The BASIC Fund

Giving parents a choice. Giving children a chance.

aka BASIC Fund   |   Oakland, CA   |


The BASIC Fund (Bay Area Scholarships for Inner-City Children) is a privately funded 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to advance educational equity for low-income families by helping offset the cost of tuition at private schools in the Bay Area

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Rachel Elginsmith

Main address

1301 Clay Street #70450

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

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NTEE code info

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Statistics are stark for socioeconomically disadvantaged families in our communities; the probability of their children graduating from high school remains alarmingly low in many districts, often under 70%. Throughout the Bay Area many school districts have steep high school dropout rates, more than 25% for Hispanic and African-American students. Those who do graduate often find they are not ready for the challenges presented by higher education or the work force. Unfortunately, this education gap starts far before high school is even a thought for these families. They find themselves stuck in neighborhoods where elementary schools are overcrowded, under resourced, and struggling to get their students proficient in basic skills. Without the socioeconomic means to change this situation, families are given only one choice for educating their children, which we all know, is no choice at all.

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?

Scholars Program

To support partial-tuition scholarships for students entering private school for the first time. The number of scholarships is determined solely by the amount of funds we raise.  Regardless of when they start we commit to supporting each student with a scholarship through 8th grade.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Scholars Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Program Goals & Objectives
• To provide quality elementary education options for low-income families in the Bay Area, enabling their children to graduate from high school with a strong foundation and important skill set with which to go on to higher education or enter the workforce.
• In the 2020–2021 School Year Program, we aim to serve 3,500 children throughout the Bay Area, and award as many as 850 new scholarships to children entering the program for the first time.
• Continued support of families through referrals to partner programs offering assistance with locating after-school programs, academic support, summer programs, high school preparation information, and general family assistance.

Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade is our focus not only because early education is vital to setting up students for success, but also because there continues to be a lack of scholarship programs serving families with children in this age group. Without support and development of good habits early in their education, qualifying for scholarships for high school and beyond, which are often merit based, stays far out of reach.

Each year we start a new program providing scholarship support to students enrolling in private school for the first time. In addition, we continue to support each cohort with renewing scholarships until the student graduates from 8th grade. We create strong partnerships with organizations serving this same population to provide wrap-around and support services in areas such as summer programs, and educational enrichment programs.

Since our founding in 1998 our organization has helped low-income Bay Area families find much needed education alternatives for their children. Over the past 20 years we have provided scholarships to more than 23,000 children, and in the current school year we are supporting over 3,400 students in more than 250 schools throughout the Bay Area.

We have developed a network of over 300 schools in the Bay Area. Many of these schools provide the kind of support at-risk students desperately need, and they engender quality learning environments that help close the achievement gap already apparent at age 5.

While we partner closely with a number of organizations who serve low-income students throughout the region, none are providing scholarship-based support to families in need throughout Silicon Valley at the scale of The BASIC Fund. We are uniquely positioned in the region to execute our model of providing quality elementary and middle school options to thousands of families in need.

The recent Coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted the low-income population we serve, with more than 45% of our families experiencing at least one job lost and many more seeing a significant reduction in hours. Our Board of Directors approved an initiative for an emergency fund, raising enough to add more than 20% to each of our more than 3,500 scholarships in the 2020-2021 school year as well as provide 100 computers to families in need. It is our hope that this will help keep our deserving families enrolled in the school of their choice.

We have also recently concluded a technology upgrade. This project, facilitated by a capacity-building grant, consolidated two previously separate databases and brought our application and school-support processes online for the first time. This has made the necessary transition to remote work significantly more manageable, allowing us to seamlessly continue our services and support for families and schools.

The BASIC Fund is working strategically to expand partnerships with organizations who serve the same population. These partnerships fall in to three categories- College Access, Summer Programs, and Enrichment Programs. Our college access partnerships have grown extensively. We have recently co-hosted events with local partners Aim High and SMART providing information to our families and students on how to achieve their dreams for higher education. We have also partnered with the Boys and Girls Club to present a High School Application Orientation night, which informs our families on navigating the private and public application system for high school. We've met with summer programs such as Springboard Collaborative to explore multi-school programs for their advanced reading curriculum. In school enrichment, we partnered with the Exploratorium to host a STEM workshop for more than 30 BASIC Fund teachers from schools throughout the Bay Area.

We continue to reach out to expand partnerships with organizations serving our population. We are especially excited about our new partnerships with Chevron and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. The teacher training program with Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship will be launched in The Lumen Christi Academies schools in Oakland. Made possible with support from Chevron, this program will be offering NFTE training for middle school teachers along with the supplies necessary for their schools to offer new entrepreneurship-oriented electives for their students this fall. We are so excited to be able to offer these opportunities to BASIC Fund schools and look forward to building more alliances in the coming years.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


The BASIC Fund

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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The BASIC Fund

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Richard Barker

Capital International Limited, Retired

Term: 2019 -

John E. Kerrigan Jr.

Santa Clara University

James A. McCarthy

Merrill Lynch, Retired

Arthur Rock

Arthur Rock Co.

J. William Morris III

KPMG, Retired

Steven S. Klein

Bridge Partners

Kenneth T. Derr

Chevron, retired

James H. Herbert II

First Republic Bank

Richard C. Barker

Capital International, retired

Richard J. Bertero

RREEF, retired

Robert G. Barrett


Jeffrey G. Edwards

JGE Capital

Rupert H. Johnson Jr.

Franklin Resources, Inc.

Stephen L. Millham

Farallon Capital Management

Crystal Bryant

First Republic Bank

John Couch

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Edward B. Jamieson

Franklin Templeton Institutional

Edward McDermott

Spring Tide Partners

William T. Ring

The Capital Group Companies

Eric A. Schwartz

The Sherman Clay Group

Warren E. "Ned" Spieker Jr.

Spieker Partners

Brian Griggs

Griggs Group

Tim Ranzetta

Next Gen Personal Finance

Martin Romo

The Capital Group Companies

Micheal W. Wilsey

Wilsey Bennett Inc.

Jeremy Peters


Jono Grayson


Ted Kruttschnitt

THK Private Equities, LLC

Ronnie Lott

Lott Investments

Marissa Mar

RPS Ventures

Michael McCarthy

Franklin Equity Group

John Watson

Chevron, Retired

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? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/2/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data