Member Spotlight: Brophy Community Foundation


Integral to The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale’s mission is telling the stories behind the small businesses Scouted in each Volume. The story begins in print and continues online, after all. As you peruse Volume 3, we are thrilled to continue our story-telling mission with Member Spotlights. 

Equally integral to The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale’s mission is amplifying organizations committed to improving the lives of Arizonans. Volume 3’s Brophy Community Foundation does just that. Established in 1998, Brophy Community Foundation is one of Arizona’s oldest and most respected school tuition organizations.

A certified school tuition organization, Brophy Community Foundation receives individual and corporate tax credit contributions, awarding these redirected tax dollars to students with demonstrated financial need to attend Brophy College Prep, Loyola Academy, and thirty-eight other private K-12 schools statewide. Poised to celebrate a 25th anniversary, Brophy Community Foundation is as committed as ever to empowering Arizona’s youth through education access. 

Here, we chat with Executive Directory Dawn Kennedy, Operations Manager Heather Chapman, and Corporate & Marketing Manager Laura Walsh Giesecke, about Brophy Community Foundation’s mission, impact, and reach. 


TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Let’s start at the beginning. Can you speak to Brophy Community Foundation’s origin story? 
BCF: Brophy Community Foundation incorporated in response to the 1998 legislation that allowed individual taxpayers a full tax credit for directing a portion of their Arizona income liability to a school tuition organization. Former Brophy College Prep Presidents Father Edward Reese, S.J. and Adria Renke had the foresight to establish a school tuition organization that would give families struggling with financial hardships the ability to afford a K-12 private school.  

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: For those unfamiliar with Brophy Community Foundation or tax credit contributions, how does the BCF model work?
BCF: Guided by Jesuit principals, BCF is a certified school tuition organization that receives individual and corporate tax credit contributions and gives donors a dollar-for-dollar Arizona income tax credit. These funds are awarded to K-12 students, with verified financial need, who attend Brophy College Prep, Loyola Academy, and 38 other private schools statewide.  Our mission is to ensure these tax dollars are awarded to students with the greatest financial need. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Why are school tuition organizations so important? 
BCF: School tuition organizations, or STOs, have been around for 25 years and have given thousands of families the ability to send their children to a private school. STOs awarding tuition aid based on financial need level the playing field by removing financial barriers and offering equal access to tuition-charging private schools. 

Brophy Community Foundation leadership team, Laura Dawn, and Heather.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What differentiates BCF from other STOs? 
BCF: BCF is committed to families with financial needs seeking education options for their children. BCF’s operating costs, which average less than 5%, half the legislated 10% maximum for school tuition organizations, creates more dollars for families and students.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Who are the families you serve? 
BCF: BCF ensures tax dollars go to students with verified need. Year after year, the income of our families — for both individual and corporate tax programs — falls well below the legislated corporate maximum, which means we serve families that could never dream of private school education for their children. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What about your association with Brophy College Prep? 
BCF: It gives BCF the unique position to see students graduate high school and college — many of which are first-generation students to do so. It is so rewarding to have them return to our offices to thank us for giving them the opportunity to reach their full academic potential. These former students are now gainfully employed and eager to pass their experience to future generations through mentorship and financial support of BCF’s mission. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Clearly, BCF has an incalculable longterm impact. But, we would like to zoom-in to the day-to-day at BCF. How does the organization function? 
BCF: A mighty team of three leads BCF’s mission and work. Our team manages all aspects of fundraising, school and donor relationships, and — most importantly — changing student and family trajectories. 

A group of students who benefit from Brophy Community Foundation

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What is the most fulfilling part of your work? 
BCF: Undoubtedly, it is seeing former BCF students return to share their stories and achievements with current students. There is a palpable desire among our alumni to give back through mentorship and, of course, their own individual and corporate tax credits. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What is the best way to support Brophy Community Foundation? 
BCF: Supporting our mission is actually quite simple — and painless! We encourage fellow Arizonans to redirect their individual and corporate tax liability to BCF, which qualifies for a full tax credit and helps many students expand options for their future.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Are there any community-oriented opportunities we should pencil into our calendars?  
BCF: Absolutely! BCF hosts an annual Christmas Tree Lighting Event design to thank our donors and honor our students. Please join us Tuesday, November 21st on Brophy College Prep’s front lawn for a inspiring and merry celebration.


A Brophy Community Foundation student giving a speech at graduation.

“Every parent’s wish is for their children to have opportunities they didn’t have. With five young sons, I dreamt of providing them an education with both a strong academic foundation and the chance to embrace their faith. My dreams could not have become reality without the endless efforts of the Brophy Community Foundation and its tax-credit program that provides need-based tuition aid to low-income families. My boys were able to receive an exemplary Jesuit education, and soon I’ll have three of them at world-renowned universities. I know they will go on to change the lives of future generations. From one parent to another — thank you for believing in my sons. May God bless you and your family.” – Lizette, parent of 4 boys, including Gus Chavez (pictured above) who benefitted from BCF funding

“I come from a small immigrant community where graduating high school is a major challenge. However, when I visited universities and colleges as a student at Loyola Academy, something shifted inside of me. I started to see my potential beyond the limitations of my surroundings. Years later, I became the first person in my family to graduate from college — a Bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross. Thanks to internships in politics and immigration attorneys, I landed a job at a prestigious lobbying firm in Arizona. I am grateful to those who have directed their Arizona tax liability to the Brophy Community Foundation and tax credit programs that provide opportunities to transform the lives of students.”  – Nelson, Graduate of Loyola, Brophy and Holy Cross

“I want to express my sincere appreciation for your tax credit donation to the Brophy Community Foundation. Your contribution has significantly impacted my life by allowing me to attend Brophy. Thanks to your generosity, I have been exposed to cutting-edge technology and a challenging curriculum that has opened up numerous opportunities for my future.  The Anatomage tool has been particularly helpful in my pursuit of a career in the medical field. Without your support, this kind of education would not have been accessible to me. Thank you so much for your kindness, and please know that I am truly grateful.” – Jonathan, Class of ’23, BCF Intern, Attending Cornell University in the fall

To learn more about Brophy Community Foundation and how to support its mission visit Don’t forget to tell them Scout sent you!