The Education Trust

Fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students– particularly those of color or living in poverty.

Washington, DC   |

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The Education Trust

EIN: 52-1982223


The Education Trust is committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the American education system. Through our research and advocacy, Ed Trust improves equity in education from preschool through college, engages diverse communities dedicated to education equity and justice, and increases political and public will to build an education system where students will thrive.

Ruling year info



Denise Forte

Main address

1501 K Street Suite 200

Washington, DC 20005 USA

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Subject area info


Human rights

Population served info

Ethnic and racial groups

People of African descent

People of Latin American descent

American Indians

Low-income people

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NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Education Trust (Ed Trust) is dedicated to advancing equity in education for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds from early childhood through college. This means providing students with the supports that they need in order to access opportunity and participate fully in our democratic society. Advancing equity requires the dismantling of historic and present-day systems of injustice that disadvantage underserved students—specifically, students of color and students from low-income backgrounds—and a recognition that students who have been disenfranchised must be provided with additional, not equal, resources to succeed.

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?

Policy and Advocacy

We actively work to shape national and state policy, bringing lessons learned from on-the-ground work and from unflinching data analyses to build the case for policies that will help all students reach high levels of achievement.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

We analyze local, state, and national data and use what we learn to build a broader understanding of achievement and opportunity gaps in our schools and colleges, along with the actions necessary to close them.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

We work with educators, parents, students, policymakers, and leaders in communities across the country, helping them to transform schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

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 stories successfully placed in the media

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Policy and Advocacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

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.

Ed Trust’s strategy to advance equitable policy has three priority areas:

PRIORITY ONE: Ensure that students from low-income backgrounds and students of color receive quality education from early childhood through high school that will enable them to achieve success in college, careers, and civic participation. Within this priority area, Ed Trust maintains expertise in early learning, social emotional and academic development, teacher equity and diversity, college and career readiness, resource equity, data transparency and accountability.

PRIORITY TWO: Ensure higher education access, affordability, and completion for students from low-income backgrounds and students of color.

PRIORITY THREE: Strengthen and build capacity for leadership, infrastructure, human and financial resources, relationships, and a culture required to be an impactful voice on equity issues alongside students from low-income backgrounds and students of color.

Ed Trust’s theory of change has four interconnected components, all designed to advance policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the American education system.

Communicates the excellence of students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

Conducts research on best practices and uses data to increase accountability and transparency.

Forms partnerships and supports coalitions to amplify views of equity-focused organizations and supplement our expertise.

Elevate the voices of students, parents, families, and educators to ensure those most affected are driving policies.

Ed Trust’s capacity to push for equitable policy change is built on the subject matter expertise and skills of our leadership and staff. Our organization has grown to an approximately 130-person team that includes experts in education policy from early childhood through postsecondary, education research, legislative affairs, coalition building and management, strategic communications, writing and editing, videography, PR, as well as operations, fundraising, human resources, finance, and nonprofit management.

In addition to our staff, we maintain a robust network of partnerships with a diverse range of organizations. We partner with national and state-level organizations to develop and advance shared agendas that are grounded in a commitment to equity for our students. We believe that diverse coalitions should include a range of perspectives including civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, education reform, business, and, critically, the voices of students.

Ed Trust is a trusted national voice for racial equity in education policy. In 2019, our organization received 112 pieces of coverage in the press including local, national, and education-specific publications; in 2021, that number grew to 444 pieces of coverage. Our website and newsletter reach a combined 150,000 individuals. In the past ten years, we have grown our organization to support networks of advocates across 14 states while also maintaining a federally focused presence.

At the federal level, Ed Trust convened a Business and Civil Rights Coalition that successfully advocated for key assessment, accountability, and public reporting provisions in the reauthorized Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). More recently, in 2020 and 2021 we have provided information and technical assistance to legislators, educating them on the equity implications of advanced coursework, school discipline, postsecondary affordability, and other topics.

In 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and amid widespread school closures, we’ve joined nutrition advocates to successfully push to expand and extend the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) and to close the digital divide. We've worked to ensure that federal relief dollars include maintenance of effort and maintenance of equity provisions to protect funding for districts most likely to be vulnerable to funding cuts. At the state level, we’ve advocated for changes to school funding in multiple states, to repeal the ban on affirmative action in California, to foster a diverse and high-quality educator workforce in Louisiana. We have worked with advocates in Ohio and Tennessee on pushing for equitable Free College programs. These are just a few examples of our efforts. Visit to learn more.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.88 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 4.4 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 21% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The Education Trust

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Education Trust

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Education Trust

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of The Education Trust’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $1,094,481 $1,855,784 $2,848,637 $26,633,055 $530,308
As % of expenses 6.1% 9.3% 11.5% 112.0% 2.0%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $757,203 $1,520,589 $2,478,223 $26,185,660 $257,212
As % of expenses 4.2% 7.5% 9.9% 108.0% 1.0%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $20,243,118 $22,841,744 $26,666,309 $51,106,764 $28,594,144
Total revenue, % change over prior year 2.0% 12.8% 16.7% 91.7% -44.1%
Program services revenue 1.9% 2.8% 2.1% 1.2% 3.9%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.3% 0.7% 0.8% 0.5% 0.6%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 97.7% 96.2% 95.1% 98.1% 95.9%
Other revenue 0.1% 0.3% 2.0% 0.2% -0.4%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $17,870,918 $20,003,034 $24,783,374 $23,789,443 $25,931,880
Total expenses, % change over prior year 21.7% 11.9% 23.9% -4.0% 9.0%
Personnel 64.5% 61.9% 58.3% 64.8% 62.2%
Professional fees 11.1% 14.4% 13.2% 16.1% 21.5%
Occupancy 8.2% 7.8% 9.4% 7.6% 5.8%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 3.2% 5.3% 8.3% 8.3% 5.8%
All other expenses 13.0% 10.6% 10.8% 3.3% 4.7%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $18,208,196 $20,338,229 $25,153,788 $24,236,838 $26,204,976
One month of savings $1,489,243 $1,666,920 $2,065,281 $1,982,454 $2,160,990
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $2,721,124 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $19,697,439 $22,005,149 $27,219,069 $28,940,416 $28,365,966

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 3.4 3.0 2.6 17.8 7.8
Months of cash and investments 7.6 6.9 7.4 22.8 20.8
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 2.8 3.4 4.1 16.3 15.2
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $5,128,811 $4,995,090 $5,305,343 $35,222,076 $16,921,554
Investments $6,233,973 $6,572,588 $9,956,696 $9,970,589 $27,972,032
Receivables $11,070,604 $14,071,167 $13,112,822 $10,526,526 $11,968,547
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $2,075,105 $2,294,810 $2,449,594 $4,762,793 $4,865,077
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 65.6% 73.6% 84.0% 44.0% 48.7%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 8.5% 9.7% 13.1% 11.4% 12.6%
Unrestricted net assets $4,814,345 $6,334,934 $8,813,157 $34,998,817 $35,256,029
Temporarily restricted net assets $16,788,630 $17,841,107 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $16,788,630 $17,841,107 $16,926,495 $17,536,259 $17,536,259
Total net assets $21,602,975 $24,176,041 $25,739,652 $52,535,076 $52,792,288

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization


Denise Forte

Denise Forte is the CEO at The Education Trust. With more than two decades of experience in the federal legislative and executive branches advancing progressive education and family policy, Denise brings strategic leadership to the organization’s efforts to engage policymakers and diverse coalitions of advocates in demanding and securing equity-advancing policy change at the national and state levels. She also will lead Ed Trust’s legislative efforts and, as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, coordinate an organization-wide advocacy agenda and strategy. Prior to Ed Trust, Denise was a senior fellow and director of public affairs for The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank. She also spent 20 years in progressively senior congressional staff roles, most recently as the staff director for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce (Minority), providing strategic advice and counsel to the Ranking Member, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), managing and directing the leg

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

The Education Trust

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

The Education Trust

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

The Education Trust

Board of directors
as of 09/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

José L. Cruz

Northern Arizona University

Peter Groff

José Luis Cruz

Northern Arizona University

Yolie Flores

Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Lisa Gelobter


Jesse Jackson

JPMorgan Chase

Lisette Nieves

Fund for the City of New York

Daniel R. Porterfield

Aspen Institute

Denise Forte

The Education Trust

Educardo J Padron

Miami Dade College

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 ? 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? 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/11/2023

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
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/03/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.