Who We AreA Public Foundation focused on Ensuring All Children Have Access.
Innovation is everything to us – and our public schools are central to enabling tomorrow’s leaders to be good citizens and excellent innovators. This Foundation’s sole purpose is to ensure all children have access to high quality public schools and therefore, access to the skills they need to innovate.
Why We’re Named After Ben Franklin
Because Franklin believed education is the most effective tool we can use to improve our society. He was a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. He was an inventor and created many notable inventions including the lightning rod, bifocals, and the first odometer. He founded the nation’s first public library and the first fire department. But most importantly, he was an ardent patriot, who believed in America’s ability to leave its mark on the world through innovation and invention, fueled by publicly available education.
What set Benjamin Franklin apart from others in his time was his curiosity and his willingness to go against the status quo. In his day, books were how people shared information and gained educational foundations. It was through books written by scholars that Franklin found his love of literature, science, mathematics, the arts, and civics. It was his access to information inspired his thirst for learning and understanding the world around him. We have to provide the same access to our children if we want them to innovate and succeed.
"Educated people are free people." We know the vast majority of today’s educators possess the same ability Franklin did to inspire innovation and growth for America’s children – but they’re being held back by an education system that is focused on turning children into statistics, and the commoditization of education to create profit. Like Benjamin Franklin it is our desire to ensure equal access to knowledge and a high-quality education for all of America’s children; a public education, that aims to teach children how to innovate, not just how to memorize and repeat.
Our JourneyA Thoughtful Approach to Modern Philanthropy.
FoundedOctober 4, 2010
The Franklin Foundation for Innovation was originally founded as a STEM organization focused on providing scholarships and grants to underserved youth in the Philadelphia metropolitan area by Endre Walls.
A new purpose2015
We realized that scholarships and STEM only address part of the problem. To address what’s happening in our education system, and its impacts on society and innovation we re-tooled as an organization focused on ensuring access and promoting community-based support for our public school infrastructures.
Partnership with Hopeworks (NJ)May 3, 2016
The Foundation partners with Hopeworks, an innovative STEM non-profit organization based in Camden, NJ. Their approach to helping urban youth achieve success in STEM careers coupled with their focus on providing benefit to area businesses represents a new model of community-based philanthropy.
Receives Cooperative Technology Grant from MicrosoftMarch 17, 2017
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) provides a cooperative technology grant to the Foundation to assist with operational costs and technology costs to create and deploy key technologies including the platform which will run BrightStart – an innovative training program for parents who wish to support their children’s learning efforts at home.
Partnership with BadAss Teachers AssociationMarch 5, 2018
The BadAss Teacher’s Association (BATs) represent the nation’s largest grouping of public school teachers advocating for education equality in the country. With over 60,000 members in all 50 states plus 3 territories, it is a passionate ally of the Foundation and a critical component to our operating methodology.
Platinum GuideStar Rating2018
For the 3rd year in a row The Franklin Foundation for Innovation earns a Platium rating from GuideStar for organizational efficiency and operational transparency. GuideStar is the leading assessor of Non-Profit efficiency and effectiveness, providing information that helps donors feel confident about their philanthropic investments.
Partnership with Portland Area School District (OR)August 27, 2018
The Franklin Foundation establishes a partnership with the Portland Area School District in Oregon supporting over 49,000 public school students through it’s nBrain and Franklin Experience programs.
Partnership with Philadelphia Public Schools (PA)September 10, 2018
The Franklin Foundation establishes a partnership with the School District of the City of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania supporting over 200,000 public school students through it’s Franklin Experience and BrightStart programs.
Our LeadershipPractitioners of Innovation.
Our Board of Directors
Comprised of executives, parents, and concerned citizens, our Board of Directors maintains responsibility for the governance and oversight of the Foundation.
Our Advisory Board
Comprised of primary, secondary, and university educators and administrators, our Board of Advisors is responsible for providing vision and counsel around educational initiatives. The advisory board also provides critical insights into pedagogy and standards which are used to inform and shape our programs.