The New Trier Educational Foundation, led by a board of volunteers, has worked for over a decade to provide private funding for exceptional educational opportunities and special projects that are not funded – or are funded only in part – by the District 203 Budget. Prior to working with TW&B, this funding came primarily from special events and direct mail initiatives
The New Trier Educational Foundation enlisted the help of Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt to conduct a fundraising assessment. A fairly recent strategic plan conducted by the Foundation suggested a goal of doubling the cumulated fund raising income for a five year period. Jon Heintzelman of TW&B was brought in to help determine how to achieve this ambitious goal which would total $1.8 million.
TW&B’s assessment yielded a number of recommendations, including a gradual transition to a major gifts program, shifts in the role of the part-time Executive Director, and the exploration of endowed gift opportunities and a planned giving program.
The Green Roof Project
The green roof was the first major gift endeavor for the Foundation. The expansion of New Trier’s Winnetka Campus presented an opportunity for the installation of two green roofs outside the 4th floor of the new building. Unforeseen construction issues, however, caused funding for the completion of these two green roofs to be postponed. The New Trier Girls Club and Tri-Ship generously donated $100,000 for the completion of the first green roof in late spring 2016, but the second green roof was left unfunded and incomplete. The New Trier Educational Foundation set out to raise the additional $100,000 needed for the completion of the project.
On September 18, 2017, the New Trier Educational Foundation presented $100,000 raised to fund completion of the second green roof at the Board of Education meeting. The completed green roof was dedicated at the New Trier Anew event on October 15, 2017.
In a relatively short period of time, the New Trier Education Foundation has been able to begin the transformation to an organization that will be able to continue its successful grant making function but also undertake various major gift projects in conjunction with the District to meet the growing needs of the school, its faculty and students. Early success with the green roof project has helped to build a foundation upon which future funding projects can be successful.
Photos courtesy the New Trier Educational Foundation.