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 $1,166,625.00
Projected Expenses $1,134,021.00
History and Background
Former Names
Year Founded 1985
IRS Ruling Year 1986
State Registration Expiration July 2020
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 2019 fiscal year started off well with our Annual Meeting in September, which featured reports from recipients of past programs and plans for the upcoming year. One major change this year was shifting the name of our “Local Education Foundations Outreach Program” to “Oklahoma School Foundations Network,” emphasizing the importance of our helping school foundations connect with each other to share ideas.
Our Oklahoma Mentor Day was Jan. 18 at Oklahoma State University. It proved to be a great success and one of our largest yet, with approximately 400 in attendance to honor 84 outstanding mentors as chosen by their mentoring organizations. Following the ceremony, mentors and their mentees were treated to a variety of educational and fun activities hosted by OSU faculty and students. It is especially meaningful to hold the event at a university as it is the first time for many of the mentees to be on a college campus.
Colonial Day at the Capitol was held in February. Four hundred and sixty-three students from 12 schools filled the rotunda of the state capitol, all dressed in colonial attire. It was quite a site to see! Featured historical characters included a young Martha Washington and Benjamin Franklin, always a student favorite. An experiential day of learning, Colonial Day teaches about life in the colonies in the 1700s, the factors that led up to the Revolutionary War and the people who became known as our Founding Fathers. History comes alive for students when they participate in it as they understand and remember it far better than if they only read about the people and events.
We continue to sponsor teacher professional development grants that help teachers further their education and thus enhance their classroom teaching—our Teacher Grant Program that sends teachers to their national conferences in their subject areas and Fund for Teachers, a remarkable program that gives teachers the opportunity to choose their own summer educational activity to enrich both their learning and that of their students.
Our Academic Awards Banquet on May 18 was one of our best ever. The theme was “Shoot for the Stars,” with retired astronaut Leland Melvin as keynote speaker. He connected with the All-Staters remarkably well. Sharing an “aha” moment he had in space, he challenged the All-Staters not to think in terms of “changing our world” but to think in terms of “changing our universe.” We had never seen such a long line of All-Staters and their families lined up on stage after the banquet to shake his hand or have their pictures made with him. Our 2019 program year ended on quite a high and sets the tone for our upcoming 2020 program year to continue our championing teachers and students throughout Oklahoma.
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 32nd 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 2019 fiscal year was very inspiring, with a total of $373,529 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. $3,000 was awarded to three outstanding local education foundation programs. These programs are great examples to others of ways to benefit school communities. Thirty-six fifth and eighth grade history teachers received a total of $108,000 to attend the Colonial Williamsburg Summer Teachers Institute, a week-long immersion in early American history. Eleven teachers were awarded a total of $22,386 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 $115,143 to 27 teachers to experience amazing summer fellowships throughout the world that benefited 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.
Board Chair Statement "The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is truly one of Oklahoma's treasures," said President Cathy Render of Tulsa. "For 33 years, the foundation has recognized and supported Oklahoma public educators, honored its best and brightest students and --through its programs--has made a significant impact in public schools throughout the state."
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 $3 million in grants to benefit 851 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)
Description 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.
Comments on Programs
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
The many thank you letters we receive from program recipients shows the value our programs have and encourages our trustees and staff to continue working for Oklahoma public education teachers and students. As an example, here is a letter from one of our teacher grant recipients:
“I do not need to tell you that many days it feels like the whole world is against teachers and education. It is a blessing to be able to tell my colleagues and to remind myself that the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and its donors not only have our backs, but value what we do and are willing to invest financially to prove it. Thank you so much for all you do for Oklahoma teachers, not just sending us places and providing amazing learning experiences, but for making us FEEL valued and respected!” – Tulsa elementary teacher Kathleen Kendall-Walker, Professional Development Grant recipient
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 3
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 5
Staff Demographics - Gender
Female 5
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Under Development
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
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.  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 Ms. Cathy Render
Company Affiliation RVA Market Research & Consulting
Term Sept 2018 to Aug 2020
Email cathrynrender@gmail.com
Board of Directors
List Current as of July 01, 2019
Board of Directors List
Teresa B. AdwanRetiredVoting
Zachary W. AllenVoting
Bill AnoatubbyVoting
Jami Rhoades AntonisseMiller and Johnson LawVoting
Ruben AragonVoting
Jari AskinsVoting
Randy Baker
Leah M. BarbyVoting
Leah M. BarbyVoting
Howard G. Barnett, Jr.Voting
Daniel V. Barney, IIVoting
Jan BarrickVoting
Claudia Bartlett
Sharon M. BartlettVoting
Julie E. BatesVoting
Bruce T. BenbrookVoting
Loyd BensonVoting
Randy L. BeutlerVoting
Mike BlakeVoting
Kevin BlaylockVoting
Gail BlissVoting
David L. BorenUniversity of Oklahoma - RetiredVoting
Molly Shi BorenVoting
Montie R. BoxVoting
Todd BoydVoting
Connell BrananVoting
Barbara M. BraughtVoting
Larry BriggsVoting
Diana D. BrownVoting
Kenneth L. BuettnerVoting
Bob BurkeVoting
Steve BurrageVoting
Sean BurrageVoting
Ken Busby
Ann L. CaineVoting
James CalvertVoting
William M. CameronVoting
Beverly R. CarterVoting
Chip CarterVoting
Helen CarterVoting
Robin J. CauthronVoting
G. Bridger CoxVoting
William H. CrawfordVoting
Kyden CreekpaumVoting
Janet CunninghamVoting
Kyle DahlemVoting
Jenny DakilVoting
Leslie Daugherty
Lee Ann DeArmanVoting
Nance DiamondVoting
Linda DowningVoting
Kim Brock DowningVoting
Vanessa DrummondVoting
Janet T. DrummondVoting
Leonard J. Eaton, Jr.Voting
Linda EdmondsonVoting
Patricia P. EvansVoting
Cheryl EvansVoting
C. Kendric FergesonVoting
G. Douglas FoxVoting
Gregg A. GarnVoting
Sandy GarrettVoting
Lynda J. GipsonVoting
Anil GollahalliUniversity of OklahomaVoting
John B. GortonVoting
Nancy J. GrigsbyVoting
Nancy K. HallVoting
Charles R. HallVoting
Linda C. HaneborgVoting
John Hargrave
Morgan HarrisVoting
Joseph Harroz, Jr.Voting
Rik HelmerichVoting
Jean HendricksonVoting
Robert HenryVoting
Karen HensonVoting
Bill H. HillVoting
Jason HitchVoting
Stephen B. HoltonVoting
Anne T. HolzberleinVoting
David L. HoustonVoting
James K. HowardVoting
J. Clifford HudsonVoting
Deanne Hughes
Dow R. HughesVoting
John H. JamesonVoting
Joseph S. JankowskyVoting
Mary M. JenkinsVoting
Paige Johnson
Beth JohnsonVoting
Glen D. Johnson, Jr.Voting
David E. JonesVoting
Sherrel A. JonesVoting
Charlotte A. JonesVoting
Farooq Karim
John KennedyVoting
Rebecca J. M. KennedyVoting
Darin KentVoting
William G. KerrVoting
Judy Z. KishnerVoting
Ken LackeyVoting
Shelly LambertzVoting
Christa Leamon HughesVoting
Nancy L. LeonardVoting
Ken LevitVoting
W. Carlisle Mabrey, IIIVoting
Bert H. MackieVoting
Joe MartinVoting
Philis MasonVoting
John MasseyVoting
Matthew H. McBeeVoting
Charles A. McCall, IIIVoting
Noble McIntyreVoting
Virginia A. MeadeVoting
Patti MellowVoting
Sanjay MeshriVoting
Mary Frances MichaelisVoting
Vicki Miles-LeGrange
Ken Miller
Robyn R. MillerVoting
Gracie MontgomeryVoting
Melvin R. MoranVoting
Andrew Morris
Linda K. NealCommunity VolunteerVoting
Polly NicholsVoting
Edward NonweilerVoting
Charles L. OppenheimThe Oppenheim GroupVoting
Martie OylerVoting
Susan PaddackVoting
Leslie B. ParisVoting
Joseph L. Parker, Jr.Voting
Earlene ParrVoting
Bill PeacherVoting
Lisa Pryor
Sarah RedwineVoting
Peter J. ReganVoting
Phillip ReidVoting
Cathryn RenderRVA Market Research & ConsultingVoting
Lisa RobertsonVoting
Liz RobertsonVoting
Frank C. RobsonVoting
Sue Ann RodgersVoting
Linda R. RodgersVoting
N. Georgeann RoyeVoting
Stewart RyanVoting
Stuart SanderVoting
Susan Savage
Neil Schemmer
Brian E. ShippVoting
Patricia SholarVoting
Jabar ShumateVoting
Joe SianoVoting
Suzanne SimonVoting
George A. SingerVoting
Beth E. SnappVoting
Linda Ammons StarlingVoting
Cheryl A. SteeleVoting
C. Renzi StoneVoting
D. Craig StoryPhillips Murrah PCVoting
Marion J. StoryVoting
Barbara D. SturdivantVoting
Annie SwitzerVoting
Clifton L. TaulbertVoting
Carolyn A. TaylorVoting
Kathy TaylorVoting
Scott Thompson
Suzanne ThompsonVoting
Arthur H. ThompsonVoting
Susan I. ThurmondCommunity VolunteerVoting
Laurie TilleyVoting
Marian C. TisdalVoting
Annie TomecekVoting
Deacon Turner
Kathryn TurnerVoting
Sandy WernerCommunity VolunteerVoting
Patricia W. WheelerVoting
Elizabeth WhiteVoting
Susan WinchesterVoting
Peggy J. WisdomVoting
Emily C. WoodVoting
Betty J. C. WrightVoting
Tony ZahnVoting
Kathy ZervasVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Caucasian 176
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 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
Academic Affairs
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year July 01, 2019-June 30, 2020
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $1,166,625
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $1,134,021
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 Year201820172016
Total Revenue$1,255,318$1,354,166$576,107
Total Expenses$1,076,613$994,343$977,809
Revenue Less Expenses$178,705$359,823($401,702)
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 Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$143,022$123,603$126,944
Unrealized Gain/Loss$395,459$600,474($183,948)
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind$30,725----
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$911,122$838,351$818,007
Administration Expense$120,396$111,073$115,203
Fundraising Expense$45,095$44,919$44,599
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.171.360.59
Program Expense/Total Expenses85%84%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue7%8%8%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$7,598,253$7,420,726$7,095,371
Current Assets$280,476$282,166$310,671
Long-Term Liabilities----$35,529
Current Liabilities$2,100$3,278$2,217
Total Net Assets$7,596,153$7,417,448$7,057,625
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities133.5686.08140.13
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%1%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions $608,501Realized & Unrealized Gains/(Losses) $600,474Contributions $567,137
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountRealized & Unrealized Gains/(Losses) $395,459Contributions $569,245Investment Income $126,944
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $143,022Investment Income $123,603Earned Revenue $62,894
Endowment? Yes
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage (if selected) 5 %
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 $168,963
  2. Russel & Hazel Crooch Endowment at the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation: $41,826.05
  3. David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative: $543,837
  4. Kenneth & Juliette Woodward Fund for Teacher Professional Development Grants in Stephens County: $114,595
  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 Ms. Cathy Render
Board Chair Company Affiliation RVA Market Research & Consulting