Background: Why do we need to fundraise?
Le Monde is a public charter school. As such, it only gets 80% of the per-pupil public funding of “regular” public schools (which most people believe are underfunded to begin with). In addition, it has to pay for its own facility costs. All in, Le Monde probably receives closer to 50% of the per pupil public funding of a regular public school.
We don’t try to replace that missing 20%-50% those other schools get because we operate more leanly than many schools–though just imagine what we could accomplish if we did! Our board does, however, try to figure out with input from staff the minimum amount that we believe we will need to meet the basic and fundamental needs of the school (primarily: staffing, curriculum, and facility costs). This year, the amount that we have budgeted to fundraise is $175,000, not counting our Run for the Arts monies which technically are held by Young Audiences for us in an arts-restricted fund.
As a preliminary matter, no one at Le Monde has to assist with fundraising. This email is for those who would like to assist in fundraising and who want to know how best to allocate their own personal time or financial resources over the course of the year.
So, how do we fundraise at Le Monde?
- Fundraising Events. We plan to hold three fundraising events as well as the Run for the Arts this year at Le Monde. These events are distinguished from our entirely social events (which may raise nominal funds primarily to cover the costs of the event itself).
- Run for the Arts. The Run for the Arts is a program sponsored by Young Audiences of Oregon, in the form of a student fun run. The students obtain sponsors who donate funds at a flat rate or per lap. All funds are restricted for use only for arts programming and are held in a segregated fund by Young Audiences, so while the funds aren’t technically part of our budget, the significant funds we raise from the Run help pay for arts programming, visiting artists and field trips throughout the year. This year we believe we may have raised $28,000 from the Run! How can you contribute? Offer to help out with the organization of the run in future years by contacting Michal (email@example.com), sponsor a student, and/or assist your student with obtaining sponsorships, or make a contribution to the Run!
- Class Fun Time at the Winter Dance. This year instead of a Holiday Bazaar we intend to have a teacher time opportunity at the Winter Family Dance (which will be held this year on Saturday, December 3, 2016–please save the date). This will be an opportunity for you to contribute funds to earn opportunities for your child’s entire class to do special activities with their teacher, such extra recess time or an all-class dance party. How can you contribute? Parents Korina Bray Rairden and Leah Loewy are coordinating the Class Fun Time. You can get involved by volunteering to accept funds during the Winter Dance, providing treats or options to the class fun options, or simply donating some funds towards providing more fun options for your student’s class (don’t worry—we will make certain all classes get some extra fun activities, regardless of donations). Please contact Korina (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to assist.
- Readathon. Last year we held our first annual Readathon, which was both lots of fun and a great success from a fundraising perspective. The Readathon will occur again this January. Much like the Run for the Arts, students will obtain sponsorships for pages read instead of laps, to earn individual, class and all-school rewards and accolades. How can you contribute? Contact parent organizer Jacqui Brock (Jacqui.email@example.com) if you would like to help coordinate the Readathon, or sponsor a student!
- La Fête. This event is our annual gala dinner which includes a silent and live auction, and occurs in May. How can you contribute? You can purchase tickets to attend, help with finding items to donate to the auctions, purchase goods at the auction, and/or volunteer with the organization of, or on the night of, the event. Leah Loewy (firstname.lastname@example.org) will again Chair the organization of La Fete, so please contact her if you would like to assist, making sure not to do outreach for donated items until checking in with her so that we may coordinate efforts.
- “Dine Out” Events. Monthly dine-out events tend not to raise a lot of funds, but can be a fun social activity. Instead of doing monthly dine-out events this year, we will likely try to approach one or two casual family restaurants to create an opportunity for our community to really come together and have some fun eating together while incidentally earning some funds for the school. Watch for these fun events! How can you contribute? Eat at the participating location during our dine out event and/or share ideas for possible restaurants to approach with me. We respectfully request that you not approach restaurants formally on behalf of Le Monde without speaking with me first, just so that we approach the broader community in an organized manner.
- SCRIP and Chinook Books.
- Scrip. Scrip is a fundraising program that helps us raise money for Le Monde–potentially a lot of money. You purchase gift cards (Scrip) for your everyday purchases with a dollar-for-dollar value, and a percentage of the purchase price is given to the school. There are hundreds of businesses that give back percentages ranging from 3% to 12%. If you buy gift cards through Scrip, 3-12% of their face value will go to Le Monde and not cost you a penny extra! Every 4 weeks or so, parent Alyssa Chase Stewart (email@example.com) will notify you when the Scrip order is due, and you will get your Scrip cards the following week.You may access the SCRIP order form on our website.
- Chinook Books: Chinook Books help you save money by providing special deals and reduced pricing at local businesses that do good things for the environment and the community. Buy a Chinook book and 50% of the proceeds goes to Le Monde!!! Bring a form to your work and take orders! You may contact Alyssa about Scrip and Chinook Books at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wreath Sales. Again this year parent Jill Weisensee (Jillana@comcast.net) is coordinating a wreath sale. Purchase a beautiful wreath in November for delivery by November 18 right before Thanksgiving. Contact Jill if you would like to assist her in distributing wreaths, and look for our wreath sale emails in November!
- Corporate Matches. Many employers will match employee contributions to charitable organizations. Le Monde Immersion is a nonprofit corporation that is recognized as exempt from tax by the IRS under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and we have registered with the corporate matching programs of employers like NIKE and Intel (Benevity). Please contact me if you need our assistance in providing the requisite paperwork for your employer’s matching program.
- Grants. So far, most of our successful grant funding has come from corporate and foundation donors with whom we have forged personal relationships. There is a world full of organizations with whom we have no existing relationship, and we would love to have some successful grant applications to those organizations. If you would like to assist with identifying possible grants and then writing grants subject to board oversight, please contact me at my email address below.
- Percent of Purchase Programs. Many local and web-based merchants have programs that provide a percentage of net profits from sales to local charities. Le Monde is registered with many of such programs (including but not limited to Amazon, Fred Meyer, and Target), though you often have to take certain steps in order to ensure that we receive funds. To make sure that your shopping benefits Le Monde, please visit the appropriate tab under the “Support Le Monde” tab of our website.
- Scholastic (French and English)/Highlights. By purchasing books through Scholastic French and English you generate credits with those organizations that the school can then use to purchase books and materials. Also, the books sold through those programs are generally sold at significant discounts from regular stores. So purchasing books through our Scholastic programs is a great way to support not only your child’s burgeoning reading habit, but also the school! Scholastic books also make great birthday gifts!
- YOUR DONATIONS. This last one on this list generally results in about 60% of our total fundraised income, if not more. The bottom line is that with all of the work that goes into planning events, writing grants, organizing purchasing programs, etc., without donations we don’t make our fundraising goals. It is for this reason that we ask (BUT DO NOT REQUIRE) that families consider donating or fundraising $1,000 per student annually. If every student family (other than our free or reduced lunch qualifying families who we don’t want to burden with this request) were to donate $100 per month to Le Monde for each month school is in session, we would surpass our fundraising goals and be able to start looking at the extras that would help to make Le Monde even better. The board does not monitor who does and does not donate, and we want you at Le Monde even if you don’t donate. Please donate as you are able!
We also do occasional other micro-drives, like selling t-shirts, attending Winterhawks Games, etc.
Do you have other ideas for fundraising? Please share them with us by emailing me, keeping in mind that with limited resources (and to avoid community burnout!) we might not be able to follow up on every idea.
Le Monde Immersion