The 2019 National Forum on K-12 Philanthropy took place April 3-4, 2019 at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Denver, Colorado.

Denver's diverse community of donors, educators, and students have been at the forefront of thinking differently about the ways students learn both in and outside the classroom. The collaboration seen in Denver and Colorado statewide has attracted national attention from funders, advocates, and teacher talent alike, resulting in creative solutions for learners in both urban and rural communities.


7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
7:45 a.m.
8:15 a.m.
Pre-visit overview

The Denver Landscape

8:45 a.m.
Departure for school site visits
8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Site visits
12:30 p.m.
1:00 p.m.
Site visit debrief
2:00 p.m.
4:00 - 5:10 p.m.
Opening plenary

Educating the Workforce of Tomorrow

5:15 p.m.
Opening reception
6:30 p.m.
Donor-only salon dinners
7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Registration open
7:30 - 8:15 a.m.
Breakfast roundtable discussions
8:15 a.m.
8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
Morning breakout sessions
9:45 a.m.
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Morning plenary

Education Reform at a Standstill

11:00 a.m.
11:15 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.
Mid-morning breakout sessions
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Closing luncheon

Signs of Hope in Puerto Rico: Conversation with Secretary Keleher

2:00 p.m.
Closing remarks


Amy Anderson

Amy Anderson Executive Director ReSchool Colorado, Donnell-Kay Foundation

Steven Bartholomew

Steven Bartholomew Executive Director New Legacy Charter School

Matthew Boulay

Matthew Boulay Founder and CEO National Summer Learning Association

Betsy Callaway Considine

Betsy Callaway Considine Trustee Considine Family Foundation

Paul Campbell

Paul Campbell President and CEO Enviro Systems

Dale Chu

Dale Chu Senior Visiting Fellow The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Event Recap

Educating the Workforce of Tomorrow

Meredith Olson, vice president of the K-12 initiative at The Seminar Network, moderated the panel of business leaders, which included Paul Campbell, president and CEO of Enviro Systems, Harvin Moore, principal at Frontera Technology Systems, and Chris Terrill, former CEO of ANGI Homeservices.

Read the full recap here.

Working Side-by-Side: Venture Philanthropy and Positioning Grantees for Success

During this interactive workshop, donors broke up into groups to delve into New Profit’s venture philanthropic strategy for investments—specifically around its early education initiative—identifying strong organizational leadership among other levers for success. 

Read the full recap here.

Academics and Well-being: Nurturing Support Networks for the Whole Family

This “whole family” approach to education necessitates that all children, regardless of income or family circumstance, have access to strong support networks that guide them to reach their full potential. The Academics and Well-being: Nurturing Support Networks for the Whole Family panel at the 2019 National Forum on K-12 Philanthropy sought to highlight how philanthropy can foster institutions that are spearheading the whole family approach.

Read the full recap here.

Education Reform at a Standstill

“Is education reform at a standstill?” This question drove the morning plenary, a panel discussion led by Caleb Offley of the Walton Family Foundation. Offley spoke with Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute, Robin Lake of the Center for Reinventing Public Education, and Chris Stewart of the Wayfinder Foundation to break down the results of previous generations’ reform efforts; funder frustration and stagnant returns on investment; and ways that funders can help recalibrate the policy and practices surrounding K-12 education reform.

Read the full recap here.

Reaching the Struggling Student: Mental Health at Systemic and Classroom Levels

The Roundtable's K-12 Education and burgeoning Health programs collaborated on an intimate discussion on mental health in schools.

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Proven Investment Strategies for Early Education and Child Development

How can funders most impactfully invest in early learning and child development? This question drove a morning breakout session at the 2019 National Forum on K-12 Philanthropy. The panel, led by Sue Renner of the David and Laura Merage Foundations, featured unique perspectives on child development from Kate Kennedy Reinemund of Constellation Philanthropy, Sarah Walzer of ParentChild+, and Judy Williams of Early Learning Ventures.

Read the full recap here.

Experiential Learning Models: Connecting Student Passions with Real-World Experiences

During this interactive discussion, attendees broke up into small groups to obtain a sense of the work of each organization represented on the panel that are working to provide students with hands-on experience to solve real-world challenges. The underlying theme with each group activity was learning reimagined.

Read the full recap here.

Agents of change: Parent mobilization of behalf of students and communities

At the 2019 National Forum on K-12 Philanthropy, one of the more compelling breakout sessions was on the topic of parent mobilization and advocacy, and how donors can act as effective partners with the grassroots activists who work tirelessly to give parents a voice in their child’s education.

Read the full recap here.

Signs of Hope in Puerto Rico: Conversation with Secretary Keleher

The Forum’s closing plenary featured prepared remarks and an interview with Julia Keleher, Puerto Rico’s former secretary of education. In a discussion with David Scanavino of the Puerto Rico Education Foundation, Keleher shared with attendees her experience in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and her six-pillar model to overhaul its education system.

Read the full recap here.