As the nonprofit for the Palm Springs Unified School District, the Foundation builds public-private partnerships to strengthen our schools and create opportunities for students to achieve.
The Foundation’s vision is to mobilize individual investors, businesses, teachers, parents, and community leaders to ensure the success of all our students. By tapping into passion and power, we unite our community members and join forces to fulfill the promise of public education and prepare every student for success.
The Foundation’s first program awarded mini-grants to classroom teachers. Today, we operate initiatives at any given time, ranging from small grants programs to large-scale school improvement initiatives, all aimed at increasing student achievement and enabling academic excellence.
Charged as a 501(c)3 with providing a sustainable stream of private-sector funds to schools within the six cities* served by the District, the Foundation is tasked with helping to close gaps in public and state funding in increasingly tough economic times for public schools.
Originally established in 2008 as The Pinnacle Fund, the Foundation in its early years had a focus on "putting arts and technology in the classroom." It operated independently from the District, and was run by a 100% volunteer staff.
In 2013, The Pinnacle Fund was retooled and reinvigorated as the District-supported Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District, with key Executive Director and administrative-staff positions established. Today it operates as a department of the District, under the supervision of the Superintendent, with District representation on The Foundation’s Board of Directors.
*Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Thousand Palms.
The Foundation Today
The establishment of The Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District represents a strategic initiative on the part of the district to fund additional teaching efforts, ensure high-quality education, and support funding of curriculum-enhancing activities in the areas of health and wellness, science, math, technology, and the arts.
The Foundation’s original mandate of distributing classroom micro-grants to teachers -- still a key component of its work -- has been expanded to include donor-naming opportunities; commercial and business underwriting of specialized curriculum academies; formal appeals to venture philanthropists; major donors; aggressive grant-seeking; and the formulation of local and national sponsorship opportunities.
Importantly, The Foundation is more than a grant-making organization. It aims to improve lives and strengthen our community through furthering public education. The Foundation believes every student in the Palm Springs Unified School District deserves the opportunity to be prepared and to succeed in either postsecondary education or in a career after high school.