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The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education

Keeping the Promise of Public Education

aka The NEA Foundation   |   Washington, DC   |  www.neafoundation.org

Mission

The NEA Foundation is a national nonprofit and philanthropic organization based in Washington, DC. Founded by educators, our mission is to work in partnership with others to promote the absolute best in public education. We believe that the most innovative and effective policies and strategies emanate from educators engaged in authentic partnership with policymakers, students, parents, and others who are committed to educational equity, excellence, and opportunity. Through the transformative power of these partnerships, we believe we can improve both students' and communities' educational experiences and outcomes.

Ruling year info

1969

President and CEO

Ms. Sara A. Sneed

Main address

1201 Sixteenth Street NW Suite 416

Washington, DC 20036 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7035089

NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Higher Education Institutions (B40)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A dynamic public education system is more important than ever—students from all backgrounds rely on it to prepare themselves for college, career, and beyond. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), more than 50 million students today attend public elementary and secondary schools in America. • Since 1969, the year the NEA Foundation was founded, more than 130 million students have earned diplomas at public high schools. • In 2019 NCES estimates that more than 3.2 million students will graduate from all US high schools with 93% graduating from public high schools. No single group of public or private service professionals makes a greater impact, every day, on more American lives than do our nation’s public school educators. That’s why for the past 50 years the Foundation has served as a laboratory of learning, offering funding and other resources to public school educators, their schools, and districts to solve complex teaching and learning challenges. T

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Grants to Educators

To improve student learning, we provide grants to individual and teams of educators to support instructional practice and professional development across all subject areas and grade levels. By directly funding educator-conceived and led projects, the Foundation enables educators to chart their own course to solve teaching and learning challenges. The Foundation gleans knowledge from these grants to share what works with the field and to inform our broader body of work. Since 2012, we have awarded more than $2.4 million in grants, reaching more than 35,000 educators and 512,000 students in 49 states.

Educators can apply for Student Achievement Grants, which provide opportunities to improve
student achievement in any subject area. We also offer Learning & Leadership Grants, which
support high-quality professional development that is shared with colleagues.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We present the Awards for Teaching Excellence at our annual gala to honor the critical work that public school educators do every day. Selected from the NEA state associations’ nominees, the Foundation names five national finalists who receive $10,000 and a winner who receives an additional $25,000. In 2019, we celebrated 46 exemplary educators, all from different states, in front of an audience of 3,000 people in Washington, DC and online.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The NEA Foundation invests in educator-led and union-supported STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming that encourages students to incorporate STEM learning in their daily lives, academic careers, and professional endeavors. We believe that hands-on learning is key to sparking and maintaining interest in these fields. Since 2017, the Foundation has awarded grants to increase student engagement and motivation around STEM in Hamilton County, TN, Greeley, CO. In Fall 2019, the Foundation announced second round STEM sites in Moreno Valley, CA and Green Bay, WI. These sites will share best practices in hands-on learning to inform educators in other communities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

We believe that in order for students to prepare for life on a global scale, the educator must first be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to teach in the global age. The annual Global Learning Fellowship program is designed to broaden educators’ and students’ perspectives through cohort-based professional development to provide educators with a blend of online, peer, and field-based learning opportunities to prepare themselves and their students for global citizenship. Fellows share what they learn with educators around the country and world by posting free, adaptable, globally-focused lesson plans online. More than 130 global learning lesson plans are now available, and we are cultivating a growing network of global education leaders and advocates. 12 lesson plans developed and tested by the 2018 Global Learning Fellowship cohort have been published as an ebook and hard copy text.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Independent Charities of America 2014

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The NEA Foundation's mission is to improve public education for all students. We offer funding and other resources to public school educators, their schools, and their districts to solve complex teaching and learning challenges to prepare each of America's children to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

We award Grants to Educators, supporting classroom projects that enhance teaching and learning, or offsetting the cost of professional development for educators. We lead a professional development, cohort-based program annually, called the Global Learning Fellowship, for NEA member educators who want to deepen their global competence and explore how to apply it to classroom instruction. In addition, we seek to bring high-quality, project-based STEM instruction to high-need districts and extract knowledge proof points about how best to engage educators in the design and implementation of such initiatives.

Bringing with her over twenty years of leadership experience in the education and philanthropic sectors, Sara A. Sneed joined the NEA Foundation as President and CEO in early 2019. She and the NEA Foundation senior leadership team possess the deep knowledge and skills needed to advance the Foundation’s strategic priorities through grant-making, technical assistance, program evaluation, and knowledge dissemination.

These programs include our Global Learning Fellowship, designed to develop educators’ knowledge and skills in order to integrate global competency into their classroom instruction, advocate for global competency in their schools and districts, and help students thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. Through our STEM initiative, we award multi-year grants for programs that increase access to and improve the quality of STEM education in underserved communities. Finally, through our Grants to Educators program, we directly fund educator conceived and led projects to enhance improve classroom instruction or for professional development. Our external panel of grant reviewers is comprised of educators, subject matter experts, and other members of the education community.

From incorporating educator expertise into our program design and implementation and decision- making through educator representation on our Board of Directors, to our interaction with educators who are the beneficiary of our grants and Fellowships in regard to their applications and reporting requirements, the NEA Foundation staff are accustomed to working with educators from diverse backgrounds.

During the NEA Foundation’s past fiscal year, our programs served nearly 6,000 educators and 117,000 students, and made advancements in programs including:

STEM: The Foundation’s investments are designated to under-resourced school districts to improve access to comprehensive, project-based STEM curriculum to both engage and encourage students to incorporate STEM learnings into their daily lives and academic careers. First round grants were previously awarded in Greeley, CO and Hamilton County, TN. Second round grants are set to be announced in Fall 2019.

Grants to Educators: 109 grants have been awarded reaching close to 108,000 students and nearly 6,000 educators. 34 grantees posted their lesson plans on an open source forum available to educators nationwide.

Global Learning Fellows: The Foundation’s 2019 class of Fellows was comprised of 46 educators from across the country and impacted nearly 9,500 students. In 2018 the Foundation, was proud to have published its first book, 12 Lessons to Open Classrooms and Minds to the World, of which to-date nearly 200 have been purchased. The lesson plans in the book were devised and tested by the 2018 cohort of Global Learning Fellows. It is available in both e-reader and hard copy formats and is accessible on Amazon.com. The 2020 cohort of Fellows is comprised of 44 public school educators from across the nation.

The Foundation continues to refine its metrics and to identify opportunities to share programmatic learnings more broadly.

Financials

The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education

Board of directors
as of 01/21/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Valeria Lassiter

Lassiter & Associates

Sara Sneed

The NEA Foundation

Bertis Downs

Entertainment Lawyer and Advisor

Daaiyah Bilal-Threats

National Education Association

Laura Engel

The George Washington University

Joanne Krell

Defy Communications

Kevin Anderson

Valeria Lassiter

Lassiter and Associates, LLC

Nick Archuleta

North Dakota United

Stacey Herndon

PNC Institutional Investments

Monica Washington

BetterLesson

Joy Whitlow

Aaro Bell

Bret Conklin

Horace Mann

Oleta Fitzgerald

Children's Defense Fund

Brent McKim

National Council of Urban Education Associations

Pedro Noguera

USC Rossier School of Education

Jane Quinn

Jerome Paige, Ph.D.

Roger Pollak

Bredhof & Kaiser

Becky Pringle

National Education Association

Marcy Singer-Gabella

Vanderbilt University

Tammy Smith

Jerry Weast

Ross Wiener

Aspen Institute

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data