The Commonweal Foundation operates and supports educational programs and projects assisting underserved children and youth. The Foundation focuses on primary and secondary education.
Our vision is that children living in poverty have the opportunity to break the bonds of their circumstance by gaining access to quality educational opportunities and services, and graduate from high school prepared to enter and succeed in higher education or pursue gainful employment to become contributing members of society.
Embrace change and grow
Be open and transparent
Respect and engage all partners
Be accountable and persist
The Commonweal Foundation’s mission, values and vision are deeply connected to the life experience and perspective of our founder, Stewart Bainum.
In 1968, Stewart Bainum founded the Commonweal Foundation to serve the community in which he had lived and thrived since 1937. First known as The College Fund, Commonweal’s original purpose was to provide loans to financially needy students for college tuition. In the 1980s, the Foundation acquired its new name and a new focus: the support of secondary education. In 1988, Commonweal became one of the first local sponsors of the nationally acclaimed "I Have A Dream" program, promising college scholarships to nearly seventy elementary school students upon their completion of high school. Today, the Commonweal Foundation continues to provide educational and social support to financially needy students in the form of widely expanded services, including grants, scholarships, and educational programs.