School Fundraising Groups Unite in New Foundation

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(Sally Hogarty, Photographer)

    After years of research, evaluation, and collaboration, the Educational Foundation of Orinda (EFO) has agreed to join the parents’ clubs of all Orinda schools in creating a new fundraising foundation, ONE Orinda. 
    Previously, fundraising was decentralized with parents clubs at Del Rey, Glorietta, Miramonte, OIS, Sleepy Hollow and Wagner Ranch working independently to respond to funding requests from the Orinda Union School District (OUSD) and Miramonte High School. 
    EFO was an additional fundraising entity targeting parents of school-age students, grandparents, alumni and the community at large. EFO’s goal for the 2019-20 campaign is to raise $1.69 million by June 30.
    With the formation of ONE Orinda, all efforts will be centralized. ONE Orinda will aim to raise more than $6 million annually to support school programs. It will begin accepting funds on July 1 for the next school year.
    Prior to the recent economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus outbreak, OUSD was projecting an approximate $1 million budget shortfall for the coming year. Now, the district as a whole and Miramonte are facing additional cuts as the COVID-19 crisis cripples the economy and threatens all aspects of the state budget. 
    OUSD is one of the lowest funded school districts in California, ranking 998 out of approximately 1,000 school districts. It relies heavily on supplemental parent and community funding to keep schools in the top 10 percent in performance. 
    The Acalanes Union High School District also is one of the lowest funded in the state. In times like these, locally controlled funding such as fundraising and parcel taxes become more important for sustaining quality education.
    By consolidating fundraising, ONE Orinda aims to raise more money, increase efficient use of funds and help limit the parent volunteer hours required to sustain fundraising. Organizers hope uniting community members, local businesses, alumni, and future Orinda parents with current parents will help build the ONE Orinda endowment.
    Initial Board of Directors, representing each of the Parents’ Clubs, are: Natalie Taquino (Del Rey), Brian Rogers (Glorietta), Clay Deanhardt (Miramonte), Sonya Grover (OIS), Meighan Baldwin (Wagner Ranch) and Dana Wentworth (Sleepy Hollow). Board members representing the broader community are being recruited to join Katie Shogan.
    To learn more about One Orinda, go to www.oneorinda.org. To learn more about EFO, go to www.orindaefo.org.

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