How edMatch Works for Donors
What is edMatch?
edMatch is a new, independent non-profit organization that challenges corporations and private philanthropists to “match” funds raised in San Francisco’s public schools, then distributes the matching funds to all of San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) 112 schools on a per-student basis.
Why edMatch — there are many non-profit organizations already working with San Francisco public schools?
edMatch recognizes and celebrates all the organizations making a difference in San Francisco’s public schools. edMatch is unique because it builds a broad-based, public-private partnership and invests directly into all of San Francisco’s public schools. edMatch enables corporations and philanthropists to make a difference in every public school in San Francisco, without having to pick and choose which school receives a donation – “one-stop giving” if you will. A donation to edMatch means all public schools will receive additional financial support.
edMatch will leverage its partnerships with SFUSD and other community-based organizations to ensure the program’s success. California has slashed public school spending by one-fifth since 2007, a devastating blow for public education in California. edMatch believes that the level of engagement with San Francisco’s corporate and philanthropic communities must be raised even higher. Over time, edMatch envisions public-private partnerships similar to other cities like Boston and New York.
How does edMatch work?
edMatch determines how much money public school parents have raised at each school through local parent organizations (PTAs, PTOs and others), to create a cumulative total, which is then used as the challenge for corporations and philanthropists to match. The “matched” amount is distributed to every SFUSD public school on a per student basis.
For example, in the school year 2009-2010, parent groups at 113 San Francisco public schools raised just under $6 million in total. As a result, edMatch’s 2010-2011 fundraising goal is $6 million from the corporate and philanthropic communities, or about $100 per student. So, a school with a population of 500 students would get $50,000 in edMatch funding.
What is edMatch’s relationship with parent groups at SFUSD public schools?
edMatch does not take any money that has been raised at local schools; each school community keeps the money that it raises and makes local decisions about how the money will be used. However, edMatch does use the cumulative fundraising information from parent groups at public schools to create the challenge amount for corporate and philanthropic donors. All SFUSD public schools will receive an edMatch allocation regardless of whether a school fundraises or not. Additionally, if parent groups begin to raise more money in future years, edMatch will increase its fundraising goals. What makes edMatch unique is its financial matching model that encourages micro-fundraising by parent groups at the school level, and rewarding that fundraising with macro-fundraising for all SFUSD public schools.
When will edMatch make disbursements?
edMatch will notify schools of their allocation at the same time schools receive their budget from SFUSD. The reason behind this timing is to ensure that planning at each individual school site can be strategic and yield the best possible educational outcomes for the students. The exact timing of the first distribution of edMatch allocations will be based upon the ability to meet fundraising targets. Whether schools will receive edMatch funds for the 2011-2012 school year is yet to be determined.
What is the process for getting an edMatch allocation?
edMatch will require each school to complete a simple “Disbursement Request” form that specifies how edMatch dollars will be used, how the dollars will help improve educational outcomes, and how the school will measure success. All schools in SFUSD are required to have a School Site Council (SSC), which is an elected body whose members are comprised of parents, teachers, community members and the principal. The SSCs will have the responsibility to take the lead on determining the best use of edMatch funds for their specific student community, just as they are currently required to complete the official school budget of federal, state, and local funds. Each school will have an edMatch Mentor, who will help the school community through the whole process: determining the best uses for edMatch funds, filling out the “Disbursement Requests” form, implementing the allocation, and following proper reporting procedures. edMatch will work with each school site to make sure that “Disbursement Requests” are realistic, achievable and sustainable.
What are some examples of how schools may spend edMatch money?
Based on initial research, edMatch allocations will likely be used to fund a variety of programs including:
- Physical education
- Social and Emotional Learning
- Project based learning
- Differentiated learning
- Counseling support
- Student resources and supplies
Who would make a good edMatch donor?
edMatch is looking for businesses and community leaders from San Francisco who want to invest in San Francisco’s public schools. Large corporations are needed to make substantial financial commitments to the program. Mid-size and small chains can make investments through strategic partnerships with edMatch by making donations through edMatch Days at their restaurants or shops. edMatch is also looking for foundations and donors who want to support the streamlined operational expenses so a great percentage, if not all, of the funds raised are spent in the schools, in their classrooms. Finally, edMatch is looking for donations-in-kind, which can help off-set our operating costs, such as printing and supplies or donated office space. edMatch’s goal is to maintain a streamlined organization without much administrative overhead (15% or less) so that as much money as possible is directed to SFUSD students
How will edMatch be accountable to its donors?
edMatch’s partnership with the San Francisco School Alliance, SFUSD and several community-based organizations will ensure smooth distribution of funds, transparency in operations, and accountability to donors.
By participating in the edMatch program, corporations and philanthropists have a unique opportunity to support all 56,000 students in SFUSD. Donors will see how relatively small investments in schools can improve the educational experience for every student.
edMatch will offer transparency in how money is spent at each individual school site by:
- following the best practice of keeping finances “audit-ready;”
- ensuring that each “Disbursement Request” form adequately details how a school will spend its edMatch allocation effectively;
- building a corps of edMatch mentors who will work with schools to implement their edMatch allocations effectively;
- requiring schools to document measurable and subjective impacts on their students’ academic performance;
- providing case studies to model and share with the community; and
- providing accounting reports to our donors as needed.
All donors will have regular access to the edMatch steering committee and advisory board and can review or follow any of the steps described above.