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 collective 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. In 2010, the Board 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 Oakland and West Contra Costa County.

While the decision to limit funding to two East Bay regions was primarily a response to the disproportionate number of institutional and economic barriers encountered by students in Oakland and West Contra Costa County, the Foundation also saw a unique opportunity to join a community of innovative and committed education-focused organizations, funders, and leaders who were already actively engaged in improving outcomes for students. The Foundation is proud to partner with many of these stakeholders today and will continue to build relationships that foster the kind of collaboration and partnership necessary to improve public education for young people.

Since its inception, the Irene S. Scully Family Foundation has been governed by an all-family Board of Directors.  As a mother of six children and a grandmother of nine children, Irene Scully’s hope is that her commitment to education philanthropy will live on as future generations guide the Foundation’s giving.