What is The Education Foundation?
We raise money and award scholarships! The Education Foundation is a non-profit tax-exempt foundation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is supported by contributions from multiple sources, and provides scholarships to students who attend Education Management Corporation (EDMC) owned schools. To further its charitable mission, the Foundation seeks donations from foundations, businesses, individuals and other diverse sources in order to retain the level of scholarships distributed annually to students attending EDMC-owned schools.
The Education Foundation began building relationships with the EDMC system of schools in 2002. Although the Foundation is a separate legal entity, it works with the EDMC schools to provide financial assistance to EDMC students. Since its founding, the Foundation has awarded more than $1,000,000 at more than 80 campuses.
The Foundation's growth has expanded the scope of its giving opportunities. In the last few years, the Foundation has established many named scholarships as tributes to the memory or retirement of a loved one, received contributions from other foundations and companies, accepted in-kind donations and developed new scholarship and development committees at many EDMC-owned schools.
The Foundation Board of Directors includes professionals from diverse backgrounds who serve three-year terms. The Board of Directors also have established standing committees to assist with the direction and growth of the Foundation.
Chris Hughes was named just the second Executive Director in the Foundation’s history in September 2012 after nearly two decades of fundraising, marketing, public relations and organizational success in higher education and nonprofit fundraising.
Hughes came to The Education Foundation from Carnegie Mellon University, where he served four years as the Director of Annual Giving at CMU’s prestigious Tepper School of Business. His tenure featured the best four-year annual giving span in the Tepper School’s history, highlighted by a 36% increase in donors, 56% increase in dollars raised and being the only known highly-ranked graduate business school in the U.S. to post increases in both donors and dollars from 2009-2012 inclusive. Hughes was instrumental in reinvigorating the school’s annual leadership giving society, the W.L. Mellon Society, including the development of a new logo and look as well as increased marketing of the society to donors. WLMS membership increased 79% during his four years at the Tepper School.
Prior to the academic side of education, Hughes spent over a decade in collegiate athletics at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels.
His professional career began at Northwestern University, where he served as part of the media relations team from 1995-99, promoting all 18 of NU’s Big Ten Conference teams to media outlets in Chicago and throughout the nation, including the Wildcat football team during its historic Rose Bowl and Citrus Bowl seasons. Hughes also was the driving force behind Northwestern becoming one of the early pioneers in athletics web sites, launching the Wildcats’ first-ever web site in the fall of 1996 and a significantly upgraded “dot-com” version in the fall of 1997. As the primary men’s basketball and men’s golf media relations contact, Hughes had the privilege of coordinating publicity for future NBA draft pick Evan Eschmeyer as well as future world’s top-ranked golfer Luke Donald.
From 2000-06, he served on the senior athletics administrative team at Cal State L.A., becoming the school’s first-ever Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing, Promotions and Sports Information. His marketing acumen resulted in the largest CSULA home basketball crowd in 20 years, some of the largest home crowds in the school’s volleyball and baseball histories, and a 10-fold increase in traffic on the school’s athletics web site. At CSULA, he also worked with top corporate partners such as Pepsi, AT&T and Kraft, while helping to organize and conduct two highly-successful special event annual fundraisers: Billie Jean King and Friends (tennis pro-am and dinner gala) and the Golden Eagle Golf Tournament. The tenure at CSULA followed one year at Caltech, where he served as both the school’s sports information director as well as head golf coach.
Hughes took a step away from academia during the 2007-08 Presidential election cycle, helping to raise money for numerous nonprofit and political organizations, including the DNC; City Harvest in New York City; and WETA public TV and radio in Washington, D.C.
He earned his B.S. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and his MBA from Robert Morris University.
Director of Development
Julie Banks joined The Education Foundation in April 2013, bringing nearly a decade of fundraising and donor relations experience in nonprofit and university development.
Banks comes to The Education Foundation from Carnegie Mellon University, where she worked for six years in a variety of development functions, including running the student telemarketing program, and managing the development of a comprehensive consecutive donor society. She was a key player in the shift from a traditional solicitation model to CMU’s targeted audience segmentation model, which utilizes relationships in conjunction with giving history. Julie most recently managed the production of tailored solicitation campaigns for consecutive donors, resulting in increases in both donor retention and dollar levels.
She started her development career at United Way of Allegheny County, where she assisted the workplace campaign team by developing marketing materials, presentations, and reporting for each constituency.
Julie earned her B.A. in History from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a member of the Junior League of Pittsburgh, and is an officer in the Pittsburgh Chi Omega Alumnae Chapter.
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