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gala history
The Irvine Public Schools Foundation was founded in 1996 when three existing organizations merged together to form a more effective organization to support the Irvine Unified School District.

Over the years, IPSF has evolved from a small grassroots organization to one of the state’s largest educational foundations, raising more than $63 million for the benefit of Irvine schools. 




1996Irvine Public Schools Foundation is formed when three organizations (Irvine Education Foundation or IEF, District Advisory Forum or DAF and Foundations for the Future) merge.   Two part time staff are hired…and they still work for IPSF.

1997 Afterschool Classroom Enrichment (ACE) Program offers its first classes.

2001The Donald Bren Foundation offers a 5 year, $700,000 matching grant to IPSF to sustain the arts and science specialist program when it is threatened by budget cuts.

2002 IPSF’s Board of Trustees hires the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer

2002-03     IPSF Board of Trustees establishes a 3-year strategic plan with a revenue goal of $6 million. IPSF Committee structure is established, Master Agreement is signed by IPSF and IUSD.

2003The Elementary Class Size Reduction program is threatened by reduced state funding, and IPSF begins campaign to raise $300,000 in three months.

2004IPSF launches its first Home Raffle, one of the first in the country. In the first 10 days, more than 10,000 tickets are sold.

2004 IPSF launches the Legacy Partner program

2006Donald Bren Foundation pledges $20 million over 10 years in support for art, music and science specialist program.

2007 IUSD cuts $12.5 million from its budget due to reduced funding from State of CA

2008City of Irvine approves $900,000 matching grant funds to provide class size support

2010IPSF holds its first Annual Spirit of Excellence Gala

2010Citizens of Irvine vote overwhelmingly for Measure R, which provides $1 million per year in matching funds for Irvine schools for 3 years

2011Endowment Fund is formed

2012Citizens of Irvine approve Measure BB, which increases and extend the matching funds for Irvine Schools.

2014            IPSF launches annual Top 100 Businesses list