How the Foundation Works

Demands in our classrooms continue to grow. Public schools are challenged to keep up with innovation, new technology, and culturally appropriate practices with limited budgets. Community support is vital, and CUSF provides a way for individuals and businesses to help our classrooms and teachers perform at a high level.

CU Schools Foundation partners with 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 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.

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Restricted Funds Supporting Teacher Grants Include

Barbara and Robert Wolf Music Fund
Supports music events at Central High School

The Carle Foundation Fund for Educational Excellence

The Champaign Rotary Fund for Educational Excellence

District 116 STEAM Fund
Supports science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics

The Gift of Music Fund
Supports enhanced music education for Unit 4 students

Gift of the Fine Arts Fund
Supports arts education for District 116 students

Hester Suggs Endowment Fund
Supports Arts and Humanities programs for African-American students in Unit 4

Houston Book Fund
Supports supplemental books for classroom libraries

The Junior League of Champaign Urbana Fund for Educational Excellence

Rich and Susan McDonald Endowment
Supports student attendance at Krannert Youth Series events

Vincent O. Green Fund
Supports classroom projects focused on financial literacy

Restricted Funds Supporting Student Scholarships and Teacher Excellence Include

Perrino Fund
for Urbana MS and HS summer band camp student scholarships

Promising Educator Scholarship
This scholarship provides financial assistance to Centennial, Central and Urbana High School seniors who plan to pursue a career in education and encourage students to return to teach in Champaign-Urbana Schools

Urbana Community Music Education Fund
for private music lessons for UMS or UHS students

Amberg Fund
supporting teacher excellence in District 116

Mann-Hankel Teaching Award in Unit 4
supporting teacher excellence in Unit 4


Additional Funds Include

The Jeffrey Kaufman Memorial Fund,
supporting the “Jeff Kaufman Fields” at Yankee Ridge Elementary

Urbana High School Band Equipment Fund
Supporting the Urbana High School band program

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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.