During his lifetime, Edwin supported orphanages that provided a strong education for children and founded what were then cutting-edge health-care facilities for the poor. As early as the 1920s, Edwin recognized the need for women to achieve economic stability and developed and funded programs to train women to enter and compete in the workforce. A true pioneer, he was also the benefactor of the Edwin Gould Academy, which provided housing and education for children in foster care.
After Edwin's death, the Edwin Gould Foundation began targeting innovative nonprofits focused on improving educational equity. In the 1980s, EGF was home to the Community Schools movement, an initiative to provide high-quality comprehensive services within schools including health care, career training, and others social services. EGF was also early supporter and home of Teach for America, SEO (Seizing Every Opportunity) and New York City Outward Bound, among others.
In 2008, the Foundation formally opened the EGF Accelerator, a long-term residential incubator for education-related nonprofits.
The EGF Accelerator offers nonprofits an extensive array of consulting service, as well as office and program space for up to five years.
The EGF Accelerator has incubated and played a key role in helping many great organizations grow including Opportunity Network, Breakthrough New York, The Writing Revolution, Blue Engine, Citizen Schools, Quill.org, OneGoal, UAspire, BEAM, Global Glimpse, Genesys Works NY, and College Spring.
The leaders of the Foundation have been called upon as thought leaders on issues of educational equity. In 2008, they offered testimony to the 110th U.S. Congress on the disparity in college persistence between low-income, high-achieving students and their more affluent peers. In 2015, the Foundation partnered with Michelle Obama on her Better Make Room campaign, aimed at getting more low-income students on the path to college.
Both EGF CEO Cynthia Rivera Weissblum and Director of Strategy Peg Tyre speak often and publish widely on the challenges facing low-income students.
Edwin Gould’s efforts to improve the lives of young people continues today through the work for the EGF Accelerator.