MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Morris Educational Foundation has been ranked fifth in the nation among foundations of its size as reported by the nation’s only annual study and ranking of K-12 education foundations -- “Stepping Up: The Nation’s Top K-12 Education Foundations 2016” . The report ranked Morris Educational Foundation fifth in the nation among foundations with annual revenues of $500,000 - $999,999.

“Most parents and taxpayers are not aware of how K-12 education foundations are enhancing and innovating public education,” said Dewey Caruthers, study author and president of Caruthers Institute (formerly dewey & associates) that conducts the study, noting “education foundations are providing vital programs for students and valuable grants for teachers that otherwise would not exist.”

Stepping Up looks at eight performance categories to determine the rankings: annual revenues, revenues per student, total assets, assets per student, investment income, total program expenses, expenses per student, and volunteers. Foundations also are placed into four divisions based on revenues.

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“We want to provide comparisons to foundations of similar sizes,” Caruthers said.

“We are incredibly honored to have received this recognition for our work alongside the Morris School District,” said Kim Pistner, Chair of the Morris Educational Foundation. “We have worked very hard over the past several years to advance our mission and significantly increase our impact on the lives of the students, teachers, and families of the Morris School District and our greater community. We know that strong schools are the foundation of strong communities."

The study focuses on K-12 education foundations in the 200 largest school districts (by student population). Additionally, top-performing education foundations that serve smaller school districts were included. In totality, there were 188 K-12 education foundations from 220 school districts included in the study. These foundations collectively generated the following in 2014 (most recent year data available): Held $506 million in assets; raised $359 million; invested $161 million into grants and programs; and leveraged 45,000 volunteers to fuel efforts.

To view the study, visit

"As state funding for public education decreases school districts have begun seeking alternative sources of funding. Local education foundations are one way to ensure districts are able to continue funding innovative programs. The Morris Educational Foundation is an example of a high-level thinking 2 education foundation,” said Megan Dzwonkowski, Executive Director of the New Jersey Education Foundation Partnership. “The MEF has made a significant impact on, not only, the students in the Morris School District but the community at large. Their collaborative and strategic work is exemplary, bringing creative and innovative programming to the students while building bridges between the school district and the community"

The study is exciting for us as it tells the story of when you bring together visionary educational leadership, an innovative district, strategic partners, committed teachers, motivated diverse students, dedicated volunteers and a community of donors you can truly make exceptional education extraordinary,” said Debbie Sontupe, Executive Director of the Morris Educational Foundation.

Since it was founded in 1992, the Morris Educational Foundation has provided close to $2.5 million dollars in resources impacting the lives of Morris School District students.

To support the work of the foundation, donations can be made online at