Lobeck Taylor Foundation Surpasses $10 Million Community Investment
EMERGING LEADERS SOCIETY: Bill Lobeck and Kathy Taylor recently delivered a keynote address for members of the Tulsa Area United Way’s new Emerging Leaders Society, an organization of young professionals devoted to leadership and philanthropy. From left are Bill Lobeck, Kathy Taylor, Jesse Boudiette and Mark Graham.
The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation has announced it surpassed more than $10 million in community investment since its inception 16 years ago. In 2013, invested more than $1.9 million in initiatives to expand opportunity for individuals and organizations in the greater Tulsa area. Additionally, has committed $3.7 million in pledges for the next six years respectively.
The majority of investments were made in three key areas of focus: education, entrepreneurship and capital improvements for quality of life assets in the Tulsa region.
In a time of scarce education funding, dedicated $1.6 million in funding over five years to Mitchell Elementary of Tulsa Public Schools and McAuliffe Elementary of Union Public Schools. At 94 and 99 percent, both schools are similar in terms of the number of children dependent on free or reduced lunch while also striving to narrow the student achievement gap.
“Education is one of the primary focus areas of our grant making,” said the foundation’s Executive Director Elizabeth Ellison. “We challenged the leadership at Union Public Schools to share how we could best impact student outcomes. Instead of telling them what we wanted, we listened to what they could do with the right resources. The superintendents and principals know their schools and students best.”
is supporting Mitchell Elementary School by providing the direct funding for Teach for America corps members and data education. Teach for America chose to use the funds to employ six corps members at Mitchell and pilot a program assisting staff with better utilizing the data received from standardized testing and peer observation.
While at McAuliffe Elementary, is funding priority enrichment programming aimed to fulfill the schools’ LEADER mission to teach kids to empower, achieve, dream, embrace and reach their destinies.”
“We are excited to tap into unrealized potential by challenging school leaders to improve student outcomes but not dictating how,” said Ellison. “This kind of approach is unmapped and requires a willingness on the part of the Foundation to take a chance. We are willing to do this because we have great faith in the leadership at Union and Tulsa Public Schools.”
Grants are awarded by only to qualified charitable organizations designated as tax exempt under Internal Revenue Service Code 501©(3) and are not classified as private foundations. Grant applications are accepted biannually on April 15 and October 15.
“In 2014 we are looking to fund nonprofit programs that enhance k-12 public education or contribute to the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tulsa. Organizations that apply should provide innovative and measureable results,” said Ellison.
Additionally, the Foundation has a partnership with the Tulsa Community College Start Up Cup. Winners receive invaluable coaching and mentoring from city leaders and $30,000 to take their business to the next level. Former Start Up Cup winners include Seeking Sitters, CleanNG, and The Galley Sink.
“Our purpose is to inspire meaningful change, starting with home,” said Ellison. “We want our work to fund life changing educational programs; to give first-time entrepreneurs the tools to rewrite their futures; and to encourage Tulsans to engage in the community.”
Additional grant recipients include: Fab Lab Tulsa, Tulsa Area United Way Emerging Leaders Society, Tulsa Tough, Salvation Army, Route 66 Marathon, 501 TechNet, Global Gardens, Thornton , Scholarships for Success, Tulsa Zoo, University of Oklahoma Foundation -The Mine, Community Action Project of Tulsa Co, City Year, Inc., and Summer Institute.
Separate from the Foundation, Bill Lobeck and Kathy Taylor regularly make direct donations, such as the $925,000 gift to the University of Tulsa College of Law for the Lobeck Taylor Family Advocacy Clinic.
Organizations and individuals interested in submitting a grant application should visit www.LobeckTaylor.com. If interested in the StartUp Cup, visit www.tcc.startupcup.com.