Educational Institutions


Connect Enhance Support

aka 544 Education Foundation

Fergus Falls, MN


To raise, invest and grant money through a charitable foundation to support educational programs.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Mindy Fuder

Board President

Linda Mellon

Main Address

518 Friberg Ave

Fergus Falls, MN 56537 USA


Education, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Non-Profit, Alumni





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Alumni Associations (B84)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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Our Sustainable Development Goals

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Classroom Wish List



Distinguished Alumni

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our vision is to enhance the quality of public education in Independent School District #544 through the awarding of grants to teachers, staff, administration and/or students. The grants we award help fund projects and programs, supplement the regular curriculum, provide extra teaching supplies and materials, and update the district's technology offerings. We also offer scholarships to students who attend summer camps, graduating seniors and alumni.

We are able to accomplish our goals through membership donations from alumni, community members and businesses. We also receive memorial donations from friends and family of alumni, teachers and community members. We have a great relationship with district administration and are able to communicate effectively to make sure that we are doing what is best for our organization and the school district.

In addition to being a non-profit organization that financially helps the school district, we are also the alumni association for Fergus Falls High School. Because of this, we connect with our alumni on a bi-annual basis through our alumni newsletter, and reach out to alumni through social media and at class reunions. We are also present at several sporting and arts events throughout the school year to spread the word to parents and the community about who we are and what we do.

We will know that we are making progress through the number of members we have (and where those members are coming from) and by the amount of grants we are able to award on an annual basis.

Back in 2013, we set a goal of finding 500 new members before September 1, 2018. We are well ahead of the 100 new members/year pace and are confident we will meet our goal. We have also started a Major Donor Campaign where donors would give $544/year for 5 years. We are currently at 52 Major Donors and hope to get to 100 at some point in the near future. Last spring, we also compiled a Classroom Wish List where teachers could request one item for their classroom. That list was then published in the local paper and community members, businesses and alumni could then find an item to fund. The 2016-2017 Wish List was a success; 67% of the requests were funded. In the past, we have also had a grant budget of $20,000/year. For the 2016-2017 school year, we were able to increase that budget to almost $34,000 thanks to our Major Donors and our increase in members.

External Reviews



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity