The People of America Foundation was created in October 1995 to become the parent organization of Americans All, a national education program developed in the 1980s to recognize and honor the contributions of different immigrant groups to our nation’s growth. We were formed as a nonstock corporation to manage and grow Americans All classroom resources and received notification of our publicly supported nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service in March 1997, a status reconfirmed in March 2001. Click here to review the foundation’s recent tax returns.
Sensing a much greater need at that time, we expanded our mission to supporting excellence in K–12 social studies instruction and promoting civic engagement in our nation’s public and private schools to help ensure students are prepared to participate in our nation’s democracy, economy and workforce and in our global world. Despite our success, however, the emphasis in education shifted toward STEM topics, which reduced funding for history and civics. Fortunately, our Heritage Honor Roll aimed to recognize, honor and preserve the contributions that all people have made, and continue to make, to our nation by recording their legacy stories. This component is in line with author David McCullough’s belief that “history is the story of people.”
In August 2013, the foundation created the Americans All Benefit Corporation as a marketing and operations arm to raise the necessary funds to support our education mission; this kind of corporate entity is equally committed to doing social good and making a profit. Our foundation is a major stakeholder of the benefit corporation. To pursue the foundation’s education mission and create revenue-generating products and services, the benefit corporation created a membership-based Social Legacy Network to support the public’s interest in legacy preservation and upgraded Heritage Honor Roll legacy stories to include a password protected section. In addition, it aims to distribute additional ethnic and cultural texts and new grade-level-specific social studies resource databases that meet state content standards to afford access to quality history and civics information; create Web-based professional development opportunities to impart best practices on using these and other instructional resources.
In 2019, we modified our focus to support non-academic school activities and enable us to gain the funding needed for our mission. Americans All now uses a unique storytelling tool to facilitate legacy preservation, enable students to communicate better and help small businesses succeed. In addition, storytelling brings communities together by sharing people’s common histories, rather than their differences. Schools, students and students’ families and friends participate in Americans All at no cost and receive a free, one-year trial to our Social Legacy Network.
Local businesses and service providers participate in our program as Business Legacy Partners, for a nominal fee. They can leverage stories about their business or practice to build closer relationships with current and future customers and clients. They can also use our program to share discounts on their goods and services with Americans All Social Legacy Network members.
Schools frequently ask businesses for financial support but rarely provide them with anything of value in return. Our grassroots approach enables schools to receive ongoing revenue from the fees paid by Business Legacy Partners. Americans All members can also continue their Social Legacy Network subscription for a small monthly cost ($4) after the free trial to receive additional benefits besides publishing a story on our web-based Heritage Honor Roll. Schools also benefit from the Social Legacy Network fees.