What We Do

Theory of Change

Continuing The Legacy Of Fred K. Conn

Mission: The Conn Memorial Foundation provides strategic leadership and grants to organizations in Hillsborough County that support the educational achievement of children and youth in low-income neighborhoods and strengthen the capacity of leaders in preschools, schools and social service organizations.

Vision: Educational achievement and social-emotional learning that leads to increased kindergarten readiness, high school graduation rates, successful post-secondary experiences and careers. Successful leaders in Hillsborough County’s preschools, schools and social service organizations.


Conn Theory of Change / 2019-20


Theory of Change


Population Focus

  • Children and youth from selected Title 1 schools in Hillsborough County
  • Leaders from Hillsborough County’s preschools, schools and social service organizations


  • Facilitate strategic collaborations for systemic solutions and demonstration projects between early childhood and Kindergarten – 12th Grade education
  • Support academic achievement and social-emotional learning through development and support of parent engagement and educational pathways
  • Develop Leaders to strengthen organizations

Guiding Principles

  • Invest resources strategically for collective impact
  • Empower individuals and organizations
  • Collaborate purposefully
  • Strengthen community assets
  • Support replicable systemic change
  • Measure impact with data-driven strategies


Education Pipeline Initiatives

Identify and develop educational pipelines for birth – 12th grade with a primary focus on birth – 5th grade in Title 1 schools with a positive tipping point (60%+ student stability and 40%+ Kindergarten Readiness and 3rd Grade Reading rates). Support dynamic and collaborative engagement of caregivers, educators and social service leaders.

Systemic Collaboration for Kindergarten Readiness and Kindergarten Transition

Partnership with Early Learning Coalition and School District to create early childhood pathways for public schools.

Town ‘n’ Country Growing Up Great

  • Birth to 5th Grade pathway
  • Birth to 3 years of age: Champions for Children’s Caregiver/Child Together Programs & private preschools
  • 3 & 4 years of age: Private/Public strategy focused on Kindergarten Readiness and Transition with preschools Children’s Nest Day School and La Petite Academy
  • K to 5th Grade: Morgan Woods & Town ‘n’ Country Elementary Schools
  • Out of School Time & School Based Mentoring: Boys & Girls Clubs

Riverview Growing Up Great: Spurlino YMCA

  • Birth to 5 years of age pathway
  • Develop YMCA’s Stay and Play & Mommy and Me programs for replicability
  • Plan for a new Birth to 5th Grade pathway

Tampa Preschool Partnership

  • Birth to Kindergarten pathway
  • Kindergarten Readiness
  • Kindergarten Transition
  • Support development of high-impact nonprofit preschools

Private and Charter School Pipeline

  • Birth to College Pipeline
  • Support development of early childhood strategy at St. Joseph’s Catholic School
  • Advocate for quality early childhood programs for partnership feeder schools
  • Support capacity building strategies for partnership schools
  • Support the development of a feeder school strategy for Cristo Rey Tampa High School

Capacity Building Initiatives

Conn Foundation Board and Staff

Provide leadership, support and advocacy

  • Organizational Networking
  • Early Childhood Education
  • K-12th Education

Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay and the University of Tampa Nonprofit Certificate Program

Strengthen capacity through professional development and leadership education

  • Board Governance
  • Executive Leadership
  • Fund Development
  • Marketing
  • Finance


  • Improved Kindergarten Readiness (iReady) and 3rd Grade Reading Rates (FSA) for Public Schools. Improved graduation rates, academic assessments and post-secondary placements for private and charter schools.
  • Successful leaders in Hillsborough County’s preschools, schools and social service organizations as reported in the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Annual Report.