Educational Institutions

Fergus Falls 544 Education Foundation

  • Fergus Falls, MN
  • www.544foundation.org

Mission Statement

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

Main Programs

  1. Classroom Wish List
  2. Grants
  3. Scholarships
Service Areas

Self-reported

Minnesota

Students and staff in Independent School District #544 (the Fergus Falls Public Schools).

ruling year

2001

Executive Director

Self-reported

Mindy Fuder

President

Self-reported

Linda Mellon

Keywords

Self-reported

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

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EIN

41-1978590

Physical Address

340 Friberg Avenue

Fergus Falls, MN 56537

Also Known As

544 Education Foundation

Contact

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.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The 544 Education Foundation's Grant Program is successful based on feedback from administrators, teachers, students, and parents in the school district. The Scholarship Program is successful thanks to the donors, the number of scholarship applicants, and the thank you letters received from the scholarship recipients. Our Annual Classroom Wish List is a success because of the donations that come in to fulfill teacher requests. The alumni aspect of the Foundation is a success because alumni know who we are and what we do when visited with at reunions and other Foundation events. When organizing a new event or activity, or starting a new program, the Foundation tries to make sure it's "measurable" so that we know whether or not it is something worth continuing.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

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 published in the local paper and through social media, and community members and alumni fund the requests.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Male Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)

Female Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)

None

Budget

Program 2

Grants

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.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Male Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)

Female Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)

None

Budget

$25,000.00

Program 3

Scholarships

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.

Category

Student Financial Aid

Population(s) Served

Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)

Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

$8,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

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

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    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.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    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.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    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.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    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.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    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 40 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 2014-2015 Wish List was a success since every item requested was funded. In the past, we have also had a grant budget of $20,000/year. For the 2014-2015 school year, we were able to increase that budget to over $26,000 thanks to our Major Donors and our increase in members.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Minnesota

Students and staff in Independent School District #544 (the Fergus Falls Public Schools).

Social Media

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Fergus Falls 544 Education Foundation
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 15
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

Fergus Falls 544 Education Foundation

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Mindy Fuder

President

Linda Mellon

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Linda Mellon

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. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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?


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).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
Sexual Orientation

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

Disability

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

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
Yes
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity