+What type of organization is the DPS Foundation?

The Durham Public Schools Foundation (DPSF) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit that unites our DPS school communities, public- and private-sector resources and community leaders around strategies to strengthen our Durham Public Schools. It was founded in 2018 and is guided by a Board of Directors.

+Why a local education foundation?

DPSF provides our community with a tax deductible avenue to give directly in support of our public schools. Through DPSF, individuals and businesses can invest in innovative ideas from people in our schools who know what they need to succeed and to meet some basic needs of our students and families. The foundation serves as a complement to the school district and non-profits delivering direct services to students by providing new funding that supports the ideas of people directly engaged with our schools and provides support to test promising innovations at a small scale. People incubating projects through the foundation will have freedom to think “outside the box” and take risks because they are small scale tests that do not draw on the school districts’ limited resources.

Local education foundations are a common model across the state and country. Our neighboring districts in Wake and Chapel Hill are supported by local education foundations, as are most of the other urban and many suburban and rural districts across the state.

+What is the relationship between the Foundation and DPS?

DPSF is an independent voice that champions the students, educators and families that make up Durham Public Schools. The foundation is independent from the school district but strives to foster a positive and collaborative relationship with the district. DPSF provides a non-profit structure that supports the district in seeking and accepting charitable funding. The foundation also identifies ways to align with the district priorities and strives to work with the district to share strategies and tools developed by DPSF funded projects.

A core principle of the foundation is the belief that public schools can and must flourish. The needs identified by students, educators and families will drive the foundation’s priorities and that means they may not always fully align with the district’s priorities. To support a collaborative relationship, DPSF will consult throughout the year with the Superintendent and School Board.

+How is the Foundation funded?

DPSF's work is made possible by investments from businesses, individuals, and foundation grants with the shared understanding that public education is central to a thriving Durham.

Contributions to DPSF are tax-deductible.You can click the DONATE button in the top right corner to learn more about how to support DPSF.