On December 10, 1987, a group of five local business leaders filed articles of incorporation to form the Santa Rosa Educational Foundation. The purpose of this group was to foster interest in Santa Rosa County public schools, determine educational needs addressed by the foundation, and broaden community support for public education, especially that of the business community. SREF received 501(c)(3) status in November of 1988. For many years, SREF was led by a part-time executive director. In 2006, a Teacher on Special Assignment was appointed as the full-time executive director of SREF. In 2007, the original name was changed to Santa Rosa Education Foundation, Inc.