Tag Archives: Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation

Reporting on a client’s progress

It was a pleasure to appear before the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education last month to report on the tremendous progress and growth of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, one of my firm‘s clients. Accompanying my report is the announcement by Foundation Executive Director Linda Greenberg Gross of a new $500,000 gift to the Foundation.

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Artists truly for the arts

Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne helped launch the annual Artists for The Arts concert in Santa Monica 10 years ago, and a decade later he’s still volunteering his time to support arts education.

Last month I attended a Jackson Browne concert in Santa Monica. As great as Jackson Browne is, that may not sound remarkable on its face, even when I add that another 1970s icon, Gary Wright, was also on the bill, and the “house band,” Venice, is a highly accomplished group with numerous albums and world tours to their credit.

No, what made this evening an indelible memory for the packed house who saw the show was the fact that these stars shared the stage with high school students, and those students delivered some knockout performances on par with any pro. Continue reading

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Big gifts can – and must – happen at the K-12 level too

CCEF

The California Consortium of Education Foundations convened at Stanford University on March 19.

I was honored to serve as a keynote speaker at the California Consortium of Education Foundations annual conference at Stanford University last month. Attendees included representatives from school districts and foundations all over Northern and Central California (a similar gathering for Southern California was held a week prior in Anaheim).

What was remarkable about this group was the wide disparity in size and structure of the foundations represented. Whereas a few had full-time staff, highly engaged boards, and strong public presence, others had no staff at all and are being run solely by volunteers serving on a small board. One thing all held in common, though, is the knowledge that our public schools must be supported by private gifts and other revenue sources beyond state budget dollars if we are to adequately provide staffing, professional development, and programs and services to ensure that all children have an opportunity to succeed. Continue reading

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Major gifts: It’s about relationships

One of the great pleasures in working with nonprofits is being part of the excitement of a monumental announcement. Yesterday one of my clients, the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, announced the largest gift in its 30-year history. A donor bequeathed $4.8 million to the Foundation to assist the 16 public schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District with critical needs in this era of dramatic budget cuts, as well as to establish an endowment in the donor’s name, honoring her parents’ legacy while providing ongoing individualized mentoring in the arts for underprivileged children in these schools.

SMMEFThe magnitude of this gift underscores the fact that donors are out there. They may not be well-known. They may not even be alumni of the schools they choose to support. But they are out there. It’s all about building relationships. Continue reading

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