What We Do

Pursuing the highest level of achievement and excellence

About Us

Founded in 2003, the Rogers Family Foundation is a private family foundation established by T. Gary and Kathleen Rogers. The Foundation primarily focuses on Oakland’s public schools where it seeks to positively transform the educational experience of students furthest from the opportunity. We envision a future in which all Oakland students have the opportunity to attend a high-quality school where inspired and effective teachers personalize learning for every student and community-based supports meet the needs of students and families. While much of our energy centers on our Oakland Education Strategy, the Foundation also selectively supports a limited number of local capital projects as well as a variety of other interests, most notably those associated with University of California – Berkeley, the University of California – San Francisco, and a limited number of Oakland community institutions.

The mission of the Rogers Family Foundation is to support organizations and pursue partnerships committed to the highest level of achievement and excellence. With a particular emphasis on transforming public education in Oakland, California, we make grants, catalyze initiatives, and champion community collaboration to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn and achieve to their greatest potential.

Our vision is that from their first day in class through high school graduation, all Oakland students will have the opportunity to attend, achieve, and excel in high-quality schools supported by strong community partnerships. Through personalized experiences that grow their knowledge and skills, all students will succeed in college, career, community, and life.

OUR WORK

Foundation Values

Students At The Center.

Our success is tied to the success of Oakland’s students. Our investments in public education seek to create the conditions for achievement.

Build A Great, “Hella” Hopeful Team And Let Them Lead.

We hire smart, embrace high expectations, and trust in and build staff capacity to achieve our mission. We partner with those who do the same.

Be Humble, Be Passionate, And Listen.

We bring humility, flexibility, and responsibility to the work and deeply value those who are closest to the social impact we seek.

Create Relationships And Connectedness.

We recognize that being a funder creates a power dynamic, and we work hard to build authentic, long-term trust and mutual accountability.

Be Open-Minded With A Single-Minded Determination.

We seek to create a culture of accessibility, inclusion, and equality. We also value the fierce urgency of now.

Learn, Learn, Learn.

We are not the experts in the room, but are positioned to help find them. We look for opportunities to make strategic connections and seek to continuously improve our knowledge and skill sets.

Ready, Fire, Aim.

We take action and will take risks. We look for innovation and encourage our team and partners to “go and learn fast” so that we can sharpen our aim to align goals, strategies, and tactics.

Guiding Principles and Core Beliefs 

The following principles are the fundamental, intrinsic beliefs that guide the Foundation’s work.

  • In order for Oakland to be a great and vibrant city, every effort must be made to ensure all of its students have the opportunity to learn and thrive in great and vibrant public schools.
  • The school system should and can be capable of excellence in service to its students, but will be most effective when the community it seeks to serve collaborates, challenges, and contributes to the system’s success.
  • Quality schools happen when the superintendent, school board, and teachers’ union create and uphold policies and practices that ensure personalized, dynamic, and inspired teaching.
  • Strong leadership teams – supported with the right conditions and capacities for success – are among the most important levers of change.
  • The achievement gap begins with an early learning opportunity gap. Third grade literacy is indelibly linked to school readiness, both of which are key indicators of future success, making investment in early childhood education critical.
  • The Foundation’s most defining success factor is its staff’s ability to cultivate long-term, trusting relationships with its community partners. In addition to investments over multiple years, we look for ways to amplify and magnify our work beyond the execution of a grant.
  • We do not know what we do not know. The Foundation recognizes it works in a highly fluid and elastic education ecosystem. Our team remains nimble, and reserves both human and funding resources to take advantage of high-impact opportunities that align with and advance our strategy beyond our core initiatives.