Who & Why

Our Mission

The Durango Education Foundation (D.E.F.) is a community organization of dedicated volunteers and paid staff, who together develop resources to cultivate positive, life-changing academic learning opportunities for Pre-K through Grade 12 students in Durango School District 9-R.

For more about our motivations, read Why We Help,” about the state of Durango School District 9-R and Colorado public education in general.

 

Paramount intentionOur Method

The Durango Education Foundation assists 9-R schools and teachers with funding support for programs, materials and technology needs that fall outside the regular district budget. Additionally, D.E.F. administers scholarships awarded to graduating seniors from District 9-R high schools, seeks grants to leverage the funding D.E.F. awards, and serves as fiscal agents on pass-through grants to various schools, departments, and co-curricular organizations in District 9-R.

 

The Foundation is a valued partner of Durango School District 9-R but is a wholly independent 501(c)3 charitable non-profit. D.E.F. makes every effort to ensure that funding aligns with the goals and strategies of the school district; however, D.E.F. reserves the privilege to advocate for and fund approved academic efforts that the Foundation believes warrant a higher priority than the district may have the internal capacity to assign.

 

The regular efforts of the Durango Education Foundation are supported by individual and business contributions, fundraising events, outside grants, and endowment investment income. Approximately 10% of annual revenue comes from contributions made by teachers and staff within School District 9-R. All members of the D.E.F. Board of Trustees contribute to the organization annually.

 

Our Governance

D.E.F. was founded in 1984 as the Durango Foundation for Educational Excellence; the organization name was changed to Durango Education Foundation in October, 2013. It is a federally designated 501(c)3 charity governed by a Board of Trustees. Advisors to the board include Durango School District 9-R administrators, Durango 9-R School Board members,  and others as appropriate. Day-to-day operations are managed by a full-time Executive Director and a part-time Financial Operations Manager. Trustees take an active part in D.E.F. efforts; meet the people on our Committees and School Liaisons.

 

Governance documents: