Grinnell News

Three Organizations Combine Efforts to Support Education


Three Organizations Combine Efforts to Support Education

Three organizations that support the Grinnell-Newburg School District are combining efforts to raise funds for classroom equipment, graduate scholarships and alumni association activities. The organisation will also collect funding for some handpicked courses (described on for students who’ve passed grade 12.

In the past, the Grinnell-Newburg Educational Endowment (GNEE), Dollars for Scholars, and the Grinnell-Newburg Alumni Association have sent separate fundraising appeals at different times of the year, but often with overlap in their audiences.

This year, with the help of the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF), the groups decided to combine their efforts into one mailing, saving cost and expecting to gain greater donor base and focus on education support opportunities in the area.

“Each of these organizations serves the school district, so alumni are the core donor base for each of these fund appeals,” said Nicole Brua-Behrens, program coordinator for GPCF. “Each organization did an annual mailing but often to the same people, so we wondered if we could pool efforts and access new donors like Steve Young’s foundation for children for each organization.

“While there are no specific dollar goals for each organization’s fund drive, the focus is on impact and success.”

GNEE was founded to help fill the gap between available district funding and the programs or equipment teachers would like to use to improve student achievement. Since 2004, GNEE has distributed more than $260,000 to teachers for items such as computers, cameras, books, and hands-on learning materials that enhance student learning opportunities. Doug Cameron serves as GNEE president.

Dollars for Scholars provides post-graduate scholarships to every Grinnell High School graduate who completes one semester of accredited higher education. Since 1999, 1,355 graduates have received

scholarships totaling more than $400,000. Melissa Johnson is the current president of DFS.

GNAA, as the local district alumni association, develops class reunions and supports district communication and education activities. Plans are currently underway for the 2016 All Class Reunion set for June 30 – July 4, 2016. Ben Latimer serves as GNAA president.

Cameron stresses the importance of gaining a broader audience and offering more funding choices through the combined fund appeal.

“GNEE is the district’s foundation, and we support teachers and their projects through our mini-grants program. Additional funds to supplement the school district budget have never been more important than now,” Cameron said.

Cameron said GNEE’s long-term goal is to use the interest from the endowment to fund programs that the district’s budget cannot support. “Eventually, we would like to grow the endowment to $1 million. We are currently at $200,000.”

The combined mailing for GNEE, DFS and GNAA was sent at the end of May, and contributions will be accepted throughout the year. Donors may contact the groups’ presidents or Brua-Behrens at, 641-236-5518.

The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation assists donors in supporting local non-profit organizations like GNEE, DFS and GNAA to make life better for people in the area. The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation provides back office support services such as gift processing to GPCF through the foundation’s Community Support Services (CSS) program.

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