The Power of Fall Pledging for our Kids

This September, I began my second year as Washington Elementary’s BCE Site Director. I have been a Burlingame School District parent and my family has donated to BCE for the past six years. We became BCE Scholars Circle members two years ago. But it wasn’t until this month that I made my first ever fall pledge to celebrate the 2015-2016 BCE Annual Campaign Kickoff.

Why this year? Why now? Easy. Last year, I learned first-hand about the time value of money of donations for BSD and how valuable it is for our district leaders to be able to have more budget certainty to plan out the very best science, music, art, PE and library programs, and hire and train the very best staff to teach my Burlingame students.

As a refresher, the time value of money, or TVM, is the idea that budget accounted for at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future. This core principle of finance holds that any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received.

For the purposes of our school district, applying the TVM principle means that the sooner each BCE donor pledges what they will be giving to the BCE Annual Campaign, the easier it is for our district leaders to plan ahead to fund awesome programs for our kids. Thus, the principle of TVM becomes the time value of fall pledging for the BCE Annual Campaign.

Fall pledging becomes even more important for BSD because the majority of our BCE fundraising events happen in the second half of the school year when there is far less time for our district leaders to plan for the following school year. As parents and BCE donors, sponsoring our student readers in the BCE Read-a-thon in January, raising our paddles for Fund-A-Need at the BCE Dinner Dance & Auction in April, and giving an online donation on Silicon Valley Gives Day in May feels so great!

However, unless we pledge in the fall what we estimate we will be giving as donations at these fun events, our spring donations unintentionally make it more difficult for our district leaders to be able to count on hiring new classroom aides or fund new integrated arts and science programs.

Pledging helps everyone. Pledging in the fall gives parents the choice of how to fulfill your BCE donation throughout the school year while at the same time gives our district leaders more time to plan for great educational programs, teacher professional development and small class sizes.

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Gratuitous cute kid shot of California public school 5th grader and 2nd grader in 1970s, when California led the nation in educational funding per student.

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Gratuitous cute kid shot of California public school 5th grader and 2nd grader in 2015 receiving the same top-rated public education, but when California is #46 in the nation in educational funding per student — a full $2,500 less per student than the national average. The difference? Strong communities that actively support strong public schools and educational public benefit fundraising non-profits like BCE!

So learn from my past giving history mistakes (and my 1970s fashion faux pas) and join me in making your fall pledge today. Our district and our kids are worth it!

— Delyn Simons, Washington Elementary BCE Site Director