It is no secret that there will be an upcoming transfer of wealth from the “silent” generation to the “Baby Boomer” generation. This is part of what drives Barb Bartle’s passion throughout her work with the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools (FLPS).
“We need to work together and get organized so k-12 education is visible [to receive] a portion of that wealth,” said Bartle.
After working as an elementary teacher for several years, Bartle has been running the LFPS for over a decade with that goal in mind.
“We have to have a voice, but you have to build relationships to get to that point,” said Bartle.
And how does Bartle work on developing these valuable relationships? She does it by sticking to the mission of the foundation: a strong dedication to supporting local public schools. Bartle has developed this further by creating a new definition for the “three R’s” normally associated with schools. For the FLPS, the three R’s are: raising funds for needs in the schools, recognizing excellence (grant making role), and reinforcing connections between the school and the community.
“It’s about building community support, and these three are a huge part of that,” said Bartle.
In fact, organization like this is what Bartle recommends for any Foundation just starting out in the fundraising game. “Getting into a rhythm will yield the most success,” Bartle said.
What kind of a rhythm has the FLPS achieved? Her biggest achievement has come from putting a focus on annual campaigns. Nearly every month, Bartle and the FLPS launch some sort of fundraising appeal. This varies from month to month and project to project – direct mail, web-based, corporate calls, planned giving, and so on. With a schedule that remains nearly the same from year to year, donors come to expect a request from the Foundation.
Not only is this method financially successful, but staying focused has allowed the FLPS to become an award-winning organization. Last year, the organization’s “Fund a Need” program won the “Internet Fundraising Program of the Year” award from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals.
“The best aspect of fundraising for the Lincoln Public Schools is the ability to connect opportunities for students with donors who want to make a difference for the students. It is a win-win,” said Bartle.
“I am especially excited about the Foundation's Legacy Society. It truly is a privilege and service to assist a donor with THE gift that will be a legacy for them and for their family. To see the satisfaction and thrill on the face of a donor when they know their gift will help students for perpetuity is an amazing and awesome experience,” said Bartle.
All in all, Bartle believes that organization is the key to a profitable Foundation. And clearly, that organization has paid off in the case of the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools.