After a rigorous recertification process, Education Funding Partners (EFP) is beyond thrilled to announce it will continue to be a proud B Corporation for at least the next two years, putting us at eight years in total as a certified B Corp. We are incredibly thankful to have received this distinction once again, and will use it as just another big motivator to continue to do well by doing good.
The B Corp certification process isn’t easy, and it’s made us take a moment to actually think about what we’ve done to get us to where we are today. While we are nowhere near finished with our mission of helping to close the K-12 school funding gap in the US, we can appreciate how far we’ve come in our journey, especially as a part of the B Corp community.
Our ambition to become a B Corp was planted in 2009, when one of our cofounders was introduced to the movement by a friend at Better World Books, an online used bookstore that donates a portion of its proceeds to literacy promotion organizations. They were one of the first 20 B Corps ever certified, and their story not only inspired our founders but motivated them to set a goal for themselves: Their future company would one day also be a B Corp.
With that in mind, EFP was founded in 2010 and just one year later it was certified as a B Corp. Since then, we’ve been working tirelessly to support education in any way possible as well as make the B Corp community proud. Here’s a look at some of our notable moments from then to now, set alongside events that took place in both education and the world at large:
EFP: We are certified as a B Corp for the first time. We also run our first school district sponsorship campaign with CVS MinuteClinic.
Education: The US Department of Education allows states to request flexibility on the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act.
World: The final movie in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, is released. It becomes one of the best reviewed films of the year, and causes thousands of Harry Potter fans to write “mischief managed” as their status on social media.
EFP: District and sponsor sales outreach expands. We serve our first display ads on a district website.
Education: The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting saddens the entire nation. At the time, it was the second deadliest mass shooting by a single person in US history.
World: Barack Obama is re-elected to a second term as President of the United States.
EFP: We shift our focus from brand marketing targeted toward students to promotional marketing targeted to parents and teachers. We also run our first broad scale back-to-school campaigns, with school districts nationwide participating and generating new revenue to fund previously unfunded mandates.
Education: Chicago Board of Education decides to close 50 schools, the largest mass closing of schools in our country’s history. This happens on the heels of school closures in other major US cities including Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
World: Prince William, Duchess Kate and the entire world welcomes Prince George to the world in July. Far and wide, fans of the young royals rejoice the arrival of their first child.
EFP: We partner with Microsoft to run a major Microsoft 365 campaign, generating the highest online ROI for that program. We also run school supply campaigns from every major school supplies retailer (Target, Walmart, Office Max, Staples, etc.).
Education: Indiana becomes the first state to withdraw from using Common Core Standards.
World: A deadly Ebola outbreak starts in West Africa. More than 6,000 people die from it.
EFP: We pivot our focus to an all-digital advertising model, driven by learning from districts that it’s how they most effectively communicate with their district and school communities. We partner with prominent programmatic ad exchanges to support our new direction.
Education: President Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act into law, which effectively replaces No Child Left Behind and gives individual states more control over how they measure educational quality in their schools.
World: Gunmen storm the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a prominent satirical magazine in Paris, killing 12 people. The tragedy is felt around the world.
EFP: We receive major financial support and become part of Abundant Venture Partners, a socially responsible health care and education-focused incubator who specializes in helping to create companies that steer our world in a positive direction. We move our company headquarters from Denver, CO to Chicago, IL.
Education: The federal government issues a statement to all school districts advising that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.
World: Donald Trump is elected President of the United States.
Education: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $1.7 billion over the next five years to go toward initiatives that build collaborative school networks.
World: The United Kingdom starts the process of officially exiting the European Union.
It’s been six years of ups and downs for us, for education and for the world at large. Now more than ever, we are committed to our mission of making positive social change.
So bring on the next two years. We’re going to make them better than ever.