FEDERAL WAY, Wash., August 3, 2023-

Single Largest Philanthropic Investment in Organization’s 27-Year History Will Help Schools Across the State Reduce Inequities in Education

Communities In Schools of Washington® announced today that Ballmer Group is committing $9 million to help the organization scale its integrated student support model to 45 schools. This new initiative will accelerate the adoption of its in-school student support services model, equalizing educational opportunities for young people in schools across the state.

“We are so excited and grateful to receive this generous investment from Ballmer Group,” says Elizabeth Hodges, State Director of Communities In Schools of Washington. “This transformative gift will have a lifetime impact for 64,125 students who are furthest from educational justice. We are thrilled by the possibilities of this gift and what it means for the work of CIS in Washington state!”

Communities In Schools (CIS®) works by bringing community resources directly into schools through embedding a trained local site coordinator whose sole focus is helping connect students with additional supports to help them learn, advance in grade level and graduate. During the 2021-2022 school year, 15 CIS affiliates in Washington served 90,790 students through 213 schools and community sites in 37 school districts.

“Ballmer Group is proud to partner with Communities In Schools of Washington to enhance their student support program,” said Kacey Guin, Portfolio Manager at Ballmer Group. “CISWA empowers thousands of students with the necessary assistance to unlock their full potential and accomplish their aspirations. These essential programs create a significant impact on students and families throughout the state of Washington.”

With this new award from Ballmer Group, CIS affiliates in Washington will expand and deepen services in 45 schools, serving a projected 64,125 young people by 2028. The goal of the investment is to support students in Title 1 schools and in schools where chronic absenteeism has a disproportionate impact on marginalized groups. The grant is further designed to catalyze local public and private investment in the CIS model through matched funding and sustainability planning. Over the next three to five years, the Washington CIS network will expand and deepen services in Northwest Washington, Eastern Washington, and areas of the Kitsap Peninsula. In addition to this local investment in Washington, Ballmer Group has also committed up to $165 million to grow CIS programs across the nation through the national office of Communities In Schools.

“We believe that every young person deserves resources for success and community for life,” Hodges adds. “As part of a national movement for whole child supports, we hope to reach every community where CIS can help Washington students to thrive.”

About Communities In Schools of Washington

Communities In Schools® (CIS®) is a national organization that ensures every student, regardless of race, zip code, or socioeconomic background, has what they need to realize their potential in school and beyond. CIS began operating in Washington in 1991 to help provide resources to meet basic needs of students so they could fully benefit from their education. Our Washington CIS network now includes our CIS of Washington state office, 11 independent affiliates, and 3 emerging affiliates. Working directly inside over 200 schools in Washington state, our network connects students to caring adults and community resources that help them see, confront, and overcome the barriers that stand between them and a brighter future. Together, we build a powerful change movement made up of peers, students, and alumni committed to building an equitable path to education for future generations.

About Ballmer Group 

Ballmer Group is committed to improving economic mobility for children and families in the United States, funding leaders and organizations that have demonstrated the ability to reshape opportunity and reduce systemic inequities. We focus on multiple impact areas and systems that can impact economic mobility – such as early learning, K-12 education, college and career pathways, housing, behavioral health, and criminal justice – and we support leaders and organizations that focus on undoing systemic racism and the barriers it has created. Ballmer Group is both a national and regional funder – we have a presence and invest deeply in southeast Michigan, Washington state, and Los Angeles County. Ballmer Group was co-founded by philanthropist Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, founder of USAFacts, and chairman of the Los Angeles Clippers. Learn more at www.ballmergroup.org

For more information, contact:                        

Elizabeth Hodges, State Director, Communities In Schools of Washington