Herald Times – By Andy Graham, August 3, 2010
Not all fundraising campaigns would necessarily celebrate achieving 90 percent of a goal, but organizers and beneficiaries of the “All for All” effort to restore extracurricular activity stipends were clearly gratified by that number today.
The campaign raised $675,000 in 46 days, with more than half of that total coming in the final week.
The money will allow coaches, faculty sponsors and mentors of Monroe County Community School Corp. extracurricular programs to get 90 percent of their normal stipends for the 2010-11 school year.
A contract approved in June by the MCCSC and the Monroe County Education Association teachers union eliminated $750,000 in ECA stipends for more than 400 people who guide the majority of the district’s 10,000 students in athletics, music, theater, student government, academic competitions and myriad other areas.
The move freed up money to restore school library media specialists to their previously cut certified positions and compelled the campaign to address the ECA need.
“I think the community has been amazing, in its understanding of the issue and in its really generous response,” Janis Stockhouse, who leads the Bloomington High School North music department, said today. “It’s exciting to walk around North right now seeing soccer, football, marching band, all these activities going on. Who would have thought with any certainty that would be the case a couple of months ago?
“In June, I was thinking we’d be lucky to raise half the goal, all things considered. If we got to 50 percent, I thought we’d have done very well. Now look at this. Look where we are. It’s wonderful. The students, coaches, ECA sponsors, all of us owe Tina Peterson, the Foundation (of Monroe County Community Schools) and the whole community so much gratitude.”
Most fundraising campaign leaders contemplate what a realistic goal is before establishing the amount sought. In this case, the number was imposed upon the campaign — Â $750,000, in six weeks, realistic or not. Foundation executive director Peterson explained, “In the average campaign, you would obviously spend many months preparing, then securing lead gifts, before you even go public. This time, we had to respond quickly to a relatively desperate situation.
“But it was the right thing to do for kids and people clearly responded in tremendous fashion. My dominant emotion now that the campaign has concluded is gratitude — gratitude that a veritable army of people were willing to take up a good portion of their summer in the effort, were willing to come from all walks of life and various programs to work together for a common goal.”
Donations came in all sorts of sizes and by all sorts of means.
One anonymous donor gave $75,000. One person paid $1,000 to have his vehicle spiffed up at last Saturday’s Bloomington High School South “All for All” car wash. When the Bloomington High School South Class of 1980 conducted its 30th reunion, it collected more money than expected for expenses, and gave the $700 left over to the ECA fund. North’s band parents raised $10,000 in a phone-a-thon. One family’s children took baked cookies around their neighborhood with notes about ECAs. Bloomington’s Rotary clubs and the South Central Indiana Kiwanis were especially active in fundraising efforts. The campaign’s online site, www.Give4ECAs.org, drew page views — and sometimes donations — from Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, China, India, the Philippines, Japan, Egypt and Chile.
Stockhouse was downtown Saturday night and saw a scene that resonated with her regarding the campaign. “There was a (student) band busking on Kirkwood for ECAs, with some adults sitting in, and somebody videotaping, and seemingly every single person passing by making a donation,” she said. “And the car wash down at South that same day was just extraordinary, with so many people stepping forward to help.
“So many events, big and small, so many people stepping forward. But No. 1 on all of this is Tina Peterson. None of this would have been possible without her willingness to take it on and just the great way she goes about things. It was done in such a positive manner.”
Peterson credited the foundation board for taking on the task. In an e-mail issued this afternoon announcing the campaign’s final figures, she wrote: “We knew the odds were stacked against — an incredibly tight timeline in the middle of summer during the midst of a shaky economic recovery, (and) we joined a host of other nonprofits in seeking funds from a community bombarded with requests for support. It is not only schools that are struggling today.
“All for All, as it turns out, means more than just supporting all programs for all kids. We learned that in this community it means that all of us, from the parents of preschools to those far removed from K-12, are willing to support our schools and the essential role of extracurriculars.”
Stockhouse said that made her a proud Bloomingtonian.
“It could have been the other way, you know,” Stockhouse said. “People could have just sat around, folding their arms. Instead, it was the determination of our community, so many people rallying around this, that took it in such a positive direction.
“It’s further proof this is a very special community. You know what they say: ‘Talk is cheap.’ Or, ‘Show me the money.’ Well, this community showed it cares, with its money and its effort, all the volunteering, all manner of support. I’m so proud to live in Bloomington, Indiana”.