The mission of our great sisterhood is to promote high scholastic and ethical standards. That mission is manifested through the work of the Educational Advancement Foundation. Each year, EAF celebrates and encourages scholastic achievements through its presentation of scholarships and grants to the community. When I attend the EAF luncheons at our regional and international conferences, I am in awe of the stories of the individuals being honored. It is then that I am assured that the work that we do through EAF is not in vain. However, I believe EAF has been a well-kept secret both within our organization and outside of it. As a board member, I am making it my personal mission to increase the awareness of EAF, starting with my chapter, then my region and so on. Today, the need is more critical than ever before and I believe that if we subscribe to the old adage of "each one, reach one" and solicit just one or two persons in our center of influence, we can make a significant difference. We can truly make EAF the Foundation for the Advancement of Education.
Linda Groomes Walton, At Large Director
Litchfield Park, AZ
The Educational Advancement Foundation was founded in 1980 by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., an organization with a rich and distinguished history of service that spans nearly a century.
Alpha Kappa Alpha was the first Greek letter organization of its kind. The organization pioneered mobile health clinics in America, has been a leader in the fight against illiteracy, and has the distinction of being one of only a handful of women's organizations to operate a federally funded Job Corps. But, ever since Alpha Kappa Alpha awarded its first scholarship in 1914 ($10 to a liberal arts student at Howard University), one program of service has endured—scholarships.
Creating the Educational Advancement Foundation was the method by which Alpha Kappa Alpha sought to ensure that there would always be support for education, its oldest program of service. Today, the Foundation, a financially strong and viable organization, is a powerful tool for good, pooling the resources of others who share this vision of providing a perpetual source of support for education.
Commemorating more than 30 years of service
Constance Holland conceives the idea of a foundation and shares her vision with her sister, Dr. Barbara Phillips, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., who sets in motion the mechanisms to move the concept to reality.
EAF is founded. At its national convention, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority appropriates $10K in seed money for the establishment of the Foundation.
Holds first "Salute to Excellence" luncheon, which serves as a forum to honor supporters and highlights the Foundation's work in the area of lifelong learning.
Hires full-time staff. Prior to 1987, administrative functions were carried out by Alpha Kappa Alpha's Executive Director.
Awards first scholarships ($10,000 to 14 students). Since then, more than 1,400 students have benefited from EAF's scholarship programs.
Awards first mini-grants. Since, EAF has distributed more than $200,000 to individuals and organizations to support local community service projects.
Moves into separate quarters. The move from the Sorority's office gives the growing organization ample space to efficiently conduct its operations and helps establish EAF as a separate and independent entity.
Begins participation in the National Black United Federation of Charities & the Combined Federal Campaign, which diversifies and expands EAF's donor base, making this one of the most significant events in the Foundation's history.
Awards 1st fellowships. Conceived to support individuals involved in scholarly pursuits at all stages of life, fellowships help EAF realize it mission of supporting lifelong learning.
Reaches initial $1M capitalization goal, a milestone which ensures that the endowment fund generates sufficient income to sustain an annual awards program.
Awards 1st Youth P.A.C. scholarships. By bringing young people into the award- and grant-making process, the program places EAF on an exciting trend in philanthropy.
Publishes history book. Perpetuating Our Posterity: A Blueprint for Excellence preserves EAF's history and serves as a resource guide for other groups considering entering the field of philanthropy.
Launches Web site. With more than 1.7M hits annually, the site has become a major business tool, enhancing EAF's visibility and strengthening its brand in the marketplace.
General Fund Balance surpasses $2M. This benchmark solidifies EAF's position as one of the largest foundations administered by African American women.
EAF turns 25. It commemorates the milestone with a spirited marketing and development campaign that generates record support from its membership and culminates in an official 25th anniversary celebration in Nassau, Bahamas.
A philanthropic thrust devoted to maintaining the strength and viability of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), The Advocates for Black Colleges (ABC) Initiative rallies minority graduates of minority institutions to lend financial support via personal contributions and corporate ties. This initiative results in contributions to HBCUs of over $650,000.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Traveling Exhibit chronicles the milestones of a proud history of service. Highlighting some of the many women who built, nurtured and sustained the organization's growth, it was displayed in several U.S. cities, including Washington, DC during the convention/Boule celebration of the Sorority's centennial. Upon completion of the tour, the exhibit was donated to:
The Historical Society of Washington, DC
801 K Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
EAF celebrates 30 years of service with a membership that has grown to more than 50,000 and 187 endowments, of which 107 are capitalized.
EAF celebrates 31 years of service, and membership grows to more than 52,000. The Foundation has 197 endowments, of which 107 are capitalized, and has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships and community assistance awards.