top102017 lrgOmaha Schools Foundation once again Ranks in the Top Ten in National Study of K-12 Education Foundations

 “Stepping Up: The Top K-12 Education Foundations in the Nation” ranks Omaha Schools Foundation among the top 10 in the nation for four consecutive years.

 (Dec. 21, 2017) –The nation’s only annual study and ranking of K-12 education foundations -- “Stepping Up: The Nation’s Top K-12 Education Foundations 2017”-- has ranked Omaha Public Schools Foundation eighth in the nation, making 2017 the fourth consecutive year the foundation has been in the nation’s top ten.  To view the study, visit 

“Most parents and taxpayers are not aware of how K-12 education foundations are enhancing and innovating public education,” said Dewey Caruthers, study author and president of Caruthers Institute (formerly dewey & associates) that conducts the study, noting “education foundations are providing vital programs for students and valuable grants for teachers that otherwise would not exist.”

"We are incredibly proud of this recognition. It speaks volumes of how philanthropic the Omaha community is toward the youth in Omaha Public Schools,” said Stephen Kinkead, Omaha Public Schools Foundation Board President. “The high ranking would not be possible without the generosity of our numerous donors. Through those donations, countless benefits have been realized by the students, including nearly every sports complex within the district being recently built or renovated, the first-in-the-nation AgroBox hydroponics lab being placed on the Bryan High School campus and the Benson High JROTC participating in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii.

“The Foundation also partners with community organizations like The Rose Theatre, Fontenelle Forest, and Girls, Inc. to provide experiences for the students outside the classroom.” The foundation also provides grants to teachers, which give them the means to take part in innovative teaching strategies without the burden of bearing the cost, said Kinkead.

The study focused on K-12 education foundations in the 200 largest school districts (by student population). Additionally, top-performing education foundations that serve smaller school districts were included. In totality, there were 188 K-12 education foundations from 220 school districts included in the study. These foundations collectively generated the following in 2014 (most recent year data available): Held $506 million in assets; raised $359 million; invested $161 million into grants and programs; and leveraged 45,000 volunteers to fuel efforts. Stepping Up looks at eight performance categories to determine the rankings: annual revenues, revenues per student, total assets, assets per student, investment income, total program expenses, expenses per student, and volunteers. Foundations also are placed into four divisions based on revenues.

“We want to provide comparisons to foundations of similar sizes,” Caruthers said, noting Omaha Public Schools Foundation finished number eight in Division 1. “Omaha Public Schools Foundation is honored to partner with the teachers and administrators within OPS, as well as community organizations to provide funds for programs and services that help every student, every day, achieve success and we look forward to increasing our means to do so in the future,” Steffen said.

About Caruthers institute:

Caruthers Institute (CI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank that conducts research, crafts solutions and leads advocacy on emerging children’s issues. CI has national expertise on the issues of K-12 education foundations, arrests for common youth misbehavior and child obesity. CI is the next evolution of dewey & associates, which became a nonprofit with a larger mission capable of making a large national impact. For more info, visit

Study Sponsors:

“Stepping Up: The Nation’s Top K-12 Education Foundations 2017” is sponsored by Foundant Technologies, which provides online grants and scholarship management solutions (; and SaveAround, which helps schools and education foundations raise money through exclusive coupon books (

About Omaha Public Schools:

Omaha Public Schools is the largest school district in the state of Nebraska and is governed by a nine-member Board of Education. OPS employs more than 7,296 staff and has 82 schools and 13 alternative programs serving approximately 52,000 students in grades K-12, including special education and English language learners. The district’s vision – Every Student. Every Day. Prepared for Success. – and its mission – to prepare all students to excel in college, career and life – demonstrate OPS’ commitment to ensuring all students can be successful in the classroom and beyond.

About Omaha Public Schools Foundation:

The Omaha Board of Education created the Omaha Schools Foundation in 1984 as a vehicle for enriching educational experiences of Omaha Public Schools' students. The Foundation exists to raise funds for projects, programs and scholarships, which are beyond the budget constraint of the District's General Fund. 2014 Total Revenue was $26.3 million and Total Net Assets were $35.8 million



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