Easton Schools Consider Fundraising Foundation
Representatives from the Mid-Atlantic Consortium of Education Foundations make a pitch to Easton Area School Board.
The Easton Area School Board is considering setting up a private foundation to raise money for the school district.
The board heard a pitch last week from representatives from the Mid-Atlantic Consortium of Education Foundations, which helps school districts do private fundraising.
The presentation came the same night the district learned it needed to come up with money to fill a $4.2 million budget gap.
Bob New, president of the consortium, told board members that many districts are dealing with similar deficits and have set up private foundations to help.
New said an Easton-based foundation should be able to raise between $150,000 and $300,000 a year, if all goes well.
"We’re only following the example of our public universities," New said, noting that both Pitt and Penn State universities have $3 billion endowments.
Other school districts have taken in even more money than what New envisioned for the Easton district. Connie Kindler, New's associate, told the board the Camp Hill School District recently received $15 million to build a new performing arts center.
“That never would’ve happened if there wasn’t a foundation,” she said.
The foundation would cost the district about $25,000 a year -- the salary for an executive director who would work part time, New said.
School board president Robert Fehnel said the district had considered setting up a foundation in the past, but never acted on it. The board took no action last week, and Fehnel said it's a matter that requires more discussion.