About the DPS Foundation

The single most pressing and critical priority for our nation is to provide a quality education for every child. Our future depends upon it.

The Denver Public Schools Foundation is Denver Public Schools’ fundraising partner. We generate resources, build relationships and champion public education to impact system-wide achievement and help every child succeed.

Download a one-page fact sheet: About the DPS Foundation.

Our Promise:

We believe every child deserves an excellent education. It is our promise to the students in Denver Public Schools – to the entire community – that with your help, we will make that happen.

Our Mission:

In partnership with Denver Public Schools, we raise and manage funds, make strategic program investments, and serve as community leaders so that all students have the opportunity to succeed.

Our Vision:

In Denver Public Schools, outstanding educational achievements are the norm and all children have hope of a great future.

With your help, the DPS Foundation can:

  • Create a Better Denver: DPS prepares students to be productive contributors to our society. By supporting the DPS Foundation, the entire community creates positive, sustainable change in our schools and contributes to the success of our next generation.
  • Help Every Child Succeed: We direct community support to programs that are proven to have significant and measurable impact on the lives of our students. Our programs help children succeed in the classroom, discover their talents outside the classroom and stay on track to graduate prepared for college or career.
  • Innovate: When it comes to education, great new ideas deserve to be tested, proven and scaled. We support innovation in DPS, providing the funding to identify, incubate, evaluate and replicate the highest-performing and most exciting new strategies to help children achieve.
The public school foundation model

When it comes to giving our children the education they need and deserve, public funds are simply inadequate. While we’re now beginning to see a slight improvement in our economy, DPS continues to face very significant funding cuts. DPS’ budget for the 2013-14 school year is still about $50 million ($600 per student) below what it was in 2009-10, and Colorado still remains one of the lowest-funded states in the country in terms of our support of K-12 education. The model of a district turning to a public school foundation for resources and support is a fairly new one. The Denver Public Schools Foundation is one of the nation’s leading public school foundations in terms of money raised, long-term financial sustainability and fiduciary responsibility. In fact, in 2014, the DPS Foundation was ranked the #4 public school foundation in the country in a national study by Dewey & Associates which analyzed foundations serving the nation’s 50 largest school districts. Read the full Dewey & Associates study here.

The history of the DPS Foundation

Denver Public Schools Foundation was established in 1992 in recognition of the fact that public funds alone cannot adequately support the ambitious efforts to advance student achievement in Denver Public Schools. The DPS Foundation maintained a relatively passive role over the next ten years until it was revitalized in 2002 under the instrumental leadership of former DPS Superintendent Jerry Wartgow. In 2005, under Superintendent Michael Bennet, DPS launched a comprehensive strategic plan called The Denver Plan, and the DPS Foundation worked to align its mission and activities to support the goals and priorities of this far-reaching and ambitious plan. Since 2009, the DPS Foundation has worked closely with Superintendent Tom Boasberg to support continued implementation of the The Denver Plan, while meeting on-going, basic needs of schools and classrooms, teachers and students. As a result of its twenty-five year history, the DPS Foundation has become recognized as the portal of philanthropy for community investment in Denver Public Schools and a critical partner to the district for community engagement.

What does the DPS Foundation do?

The DPS Foundation engages the entire community in support of our schools and our children:

  • We raise money. In 2014-15, we raised more than $15 million for DPS students and schools.
  • We champion public education, serving as ambassadors and advocates for DPS.
  • We build partnerships between the community and our schools, driving talent, resources and volunteers into our classrooms.
Where does the funding go?

We fund system-wide innovative and core programs to address the areas of greatest priority to advance student achievement. Learn more about the programs we fund here, and read more about the impact and outcomes from our funding here.

Why support Denver Public Schools?

State funding for DPS is simply inadequate to provide the resources and programs needed to help Every Child Succeed. The DPS Foundation helps fill that gap, allowing DPS to sustain and expand proven programs that might otherwise disappear from schools. Read more about recent progress in DPS here.

Why the DPS Foundation?
  • Your support has a tangible impact: better test scores, lower dropout rates and more students graduating.
  • Your support has a wide reach: serving all of the district’s nearly 200 schools and more than 90,000 children.
  • The Foundation is efficient and sustainable, with a 25-year track record of measurable and successful outcomes.
  • The Foundation is built and sustained by the community; individuals, businesses, alumni, parents, DPS employees and others contribute to the success of our children through the DPS Foundation. We are all DPS.
What can I do to help?

Denver’s future is in your hands. Donate | Partner | Get Involved