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Changing the Story of Funding for America's Schools
Frequently Asked Questions?
Fundraising for public schools or education foundations can be confusing. If you need answers, please review the most frequently asked questions below or contact us for more information.
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Q: How will OTMG be involved with my school or education foundation?
A: At a minimum, we will provide the strategy and implementation plan for your school or foundation to follow. If needed we will also customize an approach for managing the plan, which can include any number of possible scenarios and often includes a turn-key management solution.
Q. How much do OTMG services cost?
A: Our fees are scalable and are dependent on the size of the particular school or school system. For instance, the cost of material and mailing for one school with 20,000 records would be less than a mailing for an entire public school system. Additionally, our fees are dependent on the particular services provided. Fees for outsourced management services are always less than maintaining your own staff, technology, and office. Most importantly, the annual giving programs are self funded, meaning the total costs of running them is a fraction of the total money generated.
Q: How much should we expect to gain in revenues by establishing an annual giving program for our school?
A: As a rule of thumb, secondary schools have a greater capacity to attract charitable giving than elementary schools. In a typical, well-run high school annual fund, for example, if the school has alumni, parents, grandparents and friends totalling 15,000 or more, that school might expect to achieve results in the range of one million dollars each year.
Q: Do you recommend a school specific appeal or system wide annual giving appeal?
A: It is important to adopt a strategy that encompasses appropriate appeals targeted towards particular constituencies. While the corporate community will prefer one appeal to support all schools in a district, alumni and parents will clearly favor giving to the specific school that has directly impacted their lives.
Q: Can’t we achieve these same goals by focusing on an auction, golf outing, dinner, etc?
A: No. While there is an argument that favors the establishment of a signature fund raising event such as an auction, gala, or golf outing, such events will not maximize philanthropic giving. Working off of the fractional share of a dinner or golf ticket will always generate far less than a direct appeal to individuals to simply write a check in support of the school’s mission. Often the net revenue derived from a large event can be covered by one or two lead gifts in an annual giving campaign.
Q: Does a school have to have a foundation to raise private money?
A: No. However there are sound arguments in favor of the establishment of an independant education foundation which focuses on private funding for public schools. One of the most important reasons a school might wish to have a foundation is that the foundation, as a privately run 501(c)3 under the IRS tax code, is concerned first and foremost with its relationships to it's donors. A public school system on the other hand, as a tax funded institution, must be first and foremost concerned with the general taxpayer community. One example of a potential difference in perspective would be in the area of investment management. Taxpayers will prefer a very conservative approach to investing funds within the public school. In fact, the investment policy my be mandated by law. In contrast, an individual donor might advocate for a more aggressive investment strategy for his endowment fund than can be legally provided within the public school entity.