Arizona Venture Fund for Quality Education

This multi-faceted initiative works to enhance the quality of education across Arizona.

students in classroom

Led by the endowments of John and Delys Ellis, this statewide effort benefits students-from their earliest years in pre-Kindergarten through completion of a post-secondary degree. Investments are made in the highest-quality programs and most innovative collaborations and reform initiatives, and through scholarships that give students access to top learning institutions.

With charitable assets totaling nearly $90 million, the Arizona Venture Fund for Quality Education unites the grantmaking power of several funds dedicated to education and scholarships already under ACF management, with opportunities for new funds to be created by individuals, families, national foundations and companies.

Established in 2005 with a portion of the estate of John Ellis bequeathed to the Arizona Community Foundation, The Ellis Center for Educational Excellence collaborates as part of the Venture Fund.

It's critically important that we in the philanthropic sector collaborate toward the goal of improving education throughout Arizona. We must come together around our shared vision for Arizona if we are to achieve positive outcomes for our children, our schools and our state.

— Don Budinger
Chairman and Founding Director, The Rodel Foundations

Focus Areas

  • School district reform
  • Early literacy
  • STEM education
  • Advocacy
  • Entrepreneurship in education
  • Scholarships (four-year universities, community colleges, technical schools and tuition-bearing elementary and high schools)
  • Charter school expansion loans
  • Grants, loans and innovation prizes awarded with a focus on scaling proven successful programs and reform initiatives, and supporting innovative philanthropic collaborations.
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