"Helping children with dreams become students with vision"

The BASIC Fund is a privately funded 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to advance educational equity for low-income families by helping offset the cost of tuition at private schools in the Bay Area.


Our Vision

The BASIC Fund has a clear vision to open the door to as many families in need as possible. In the Bay Area, there are thousands of empty seats in private and parochial schools – schools which lead to graduation rates of more than 95%. We can fill those seats!

Founded in 1998 by Jim McCarthy, Arthur Rock, and the late John Walton, the organization helps low-income Bay Area families find viable education alternatives for their children. The Founders’ vision was to offer children of low-income families a solid foundation in their early education. Further, that the best way to achieve this was to partner with three main stakeholders: parents, children, and schools.

  • Parents. A key differentiating factor of our program is that we create an alignment with the parents of our students by requiring them to make a financial commitment to their child’s education. In return they receive a multi-year commitment from The BASIC Fund.
  • We provide access to quality education and all the academic and social benefits that can accrue from a private school environment.
  • We enhance student body diversity and increase enrollment. In many cases, the additional students provided by The BASIC Fund have kept these quality schools open, further improving our efforts.

It is our mandate to ensure long-term academic, economic, and social success for thousands of the Bay Area’s most under-served children, their families, and the communities in which they live.


We’re doing really important work; we’re literally changing the lives of children, and changing the trajectory of families.

James A. McCarthy

Making an Impact

Where BASIC Fund Program Graduates Are Now:


Become high school graduates


Attend excellent private bay area high schools

Why The BASIC Fund?

Each year our program supports thousands of students in hundreds of schools throughout the Bay Area. Currently, we have over 3,600 students in 260 schools.

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The Facts

Right now the chances that our low-income children will end up graduating from high school are the same as whether they will end up in jail. We need a solution for children in school today. The BASIC Fund is that solution.

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"Thank you so much for helping us send our daughter to this school. There are a lot of families like mine. God bless you, BASIC Fund!"

Elsa, a BASIC Fund parent


Our mission is to broaden the educational opportunities for low-income families around the Bay Area by helping them afford the cost of tuition at the private school of their choice.

Scholarships are available to students entering PreK-8th grade to attend private schools in all nine Bay Area Counties.

The BASIC Fund is a privately funded 501(c)3 organization.

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