innovate people

“I do this for the seventh grader who computes math on a third grade level. The third grader that reads on a first-grade level and the kindergarten student that enters the school system already at a deficit because their families lack the resources.”
— Isis Spann, Walton/UNCF K-12 Education 2010 Fellow, Johnson C. Smith University

UNCF invests in students by providing more than
programs and 10,000 scholarships every year
Sidebar Story

UNCF Introduces “The HBCU Effect”®

In July 2020, UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute in partnership with EMSI Data, Equifax and UNCF-member institutions, released research entitled, the HBCU Effect®.

One of the two panels from the Imparting Wisdom rollout. From left to right, Dr. Brian Bridges, former vice president for research and member engagement, UNCF; Dr. Nina Gilbert, director, Center for Excellence in Education, Morehouse College; Dr. Hakim Lucas, president, Virginia Union University; Marquise McGriff, founder and executive developer, Club 1964; and Amanda Aiken, president, A. Leigh Solutions, Spelman College alumna and UNCF K-12 Walton Fellow alumnus; and Dr. Carmen Walters, president, Tougaloo College.

Imparting Wisdom to K-12 Educators

For years, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have educated tens of thousands of African Americans, prepared them for post-college careers and created steady pathways to upward mobility.


Walton Fellows Program Turns 10

The 2018-2019 academic year marked the 10th anniversary of the Walton Family Foundation’s collaboration with UNCF, a collaboration that’s kicked efforts to improve K-12 education by and for African Americans into a true reality.


“Receiving a scholarship from UNCF and attending an HBCU was just a validation of self-worth and what was possible when you’re in a community that is culturally validating. That experience really changed my life and set me on a course that helped me understand that truly anything was possible.”
— Greg Cunningham, U.S. Bank, UNCF Board of Directors

Students Graduation
Greg Cunningham, executive vice president, chief diversity officer, U.S. Bank 

Greg Cunningham: “Why I Support UNCF”

UNCF has been blessed over the years with many dedicated staff and volunteers to lead the organization.

students attend UNCF-member HBCUs for the education they need and deserve
Tina Bonner-Henry, Oprah Winfrey, Tiffany L. Jones and Sonja P. Nichols

Oprah’s “Stand and Deliver” Moment

When you’re a fundraiser, how do you break records when you keep pushing the line every time you go to bat? How do you find that moment at the plate where you “stand and deliver"...

Barbara Boyd Story

Barbara Boyd: Nearly 50 Years’ a Volunteer

When some retire, they’re thinking of what they can do to slow down. But for others, they’re thinking of what they can do to stay busy.

Joe Williams

Jillean and Joe Williams: Imparting a Jazz Legacy

A long-time member of the Las Vegas community and a person well-known to many in that city’s entertainment field, Jillean Williams has now left a yet another legacy—this time through UNCF.


Students Graduation

“We have an extraordinary opportunity to move the needle for Black women pursuing degrees in computing by providing academic supports and mentorship. This initiative will grant participants access to a vast network of resources, and we believe will help change the trajectory of Black women within this significant area of our economy.”
— Dr. Chad Womack, Senior Director, UNCF National STEM Programs and Initiatives and HBCU Technology Innovation

UNCF-member institutions awarded almost
degrees in 2019
Image of a professor and several students working together in classroom near computers

Black Females Moving Forward in Computing Program Launched

Making impact for students is important across the board and finding new avenues in growing industries is always key, especially for HBCUs.


Fund II Foundation Graduates its First Class of Students

When UNCF and The Fund II Foundation partnered in 2016 to create the UNCF STEM Scholars Program, the primary goal was to provide support to 500 of the country’s top African American rising freshmen and see them through to graduation.

“As the story goes, the great African American poet Langston Hughes—another HBCU graduate—was working as a busboy here … when he was discovered in 1925 by poet Vachel Lindsay. So you might say it is poetic justice that 95 years later, an organization dedicated to educating African American poets—and teachers and scientists and businesspeople—would have raised more than $5 billion in 76 years, would have helped graduate more than 500,000 students, and would be awarding more than 10,000 scholarships a year worth $100 million. And would be a powerful and laser-focused advocate for its 37 private HBCUs, and one of the nation’s most effective advocates for all HBCUs. Or that taken in aggregate, HBCUs would become an economic engine generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact, and $130 billion in lifetime earnings for each HBCU graduating class? I think Langston Hughes would have been proud. And we hope that all of you are too.”
— Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF

Financial Highlights

Charitable Income

Assets and Liabilities


Officers and Directors

The men and women who guide the actions of the organization are a diverse group of people, and with their help, the organization ensures as many students as possible make it to and through college successfully.


Our Mission

UNCF envisions a nation where all Americans have equal access to a college education that prepares them for rich intellectual lives, competitive and fulfilling careers, engaged citizenship and service to our nation.

UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally recognized pipeline of underrepresented students who, because of UNCF support, become highly qualified college graduates and to ensure that our network of member institutions is a respected model of best practices in moving students to and through college.

UNCF’s North Star is to increase the total annual number of African American college graduates by focusing on activities that ensure more students are college-ready, enroll in college and persist to graduation. This is done through a three-pillar strategy:

• Positioning member institutions as a viable college option for students and investing in institutional capacity to improve student outcomes.

• Creating transformational support programs to ensure that students are enrolling and persisting through college completion.

• Building awareness of educational attainment and cultivating college-going behaviors within the African American community.

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