Formerly known as Austin Public Education Foundation (APEF), Austin Ed Fund was founded in 1993 by a board of community leaders committed to supporting high-quality public education for Austin’s students. For the following two decades, the Fund has served a critical role in supporting the Austin Independent School District (AISD), working closely with AISD’s Superintendent to explore and support AISD’s initiatives.
In our primary historic role as the district’s 501(c)(3) fiscal agent, Austin Ed Fund successfully facilitated the flow of over $13 million to support AISD initiatives since 2001, from a variety of funders including the Gates Foundation, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, St. David’s Foundation, RGK Foundation, and Applied Materials. Funds have supported a variety of initiatives such as Project Advance, GEAR UP Scholarships, the Asia Society’s Global Studies Program, High School Redesign, and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).
As AISD has continued to face increased financial pressure endangering its most innovative programming, Austin Ed Fund has recently taken strategic steps forward to become a proactive, independent fundraising organization. The Fund has transformed from a role primarily as a fiscal agent, to one that also develops programmatic and fundraising objectives aligned with selective AISD’s strategic needs. Austin Ed Fund’s newly revised mission is to serve as a catalyst for generating and distributing external resources for the support of excellence in AISD.
Beginning in 2013, Austin Ed Fund’s journey has included building a strong infrastructure to support a successful and sustainable transformation and developing a strategic plan with clearly defined goals for programs, revenue generation, and communicating our value. The Fund created a program model focused on supporting and scaling initiatives that are innovative, systemic, and sustainable. Implementation has included the Fall 2015 launch of our Innovation Grants pilot. To support this work, we have expanded our board and hired a dedicated staff member. To complete the transformation, Austin Ed Fund embraced a new name and a new motto embodying our new role: Inspire the Future. Invest in AISD.
Austin Ed Fund is excited to continue to fulfill our historic fiscal agent role for AISD while supporting innovation and excellence at an even higher level.