How edMatch Works for School Communities
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.
Does edMatch take money that parent groups have raised at schools?
edMatch will not take any money that has been raised at local schools; each school community keeps the money that it raises. The cumulative fundraising information that edMatch receives from parent groups at public schools is only used to create the challenge amount for corporate and philanthropic donors.
If a school community does not raise any money, is it eligible to receive edMatch funds?
Yes! edMatch will give an allocation to all SFUSD public schools, regardless of whether a school fundraises or not! edMatch was founded on the idea that all schools should share in parent fundraising success.
What if parent groups raise more money in future years?
edMatch will increase its fundraising goals if parent groups raise more money. What makes edMatch unique is a 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.
Will edMatch funds be available in the 2011-2012 school year?
edMatch will distribute funds 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.
When will schools know their edMatch allocation?
edMatch plans to notify schools of their allocation at the same time they receive site budgets from SFUSD, so that planning at each individual school site can be strategic and yield the best possible educational outcomes for the students. (Note, for the 2011-2012 school year, the timing may be different depending on when fundraising targets are met.)
Does a school need to apply for edMatch funding?
edMatch will require each school to complete a simple “Disbursement Request” form that specifies how edMatch dollars will be used at the site, specifically how the dollars will help improve educational outcomes at the school. No funds will be distributed until the edMatch staff has approved the “Disbursement Request” and been assured that proper documentation and measurable outcomes will be reported back to edMatch.
Who is responsible for filling out the edMatch “Disbursement Request” form?
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.
Can a school site’s “Disbursement Request” be rejected by edMatch?
edMatch acknowledges that there may be cases where the SSC needs support in understanding and utilizing the edMatch allocations. edMatch will leverage its partnerships with SFUSD, community-based organizations and the San Francisco School Alliance to help guide schools sites through the process. 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 is an edMatch Mentor?
Central to edMatch’s success are the relationships we are building with each of San Francisco’s public schools. To help foster and strengthen these relationships, the edMatch staff is supported by edMatch mentors. The mentors will be assigned to work directly with up to 5 public schools. Each Mentor helps guide and facilitate edMatch disbursements at their assigned schools. Mentors collaborate with the principal, School Site Council, and school community members to assist with identifying site priorities, program definitions, and budgets. They also provide support for programmatic implementation and documentation of outcomes.
How can I become an edMatch Mentor?
Anyone interested in learning more about becoming an edMatch Mentor should complete the Get Involved page, under the Take Action menu. Make sure to check the box for “Becoming a school ‘mentor’ and facilitating training for edMatch distributions”. As our fundraising efforts begin to bear fruit, we will begin to plan informational meetings with more details about time commitments and training/support from edMatch. You do not need to be a parent of a student in an SFUSD public school to be an edMatch Mentor. At this time, the edMatch mentor position will be a volunteer one; however, we are working with interested donors who will hopefully provide nominal stipends for the edMatch mentor program.
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
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.