Twenty Million Minds Foundation


The Twenty Million Minds Foundation (20MM) supports the creation and proliferation of open educational resources that free students and faculty from excessive textbook costs, thereby increasing students’ graduation rates and their success.

The organization believes that the future is digital and it leverages web technologies to provide students and faculty with interactive, intelligent, and immersive learning environments. 20MM provides access to the content and technology necessary to create these environments and advocates in support of public policies that help unlock the potential of this open learning ecosystem.

The need is great: One of four students fails to complete postsecondary education; and among those students, 60% cite the cost of “textbooks and fees beyond tuition” as a factor in their decision to withdraw. Between 1986 and 2004, textbook prices rose 186% in the United States, double the rate of inflation. And five conglomerates control 80% of the textbook production in the U.S.

Through its Twenty Million Minds Mix, 20MM allows faculty to create high quality custom textbooks in both digital and print formats. With access to the entire open source Connexions library, in addition to supplemental publisher content, instructors can deliver superior course specific experiences that help drive down textbook costs for students.

Dr. Gary Michelson became involved in this issue several years ago when he learned from a group of Santa Ana College professors that each semester, several bright students failed to complete their degrees because they could not afford the increasingly expensive textbooks. After Michelson learned that the professors spent their own money to provide textbooks for some of their students, he contributed funds to help textbooks for students who could not afford them. 

Recalling his own challenge to finish college and medical school while working several jobs and on a tight budget, Michelson sought a more enduring solution to the textbook affordability problem. 20MM was his answer.

See Also: 


Dean Florez
President & CEO

Dr. Gary Michelson

Los Angeles

Area Served: 

# of Employees:

(Donations+Earned income)

Guidestar Report