The Highland School District is pursuing a donation system that will let donors see their contribution at the schools for possibly the rest of their lives.
During the Highland School Board meeting on Oct. 23, the board decided to move forward with a new tier-based donation format that will show donors what type of recognition they will receive for what they have contributed to the district.
“Just to review, this is not a money grab. This was not initiated just to try to raise money,” said Superintendent Mike Sutton.
Sutton said this conversation was sparked by the district’s artificial turf deliberation, where a proposed project suggested selling advertising to pay for the project.
In the wake of the turf pitch, Sutton said several other businesses approached the school with various advertising/sponsorship proposals, and the the board decided it needed to pursue a more structured system.
“So we are just trying to get organized and a program that would be very clear to anybody who donates to the school district on what they would receive in return,” Sutton said.
How does it work?
Board member Rene Friedel was assigned to the task of organizing the new system to recognize donors.
Friedel created a pyramid that is broken up into four donor categories:
▪ Bronze donors give $100 to $499.
▪ Silver donors give $500 to $999.
▪ Gold donors give $1,000 to $4,999.
▪ Platinum donors give $5,000 and above.
What exactly to do for each level of donor is still being brainstormed.
“This is all fine tuning because we are creating something based on something that we do not have,” Friedel said.
However, a few ideas have already been tossed around.
Some of ideas presented for the bronze level were based off of creating donor recognition walls, where the donor’s name or organization is recognized on engraved plaque or brick. Friedel mentioned the plaques could create a pattern on a wall at whatever school they are at by spelling out HHS, HMS, etc.
Silver donors might get to choose between a moveable pennant flag, website recognition, their name on a scrolling monitor or permanent walkways signs with the donor name on one side and the “Thank You” on the other.
Gold donors may get to choose a paw print sidewalk stencil with the school logo, an in-game announcement at HHS or HMS, parking lot lanes named after the donor, or a bench with the donor’s name.
At the highest level, one idea for Platinum donors was that they could be recognized by a banner at the HHS stadium entrance.
“Again, these are just some ideas of us throwing down some increments of people who want to do a donation,” Friedel said.
Sutton said that there will be more details as the donation discussion progresses.
Meanwhile, if anyone would like to make a donation, they should contact the school to which they wish to donate and talk with the administration about how that transaction would look, Sutton said. Donors can give to a specific area or to an undesignated fund to assist the schools.
During the next board meeting, there will be more discussion about this new system, and the board will discuss creating separate accounts at each of the schools for the donations.