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How does MBEF determine what programs and educators to fund?

Each year MBEF’s Board of Directors works with district leadership, school principals, and educators to identify programs that are most aligned with MBEF’s mission and the priorities of parents and teachers. As a community-driven organization, MBEF uses multiple measures to ensure the programs we fund meet our grant making guidelines, including surveying our stakeholders biennially, meeting with school principals and district leaders, and corresponding with stakeholders via phone, email and meetings throughout the year.

MBEF strives to invest in programs that support the following:

  • Academic excellence and personal growth
  • Programs that reach as many students as possible
  • Parity among all elementary schools
  • Programs with a K-12 perspective
  • Innovation in teaching and learning
  • Programs that align with the priorities of parents, teachers, and District goals

The MBEF Grant Committee, made up of MBEF Board Members from all seven school sites, holds multiple meetings, including several with the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of Education Services, prior to the approval of all grants. During these meetings, priorities are discussed and potential programmatic solutions are proposed. Once determined that the proposed grants are feasible and meet district goals, the Grant Committee takes the proposed grants to the MBEF Board of Directors for approval. The MBEF leadership meets monthly with the Superintendent to ensure that the implementation of the programs funded by MBEF are meeting expectations.

To ensure continuity in our schools, the vast majority of our funding is committed to continuing successful long-term grants and teaching positions. This year, MBUSD budget cuts shifted some funding away from our traditional programs to help fill the gap between what state funding provides and what education actually costs in our district. Additional funding from the virtual Manhattan Wine Auction was able to be directed towards the growing priorities of our community to keep class size reasonable and support distance learning for all students.

Can I designate my donation to be used for a particular program?

The mission of MBEF is to enhance the district’s capacity to provide superior education for all students in our schools. Instructional programs are ultimately decided by the School Board and the administration, taking into consideration the needs of the entire district. MBEF’s role is to support that effort rather than to direct it.

In an effort to increase MBEF’s funding potential to strengthen academic and enrichment programs for our students, MBEF’s Board of Directors introduced a policy encouraging donor-directed gifts for purpose-restricted programs in 2015. Directed gifts may come from an individual, family or corporation and require a minimum three-year funding commitment with a minimum total of $150,000 over the duration of the commitment. Donor-directed gifts must adhere to the following guidelines:

Guidelines for Restricted Donations:
All directed gifts must align with MBUSD goals and adhere to MBEF’s Grant Making Guidelines to ensure parity and consistency across the district. MBEF is committed to supporting grants that accomplish the following:

  • Strengthen schools from kindergarten to graduation
  • Support academic excellence and personal growth
  • Reach as many students as possible
  • Maintain parity among all elementary schools
  • Provide innovation in teaching and learning
  • Align with the priorities of parents, teachers, and district goals.

If you have questions or would like to discuss a directed giving opportunity with a member of our team, please call the MBEF office at 310-303-3342.