History

History of the Foundation

The Irene S. Scully Family Foundation was created in 2003 by Irene Scully to support her family’s philanthropic interests and deepen their joint commitment to social justice.

The Foundation’s first few years of grantmaking explored multiple program strategies, with grants distributed across diverse communities throughout the Bay Area and beyond. During this time, the Board of Directors worked diligently to develop a deeper understanding of their own funding interests and priorities, while simultaneously expanding their knowledge of the various ways in which they could most effectively utilize the Foundation’s resources.

After several years, the Foundation’s Board of Directors, some of whom are former educators themselves, came together in recognition of the troubling inequities in public education. They unanimously decided to allocate the majority of the Foundation’s resources to support K-12 public school students, particularly those attending under-funded schools in economically disadvantaged areas of the East Bay.

While the decision to limit funding to the East Bay was principally a response to the disproportionate number of institutional and economic barriers faced by students in cities like Oakland and Richmond, the Foundation also saw a unique opportunity to work more deeply in partnership with the innovative organizations, communities, funders, and leaders who were already actively engaged in supporting improved outcomes for youth.

Proud to consider the Foundation a partner in the effort to expand opportunities for young people, Irene Scully and her family have been passionately working in collaboration with education stakeholders in Alameda County and West Contra Costa County since 2010.