Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
101 Park Avenue
Suite 420
Oklahoma City OK 73102
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Organization Does Business As (DBA) Name(s)
Organization DBA
Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Inc.
Mission Statement To recognize and encourage academic excellence in Oklahoma's public schools.
Contact Information
Contact Name Emily Stratton
Contact email info@ofe.org
Address 101 Park Avenue
Suite 420
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone (405) 236-0006
Fax 405-236-8590
County Oklahoma
How to Give
Donate to Endowment http://occf.org/ofe/
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer You may donate online, call us at 405/236-0006 to use your credit card or mail a check to:
    Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
    101 Park Avenue, Ste 420
    Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,056,422.00
Projected Expenses $1,019,899.00
History and Background
Former Names
Year Founded 1985
IRS Ruling Year 1986
State Registration Expiration Aug 2018
Mission To recognize and encourage academic excellence in Oklahoma's public schools.
In 1985, while serving Oklahoma as a U.S. senator, David L. Boren brought together a group of Oklahoma business and community leaders with the common goal of improving public education in the state. All agreed that private investment was crucial to the success of public schools. The result was the establishment of a statewide, nonprofit organization, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, with the mission of recognizing and encouraging academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools.
One of the keys to the foundation’s success is the leadership of our 180 trustees. These leaders in business, education and public service represent every region of the state and help promote the foundation’s mission and its programs. Among the trustees is a core management committee, which meets regularly to oversee the organization’s budget and administration. The Foundation for Excellence is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization supported solely by private contributions with an annual operating budget just over $1,000,000.
Our top three accomplishments last year were Oklahoma Mentor Day, Colonial Day at the Capitol and our Academic Awards Banquet.
     As to our goals this year, we held one of our best ever Fall Forums for Local Education Foundations on Oct. 18 with Robert Henry as the keynote speaker. He was both eloquent and stimulating as he spoke of public education as our most important "infrastructure." School foundation supporters returned to their communities inspired to do all the more for their local communities.
    In October,  we kicked off a project to promote ways that public schools are positively impacting Oklahoma communities. With a hash tag of #CelebrateOklaEd, we are posting daily on our Facebook page stories of success and innovation. With education funding at an all-time low, the morale of the education community is low. #CelebrateOklaEd is a great way to show support for our teachers and our public schools.  
     Our fifth annual Oklahoma Mentor Day was held in January at UCO and honored  65 mentors before a crowd of 200. Keynote speaker Alton Carter, a former foster child and police officer, was inspirational in telling his personal story of overcoming child abuse and neglect. Many of the mentors brought their mentees for a special time together of celebration and activities.  Our Boren Mentoring Initiative is making remarkable progress in promoting mentoring programs throughout Oklahoma. 
     Our Colonial Day was held on Feb. 3 and once again was an outstanding success. A unique program, one has to see it in action to understand what a truly outstanding learning experience it is in early American history for the 500+ fifth graders all dressed in  early-American attire from nine elementary schools around the state. Historical interpreters included George Washington, Benedict Arnold, Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Craik, Washington's private physician.
     Our year closed with our Academic Awards Banquet, which honored 100 outstanding high school graduates as Academic All-Staters and five educators as Medal for Excellence winners. With a theme of "Be a Trailblazer," award-winning biographer and University of Texas history professor H.W. Brands delivered the keynote address titled "What History Can Teach Us, and What It Can't." His lively speech wove together lessons from the historical contributions of former slave and educator Booker T. Washington and U.S. Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan. The evening was truly an "Academy Awards for Oklahoma public education."  
Needs Our two most pressing needs are spreading the word across the state about our programs and fundraising to meet our operating and program budgets. In our 31st year, it is still surprising when even educators aren't aware of all of our programs. It shows that we must continue to reach out to our constituency--the education community--to tell about our programs. And secondly, fundraising is always a pressing need. With our program and operating budgets always a challenge, to be successful in meeting our goals requires ongoing and diligent attention--as well as involvement from our trustees.
CEO/Executive Director Statement

We appreciate so much the support we receive from our trustees and donors from across the state. It is only through their belief in our programs that we are able to make an impact on public education. Our 2017 fiscal year was very inspiring, with a total of $438,632 awarded to teachers and students through our five programs. Our Academic Awards Program awarded $125,000 to 105 outstanding high school graduates and five exceptional educators at our Academic Awards Banquet. $4,000 was awarded to four outstanding local education foundation programs at our Fall Forum. These programs are great examples to others of ways to benefit school communities. Thirty-five fifth grade history teachers received a total of  $96,541 to attend the Colonial Williamsburg Summer Teachers Institute, a week-long immersion in early American history. Fifty-eight teachers were awarded a total of $106,681 to attend national conferences in their subject areas and returned to their classrooms eager to share with their students and colleagues what they had learned. And our Fund for Teachers Program awarded $106,410 to 30 teachers to experience amazing summer fellowships throughout the world that benefitted their students and their classroom teaching.  Again we, appreciate so very much all of our donors who made it possible for our foundation to impact Oklahoma public education in these remarkable ways.

Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Oklahoma - Statewide
Throughout the state of Oklahoma
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Education/Educational Services
The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has helped build one of the nation’s largest and most effective networks of public school foundations, with more than 220 established to date. Together, these citizen-led nonprofits have raised millions of dollars to promote academic excellence in their districts and have encouraged community involvement in their local schools.
Helping to strengthen this grassroots movement, OFE provides free training, resources and networking opportunities for new and established public school foundations. Among its services, OFE sponsors state and regional training events, board member retreats, the LEF Leader newsletter and online resources. The foundation also presents $1,000 Outstanding Program Awards for LEFs, recognizing innovative programs sponsored or administered by public school foundations. Our LEF Outreach Program is underwritten with support from Claremore community leaders Frank C. and Ludmila Robson.
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Description In 1993, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence began a partnership with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. OFE administers fellowships for teachers to attend the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute. During the weeklong institute, teachers are immersed in 18th-century life though hands-on activities and reenactments of historic events. .

OFE also co-sponsors Colonial Day at the Capitol for fifth-graders. A day of experiential learning, approximately 500 students all dressed in early American attire fill the halls of the capitol to hear historical characters, participate in a Patriot-Loyalist Debate, perform a Bill-of-Rights Rap, learn colonial activities such as silversmith, archeology, soldiering and more. To promote the creation of colonial activities across the state, OFE hosts a website (www.colonialday.org) with tips on planning colonial day events.
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Description Our Teacher Grants for Professional Development improve teacher performance and boost morale by providing grants to top-quality regional and national workshops, institutes and conferences. Grants help educators cover the costs of tuition, travel, lodging and the expense of hiring substitute teachers. Applications are posted online in October and November.*

In 2006, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence partnered with the national Fund for Teachers and the Tulsa Community Foundation to provide grants of up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for teams of teachers for self-designed, summer professional development opportunities. The Fund for Teachers-Oklahoma program gives educators the creative freedom and opportunity to design unique learning experiences that will enhance their teaching and ultimately bring a world of new ideas to their students. The program has provided more than $2.5 million in grants to benefit 727 educators. Their journeys have taken them from the plains and forests of Oklahoma and the ecological wonders of Costa Rica to the classical ruins of Rome and the Great Wall of China.
Population Served Adults
Description During its 20th anniversary in 2006, the foundation launched the David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative to promote the growth and development of quality youth mentoring programs statewide. The initiative grew out of David Boren’s own commitment to mentoring and the proven impact that mentoring can play on a student’s success in and out of the classroom.

Through the mentoring initiative, OFE is working with school districts, businesses, faith groups and mentoring organizations to promote mentoring as a positive step toward academic excellence. The foundation also provides training and networking opportunities for new and established mentoring programs and encourages programs to follow established standards for safe and effective practice. Recently, the foundation expanded its Fall Forum for Local Education Foundations to include sessions for mentoring programs.

OFE has been designated as Oklahoma’s official lead organization for National Mentoring Month by the Harvard Mentoring Project. The foundation also provides an online database of Oklahoma mentoring programs and mentoring information at www.okmentors.org.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

The foundation’s flagship event is its Academic Awards Banquet, where the foundation bestows cash awards each year to recognize outstanding public high school seniors as Academic All-Staters and innovative educators as Medal for Excellence winners. Since 1987, the foundation has awarded nearly $3.9 million in merit-based scholarships and awards. The gala banquet, which is broadcast statewide on OETA, has become the state’s most prestigious academic event, celebrating the best and brightest in Oklahoma’s public schools. Academic Awards nomination forms are available at www.ofe.org in late September with deadlines in late November.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.

As our founder David Boren often says, it is quality education that will determine the future of our state and nation and what more important group to recognize than our top teachers and students. They set a standard of excellence for others to emulate and honoring them shows that Oklahomans value academic excellence.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Emily Stratton
Start Date June 1999
Email estratton@ofe.org
Experience A founding trustee and longtime supporter of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Emily Stratton brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to her role as executive director of the foundation.

Prior to joining the foundation staff in 1999, Stratton served as development and publicity director for the University of Oklahoma College of Fine Arts. From 1987 to 1996, she was executive director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she was both a founding member and interim president of the Clinton Public School Foundation.

Stratton is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma, for which she is past vice president for development and membership services. She serves on the OU Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Board of Advocates and is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club of Oklahoma City.

Under Stratton’s leadership, the Foundation has expanded its programs to include the Fund for Teachers-Oklahoma and Teacher Scholarships for Professional Development, both of which enhance student learning by providing quality training and enrichment opportunities for teachers.  During the foundation’s 20th anniversary in 2005-06, Stratton oversaw the launch of the David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative, a statewide program to promote the growth and development of school-based mentoring throughout Oklahoma.
Number of Full-time Staff 4
Number of Part-time Staff 2
Number of Contract Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 250
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
Caucasian 6
Staff Demographics - Gender
Female 6
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures No
The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence collaborates with a number of organizations and foundations. Oklahoma Arts Institute provides a live high school orchestra for our Academic Awards Program. OETA broadcasts our Awards Program throughout the state--one of two programs they so honor, the other being the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Our two state newspapers --the Oklahoman and the Tulsa World--publish special supplements to promote the Academic Award winners a week prior to the banquet. Our mentoring program collaborates with the Oklahoma After School Network. We partner with Colonial Williamsburg, Mt. Vernon and Oklahoma's network of Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute alumni for our early American history education programs. We partner with the Tulsa Community Foundation and the national Fund for Teachers organization for our Oklahoma Fund for Teachers Program. 
Finalist for Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Award in EducationOklahoma Center for Nonprofits2009
Outstanding Achievement in Programming and ManagementCharles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation2003
Meritorious Service Award in Recognition of Leadership in Education in OklahomaJeannine Rainbolt College of Education / OU2010
Community Impact Award -- Honorable MentionOklahoma Business Ethics Coalition2015
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Board Chair
Name Craig Story
Company Affiliation Attorney, Phillips Murrah PC
Term Sept 2016 to Aug 2017
Email dcstory@phillipsmurrah.com
Board of Directors
List Current as of July 01, 2017
Board of Directors List
Teresa B. Adwan RetiredVoting
Jami Rhoades Antonisse Miller and Johnson LawVoting
David L. Boren University of OklahomaVoting
Randy Buetler Voting
Steve Burrage Voting
Jenny Dakil Voting
Nance Diamond Voting
Jennifer Dickey SW Oklahoma State UniversityVoting
Sandy Garrett Retired EducatorVoting
Anil Gollahalli University of OklahomaVoting
Jean Hendrickson A+ SchoolsVoting
Mary Jenkins Voting
Paige Johnson
Sherrel Jones
Farooq Karim
Patti Mellow Community VolunteerVoting
Sanjay Meshri Voting
Ken Miller
Linda K. Neal Community VolunteerVoting
Charles L. Oppenheim The Oppenheim GroupVoting
Cathryn Render RVA Market Research & ConsultingVoting
Neil Schemmer
D. Craig Story Phillips Murrah PCVoting
Clifton Taulbert Voting
Susan I. Thurmond Community VolunteerVoting
Sandy Werner Community VolunteerVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Caucasian 176
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 0 2--Indian
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 86
Female 94
Board Term Lengths 3 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 93 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 3 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Comments on Board & Governance
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments The Governance list above is of the Executive Committee. A full Board of Directors list can be found in the Other Documents tab.
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year July 01, 2017-June 30, 2018
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $1,056,422
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $1,019,899
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Revenue$576,107$881,624$1,725,065
Total Expenses$977,809$940,857$971,381
Revenue Less Expenses($401,702)($59,233)$753,684
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$126,944$116,843$112,331
Unrealized Gain/Loss($183,948)$133,384$924,564
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$818,007$785,914$821,522
Administration Expense$115,203$107,431$104,395
Fundraising Expense$44,599$47,512$45,464
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.590.941.78
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%84%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$7,095,371$7,505,655$7,541,429
Current Assets$310,671$375,329$272,598
Long-Term Liabilities$35,529$45,794$22,391
Current Liabilities$2,217$534$478
Total Net Assets$7,057,625$7,459,327$7,518,560
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities140.13702.86570.29
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets1%1%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions $567,137Contributions $569,090Realized & Unrealized Gains/(Loss) $924,564
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $126,944Investment Income $116,843Contributions $625,853
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $62,894Earned Revenue $59,105Investment Income $112,331
Endowment? Yes
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage (if selected) 4 %
Credit Line? No
Reserve Fund? Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next Five Years? No
Comments on Financials
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments We have five additional endowments:
  1. Oklahoma City Community Foundation: approximate value of $173,897
  2. Russel & Hazel Crooch Endowment at the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation: $40,950
  3. David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative: $529,444
  4. Kenneth & Juliette Woodward Fund for Teacher Professional Development Grants in Stephens County: $114,534
  5. Kenneth & Juliette Woodward Fund for Stevens County Academic All-Staters: $95,000
Foundation Staff Comments
All prior year financial information is from the IRS Form 990s.

Contributions may include foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.

The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.

Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.

Address 101 Park Avenue
Suite 420
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Primary Phone 405 236-0006
Contact Email info@ofe.org
Give to Endowment http://occf.org/ofe/
CEO/Executive Director Emily Stratton
Board Chair Craig Story
Board Chair Company Affiliation Attorney, Phillips Murrah PC