Foundation Profile: Cisco Systems Foundation

Cisco Systems Foundation

170 West Tasman Drive

San Jose, CA 95134-1706

phone: (408) 526-4226

fax: (408) 526-4722


Established 1997 by Cisco Systems, Inc.


The Cisco Foundation’s major focus is education, especially those programs that focus on integrating technology with teaching and learning. In addition, the Foundation is interested in K-12 arts education and skills training for youth and adults.

Board of Trustees

John Chambers, Chief Executive Officer; John Morgridge, Chairman of the Board; Larry Carter, Chief Financial Officer; Barbara Beck, Senior Vice President of Human Resources; and Keith Fox, Vice President of Marketing.

Program Overview

The Cisco Foundation’s major initiative for K-12 schools is its Networking Academies program, in which high school students can learn the information needed to prepare them for the Cisco Certified Network Associate exam. The Academies program is a partnership between Cisco Foundation, Cisco Systems, Inc., and Communities in Schools. There are currently 949 academies in almost every state. Cisco’s Virtual Schoolhouse Grants, annual, one-time awards of networking products, service, and training to schools, currently is under reconsideration by the Foundation, according to executive director C.J. VanPelt.

There are a total of 949 Networking Academies, including 627 local academies, 197 regional academies, and 125 combined local/regional Academies in 48 States and the District of Columbia, and worldwide in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, and Venezuela. Cisco also gives community project grants to educational organizations. Past recipients include the Challenge Learning Center, Global SchoolNet, and The Tech Museum of Innovation.

Financial Info

Contributions to Networking Academies from both Cisco Systems, Inc. and the Foundation come to approximately $18 million to date. Single contributions can be as high as $18 million (to Wisconsin schools in 1998).

Application for Funding

Application guidelines and a proposal checklist (which you’re strongly encouraged to use) are available on the Foundation’s web site. To apply, submit a proposal statement by the deadline. Use three to five pages, maximum, preferably on the organization’s letterhead. Sign the checklist, and submit it with your proposal.


Proposal deadlines are April 30 for July funding and November 30 for February funding. Proposals received after the deadline dates may be held for the next funding cycle.

Review Process

Proposals are screened for compliance to the guidelines. They are passed on to the Grant Review Committee, which is composed of employees from Cisco. Recommendations are then presented to the Cisco Systems Foundation Board of Trustees for final approval. In some instances, a site visit to your agency may be requested by Cisco Staff.

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