The Donation Policy Review Committee (Phase II) met on October 24, 2017.

Welcome and Meeting Overview

Facilitator Dick Withycombe welcomed committee members and reviewed the meeting objectives.  Several committee members reported problems finding documents in the OneNote notebook; and Executive Director of Schools John Harrison said he would make it easier to find committee minutes and working documents.  The committee approved the minutes of their September 26 meeting as submitted.

Stakeholder Engagement

Identification of Stakeholders

The next phase of the committee’s work will involve gathering input from stakeholders.  When Dick asked the group to identify critical stakeholders, they agreed upon:

  • Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSAs);
  • booster clubs;
  • informal support groups for special events;
  • the Bellevue Schools Foundation;
  • school administrators, elementary office managers, and secondary school accountants; and
  • individual parents and community members.

There was some discussion about including businesses that contribute to school programs either directly or through Benevity, which concluded with an understanding that they are not stakeholders for the committee’s purpose because their donations go through one of the above stakeholder groups.

There was also some discussion about the difference between donations and fundraising.  A donor receives nothing of tangible value in return for the gift, whereas, for example, a business that buys a banner is purchasing advertising.  John said there is a separate, clear board policy about sponsorship and advertising.

The Phase I Donations Policy Committee developed a list of donors and donations, which is included in OneNote.

Engagement Strategies

The committee discussed alternative ways of gathering input, identifying these considerations.

  • People in these stakeholder groups expect to be involved, and their comments will inform our revisions.
  • We need to have forums, because we need to provide information before we ask for input.
  • That information will help people understand where we are now and prepare them to eventually implement the revised procedures.
  • We will ask for input about our drafts, so we can incorporate the feedback in our final revisions.
  • We may formulate some specific questions that relate to our areas of interest; values that should guide our work; perceived issues or problems and possible solutions; or strengths and weaknesses of current practices.

The committee agreed to conduct four or five geographically distributed forums, one in each feeder pattern and possibly an additional one for choice schools.  The plan is to conduct two forums one evening, and two the following evening.

The committee added a meeting (November 14, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at Odle Middle School) to complete the review of their draft, revised policy and procedures.  At their December 6 meeting, they will prepare for the stakeholder forums, which will take place after the winter break.

Review of Draft Policy

The committee reviewed the revised draft policy, which incorporated changes they identified on September 26.  District Director of Athletics and Activities Jeff Lowell recorded today’s changes and will produce a further revision before the next meeting.

One of the issues identified in the committee’s discussion of the policy was the use of donations to pay for substitute teachers.  The group will not address that in its revision but will include in their report a recommendation that the school board’s policy committee do so.