“The foundation was able to give $77,000 to Bradley and $63,000 to Cleveland,” said Don Lorton, executive committee member of BCPEF, at the joint meeting of the boards of education.
According to Lorton, BCPEF is in excellent financial shape.
“Since 2009, the foundation has doubled the charitable gifts received by about $205,000,” Lorton said. “This would mean there is $13.69 per pupil, which compares pretty favorably to the national average. We believe it is within reach to double that.”
Of the money received, 27 percent comes from the education family [board members]; 46 percent are corporate gifts; 34 percent are from individuals; and 3 percent come from investments, according to reports.
Lorton said the mini-grant program continues to be strong.
“The foundation awarded 54 grants to over 17 schools for over $44,000,” Lorton said. “A systemwide grant for the K-12 Leadership Program was awarded to Bradley for $5,000. ... We want to move toward more systemic grants.”
The investment of the endowment money has led to a 5 percent return, Lorton said.
“This has been a good, productive year, but we are not satisfied. We don’t want to just be good, we want to be great,” Lorton told the board members.
Rebecca McIntire, president of BCPEF, requested the joint school board extend Lorton’s position on the executive committee for another two years. The board unanimously agreed to extend Lorton’s time.
McIntire updated the board on the position of the foundation.
“We have focused on receiving funding from business, corporate, and major donors,” McIntire said. “Our Vision 100 fundraising event received a positive response from donors and will occur again this fall.”
The Vision 100 event encourages the city to invest in education by promising an annual donation of $1,000. Lorton said he believes it will be a main focus of the integral part of fundraising.
McIntire said the foundation is currently entering the fourth year of a five year operational plan adopted in 2009.
“During the past three months, four focus groups of executive members and trustees have come together to lay out further strategies in the area of operations, program support, financial management and cultivation, both with fundraising and board development,” McIntire said.
The main mission of BCPEF continues to be, “Raising community awareness and gaining financial support in enhancing both teaching and learning.”
Board members from both school systems offered their thanks to the foundation.
“You all have done a great job,” said Johnny McDaniel, director of schools for Bradley County. “The mini-grants do make a difference. We try to provide the basics, but those mini-grants help the teacher find that burst of creativity.”
Added Rose, “We do deeply appreciate all you have done for our schools.”