April 19, 2018 - PRESS RELEASE

BASIC Fund Celebrates 20 Years of Providing Academic Scholarships to Bay Area Families in Need

Over $120 million Raised, Benefiting Over 22,000 students

San Francisco: The BASIC Fund, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to low income families in the Bay Area which allows them to send their children to the school of their choice, celebrated their 20th Anniversary at AT&T Park last week.  

The BASIC Fund has assisted more than 22,000 students in the Bay Area with K-8 scholarships since 1998. The mission of the BASIC Fund is to make a private school education a possibility for low-income families. Ninety-eight percent of BASIC Fund students graduate from high school, nearly twenty-five percent higher than their peers who do not receive aid.

Guests and staff gathered to celebrate the twenty-year milestone and honor the BASIC Fund’s founders, Jim and June McCarthy, along with Arthur Rock and the late John Walton, who helped launch the organization in 1998. The BASIC Fund has quietly raised more than $120 million since its inception, without any events or public fundraisers. 

"The BASIC Fund plays an integral role in connecting low-income but high-deserving students to an education they couldn’t otherwise afford," commented Jim Herbert, Chairman of First Republic Bank and one of the BASIC Fund’s founding board members. “The founders’ vision, supported to this day by the organization’s board and generous donors help to make students and their families’ dreams a reality. It continues to be the best-run non-profit organization I’ve been a part of, and I’m honored to be a part of the BASIC Fund’s mission.”  

"Without the BASIC Fund, we wouldn't be here. After his father passed away two years ago Brenden was struggling in school. Now he is in third grade and has been on the honor roll since we enrolled, thanks to our BASIC Fund scholarship," said Brandy Cotton, the mother of a BASIC Fund scholarship recipient.  

BASIC Fund Executive Director, Rachel Elginsmith, commented, "The commitment and dedication of the BASIC Fund’s founders, board of directors, donors, staff, families and students is absolutely awe inspiring. It’s an amazing gift to be able to see the indelible impact this organization has had on so many lives. Twenty years is an incredible milestone worthy of celebration and I’m excited to see what the BASIC Fund can do in the next twenty years."

Supporters in attendance included Chairman of the BASIC Fund Board of Directors, Ken Derr (Former CEO of Chevron Corporation, who recently donated $1MM to The BASIC Fund in honor of the outgoing Chairman, John Watson), Arthur Rock, Ronnie and Karen Lott, Ned Spieker, Mike and Bobbie Wilsey, Bill and Connie Ring, Martin Romo, Jeff Edwards, Ted Williams, Kellie Abreu, Rocky Fried, Kristi Markkula Bowers, Michael and Eric Schwartz, Richard Barker, Craig Johnson and many others. 


Founded in 1998, The BASIC Fund is a privately funded 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to broaden the educational opportunities for inner-city children by helping low-income families afford the cost of tuition at private schools in the Bay Area. Founded in 1998 by Jim and June McCarthy with support from Arthur Rock and John Walton, the organization has supported more than 22,000 students in the Bay Area, with high school graduation rates of more than 98%.  The board of directors is comprised of some of the Bay Area’s top executives, including Chairman Ken Derr (retired Chairman and CEO of Chevron Corporation), James Herbert (CEO, First Republic Bank) and 49ers legend Bill Ring.  A full list can be found here:

For more information, please contact Michelle Harris (602.370.2526 or 

December 2017


October/November 2016

Spring/Summer 2016

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