How the Foundation Works
Demands in our classrooms continue to grow. Public schools are challenged to keep up with innovation, new technology, and cutting-edge teaching methods and practices with limited budgets. Community support is vital, and CUSF provides a way for individuals and businesses to help our classrooms and teachers stay innovative.
CU Schools Foundation supports Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana School District #116. The Foundation accepts contributions from a wide range of donors including individuals, businesses, corporations, families, and organizations, all of whom share a vision of elevating the excellence of Champaign and Urbana public schools.
Our annual fund contributions, unrestricted endowment distribution, school district contributions, fees and interest pay for CUSF operations to manage our programs. You may donate to the CUSF annual fund, general endowment, or to specific restricted funds to support teacher grants, scholarships, and teacher awards. When you choose to support the schools with a direct gift in line with our mission, it will be used for that restriction.
Unrestricted funds include:
Contributions to CUSF’s unrestricted fund support our grants to educators in Champaign and Urbana public schools and CUSF operations.
CUSF has many restricted funds that support our students and our schools.
Restricted funds supporting teacher grants include:
- The Carle Foundation Fund for Educational Excellence.
- The Junior League of Champaign Urbana Fund for Educational Excellence.
- The Champaign Rotary Fund for Educational Excellence.
- The Gift of Music Fund for Unit 4 school programs that support enhanced music education for students.
- Gift of the Fine Arts Fund for district 116 school programs that suppot arts education for students.
- The Hester Suggs Endowment Fund for Unit 4 school programs that expand the Arts and Humanities for African-American students.
- The Houston Book Fund for supplemental books for classroom libraries.
- The Vincent O. Green Fund for classroom projects focused on financial literacy.
- The District 116 STEM Fund supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
- The Rich and Susan McDonald Endowment to support student attendance at Krannert Youth Series events.
Restricted funds supporting scholarships include:
- The Keegan Bannon Memorial Scholarship for a college-bound graduating senior from Central HS.
- The Michael Hartter Scholarship for a graduating senior at Central HS.
- The Judge Fred Green Memorial Scholarship for a college-bound Urbana HS graduating senior.
- The Greg Chew Fine Arts Scholarship for an Urbana HS graduating senior.
- The Ben Watts Memorial Scholarship for a college scholarship for a Central HS graduating senior.
- North End Scholarship for a graduating senior at each high school.
- The Urbana Music Education Fund, for private music lessons for UMS or UHS students.
- CUSF Difference Maker Scholarship sponsored by Orange Krush, Busey Bank and Horizon Hobby, is a monetary award that recognizes service and scholarship in graduating seniors at all three high schools.
- The Perrino Fund, supporting Urbana MS and HS summer band camp scholarships.
Additional Funds include:
- The Amberg Fund, supporting an awarded Urbana teacher.
- The Centennial Athletic Endowment Fund, supporting the athletic programs at Centennial HS.
- The Jeffrey Kaufman Memorial Fund, to develop and maintain the “Jeff Kaufman Fields” at Yankee Ridge Elementary.
- The F. Lawrence Memorial Fund for UHS scholarships (managed by CUSF, distributed by the Urbana school district).
For more information about our non-profit organization, check our Guidestar listing here. CU Schools Foundation maintains its neutrality by having an independent governing body of fifteen Trustees that serve without compensation. These volunteers are chosen because of their knowledge of the community and their expertise in the many areas of management necessary to carry out the functions of the Foundation. Funds entrusted to CU Schools Foundation are audited annually and investment managers are required to submit periodic performance reviews to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.