The AOL Foundation

22000 AOL Way, Dulles, VA 20166

phone: (703) 265-1342 • fax: (703) 265-2135 eMail:

Established October 1997 The philanthropic arm of internet content provider America Online enters the education arena with $1 million in grants to give


To pioneer the development of strategies and programs that leverage the power of the emerging global medium to benefit society by improving the lives of families and children, and empowering the disadvantaged.

Board Chairman

Jim Kimsey, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, America Online


Steve Case, Chairman and CEO; Kathy Bushkin, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer; Ken Novack, Chief Advisor; Mark Stavish, Senior Vice President, Human Resources; Jean Villanueva, Former Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications; George Vradenburg III, Senior Vice President and General Counsel.

Key Programs

The foundation’s Interactive Education Initiative provides teams of educators and others with seed money to develop and implement innovative, hands-on projects that improve student performance through the integration of interactive technology into the learning environment. Grant proposals are solicited through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP), and reviewed through a multi-step process. Grant recipients receive other forms of support and participate in an online network. Teams of teachers, administrators, parents and community leaders are eligible to apply for grants of up to $7,500.

Program Overview

According to Jill Stephens, director of outreach, the AOL Foundation will give $1 million in grants in both 1998 and 1999. For the 1998 year, said Stephens, over 500 grant applicants responded to the RFP by the April deadline. The AOL Foundation also gives in-kind contributions, and donates hardware to schools in empowerment zones.

Through the Interactive Education Initiative, teams of teachers, administrators, parents, and/or community leaders throughout the United States can apply for grants of up to $7,500 to develop and implement innovative uses of interactive technology to enhance educational outcomes for K-12 students.

In the pilot year of this initiative, the AOL Foundation will award in the range of 50 to 100 grants. In some instances, grants will be supplemented by in-kind support such as free America Online accounts, computer donations, and other types of assistance. AOL also plans to create an online network linking all grant recipients so they can easily share experiences, report outcomes, and seek ideas and guidance. Ultimately, the goal is to create an ever-expanding network of projects, teams, and education leaders that, over time, will revolutionize how interactive technology is used to enhance student learning.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

The AOL Foundation invites teams involving K-12 public schools and/or other non-profit educational entities throughout the United States to apply for an Interactive Education Grant. Teams may involve teachers, administrators, parents, and/or other community representatives. Once grant decisions are made, the grants themselves will be awarded to the sponsoring school or non-profit organization.

Application Process

Stephens said the 1999 grant deadline will be around early February. To apply, get the Interactive Education Grant Application Form from the AOL Foundation’s web site. Or call the foundation to request an application and guidelines: (703) 265-1342.