FERGUS FALLS 544 EDUCATION FOUNDATION

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aka 544 Education Foundation   |   Fergus Falls, MN   |  www.544foundation.org

Mission

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

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Mindy Fuder

Board President

Nick Mariotti

Main address

518 Friberg Ave

Fergus Falls, MN 56537 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

41-1978590

NTEE code info

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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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Funding for public schools has declined over the years and funding for "rural" public schools is less than public schools in the metro area. In combination with the decline in state and federal funding, teachers and staff also spend hundreds of dollars out of their own pockets to purchase supplies/learning materials for their classrooms. It is our goal to financially support projects and programs in the Fergus Falls School District to offset budget shortfalls and to ensure that teachers and staff are not spending their own money for classroom materials.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Classroom Wish List

The Classroom Wish List is compiled in the spring. Teachers submit requests for the Wish List in varying dollar amounts and for various supplies and projects. The Wish List is then printed in the district's "Back to School" newsletter, which comes out mid-August, and through social media. Community members and alumni then select items they'd like to fund.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

Each fall, teachers, staff, administration, and students submit grant applications. The applications are then reviewed by the Grant/Scholarship Committee (made up of Foundation Board Members). Depending on the budget for the year, the committee then determines which grants will receive funding. Our focus is to help as many students as possible, for as long as possible.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Foundation also awards several scholarships to graduating Fergus Falls High School seniors and alumni. The scholarship awards vary from $500 to $2500 and cover areas from arts to teaching to agriculture.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Each year, members of the Foundation Board (the Alumni Committee) select Distinguished Alumni to be inducted into the Fergus Falls High School Hall of Fame (Homecoming Weekend).

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

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 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 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.

Back in 2013, we set a goal of finding 500 new members before September 1, 2018. We met our goal well ahead of schedule. We also have a Major Donor Campaign where donors give $544/year for 5 years. The entire $544/year goes towards our mission of supporting projects and programs in the school district. We have averaged about 60 Major Donors each year and hope to get to 100 at some point in the future. Each spring, we also compile a Classroom Wish List where teachers can request one item for their classroom. The list is then published in the district's Back-to-School Newsletter and community members, businesses and alumni can then find an item to fund. The 2020-2021 Wish List was a success - 100% of the requests were funded (and then some!). We also have a grant budget of $40,000/year. For the 2020-2021 school year, we awarded almost $34,000 thanks to our Major Donors and membership base.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

FERGUS FALLS 544 EDUCATION FOUNDATION
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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FERGUS FALLS 544 EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 2/2/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Nick Mariotti


Board co-chair

Kelsee Macintosh-Ellig

Ed Strand

Robert Duncan

Kirby Anderson

Nick Mariotti

Scott DeBrito

Mary Dolan

Terry Harrington

Mike Rengel

Cris Oehler

Steve Mouritsen

Jeff Drake

Kelsee Macintosh-Ellig

Sarah Casey

Amy Anderson

Dacia Johnson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/02/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/02/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.