F65 was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization to provide a way to fund programs and projects for the purpose of promoting educational excellence in District 65. Evanston community leaders and residents formed the Evanston-Skokie District 65 Educational Foundation in 1994 to raise and channel private funds to public education in District 65. Early contributions from the Oscar Chute, Blair Vedder and J. B. Pritzker families, as well as the Chicago Community Trust were largely “designated” funds, given to the Foundation for specified programs that could only be used for a designated purpose.
In 2002, the District 65 Educational Foundation changed its name to Foundation 65 and launched its first community-wide fundraising drive. In the last 10 years, F65 has grown significantly and has invested more than $1,000,000 in projects and programs, making an impact at every school in the District.
In 2008, with funding from the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation and Northwestern University, F65 undertook a comprehensive strategic planning process to prepare for future growth and pursue more extensive community engagement. With the development of a volunteer board of directors, the hiring of an executive director and part-time administrator, the establishment of successful programs and a commitment to partnerships with other community organizations, Foundation 65 successfully implemented and completed the goals set forth in that plan.
The largest source of Foundation 65 gifts is individuals. Parents of current and former District 65 students, friends of public education and residents focused on the future of our community support our Foundation through their charitable donations. Private foundations, corporations, area businesses, and universities support specific programs and projects initiated by the Foundation.