Serving the Students of New Haven Unified School District since 1981.

The New Haven Schools Foundation was established in 1981 to provide an alternative source of funding for co-curricular programs in the New Haven Unified School District. In its early years, the Foundation provided much of the initial funding for a cutting-edge technology program that made New Haven a model for California school districts.

In its first year, the Foundation launched a scholarship program that continues today. Seed money from the Foundation helped start James Logan High School’s nationally recognized forensics program and the school’s championship marching band, and the Foundation also contributed to Logan’s top-ranked athletic teams.

To mark the year 2000, the Foundation embarked on a “Millennium Fund” drive to raise funds to provide for future needs. An endowment fund of $250,000 was raised, and efforts are ongoing to reach the million-dollar milestone that will secure the future of key programs. Investment income from the endowment contributes to funding for our important programs.

In October 2007, the Foundation was incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and separated from the stewardship of the New Haven Unified School District. The new tax-exempt organization renewed its dedication to serving the needs of students and teachers in the New Haven Unified School District and adopted strategic plans to set a course for the future.

The Foundation administers an annual grant program that provides funding for innovative classroom and enrichment programs.

  • 2007-2008 – The Foundation established its “Innovations in Education” teacher grant program, providing funding for teachers to provide academic programs that enhance the learning experience.
  • 2009-2010 – The Foundation launched “Project: Enrichment”, a grant program which was designed to support teachers, coaches, advisors, and others who help provide co-curricular and extra-curricular activities for New Haven students.
  • 2017 – 2018 – The STEM grant program was added to provide support for innovative learning programs in the sciences and technology, making unique learning opportunities available from K-12.
  • The Brian Kelly Memorial Fund provides tutoring and literacy programs.
  • The Virginia Swihart Memorial Fund raises money to help support beginning teachers.

Applications for project funding are accepted during February of each year.

Scholarships have been awarded to graduating seniors since 1981. Today, the Foundation awards over $194,000 in scholarships annually through its “Pathways to Success” scholarship program. As of 2023, 2050 scholarships have been awarded since 2007, totaling over $1.7M and providing financial aid to 1410 New Haven students.

In 2008 – 2010, the Foundation joined with the New Haven Boosters Association on the Race to Save Student Activities, a family-friendly fundraising campaign to preserve enrichment programs in the schools despite budget cuts. Later, this very effective partnership became permanent with NHBA being absorbed by NHSF.

Beginning in 2014, the Foundation began streamlining administration through the strategic implementation of technology that enabled the scholarship and grant programs to expand exponentially. Since the adoption of the Awardspring system, scholarship awards have tripled. NHSF has also adopted systems to support ticket sales for fundraising events, and electronic bidding for live and silent auctions, enabling us to increase funding for educational programs.

2020 marked the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which greatly affected NHSF for several years. With fundraising curtailed, activities were reduced, but the Foundation’s long history of fiscal responsibility enabled the organization to weather the storm. 

The New Haven Legacy Society was established in 2023 to encourage planned giving to local educational programs. This program enables scholarship sponsors and other donors to provide for the future, obtain tax advantages, and make their wishes known.

What does the future hold? You can be part of it and help guide our work. Contact us for more information about how you can get involved in helping our students and schools.

Scholarship Donors

Thank you to all of the people and organizations who sponsor scholarships to help our students succeed in life!

Over $5,000 Annually

  • Tim Curry & Denise Lawson-Curry
  • Arthur & Marsha Badella
  • Michael Byron & Catherine Duterte-Byron
  • Michael and Cindy O'Brien
  • District African American Advisory
  • PASE - Pilipino-American Society for Education
  • Don del Pilar and Barbara Scheifler
  • Evangelista-Bobadilla Family Fund
  • Republic Services