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An Overview of Fundraising at Le Monde

Background: Why do we need to fundraise?

Le Monde is a public charter school. As such, it only gets 85% of the per-pupil state 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 and a higher PERS employer rate than district schools (often 20% + of payroll). All in, Le Monde probably receives closer to 50-60% of the per pupil public funding of a traditional, neighborhood 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 about $260,000, not counting our Fun 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?

  1. Fundraising Events. We plan to hold three fundraising events 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).
  • “Oui” Run. “Oui” Run is our school-sponsored jog-a-thon, that generally happens in early Fall.  Students can obtain sponsors who donate funds at a flat rate or per lap.  All funds are used for key programming to support the school.  We generally hope to raise roughly $40,000 from the “Oui” Run.  How can you contribute?  You can offer to volunteer by contacting Michal McCamman ([email protected]), sponsor your student or others, help your student to obtain sponsorships, and/or make a contribution!
  • Fun 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. Much like our Run, the students obtain sponsors who donate funds based on how much a student dances. All funds are restricted for use only for arts programming and are held in a segregated fund by Young Audiences. Young Audiences combines all funds from all schools, and then distributes them equitably among the schools based on size.  So while the Young Audiences funds aren’t technically part of our budget, the funds we raise from the activity help pay for arts programming, visiting artists and field trips throughout the year. This year we hope to net $15,000 from Fun for the Arts! How can you contribute? Offer to sponsor a student, assist your student with obtaining sponsorships, and/or make a contribution to the Fun for the Arts!
  • Readathon. We conduct an annual Readathon, which is both lots of fun and a great success from a fundraising perspective. The Readathon generally occurs in January or February, and coincides with the Oregon Battle of the Books competition. Much like our Run, students will obtain sponsorships for pages read instead of laps, to earn individual, class and all-school rewards and accolades. We generally hope to raise about $35,000 from the Readathon. How can you contribute? Contact the Michelle Lamanet ([email protected]) if you would like to help coordinate the Readathon, or sponsor a student!
  1. 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.
  2. Grants. So far, most of our successful grants 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.
  3. 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 AmazonSmile, 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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. That said, please donate as you are able!

We have also done other micro-drives, like selling various items, attending sporting events, etc.  We typically limit these types of fundraisers because they expend a lot of energy and generate fundraising “burnout”, but don’t generate significant funds

Please do NOT organize classroom-only or teacher-only fundraisers.  Having only one classroom get to benefit from a donation is not equitable.  Instead, please consider supporting the school as a whole


Shouka Rezvani
Executive Director/Principal
Le Monde French Immersion Public Charter School
[email protected]