florida by increasing the capacity and resources of member local education foundations in partner...

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