The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education voted Feb. 21 to approve a new master agreement formalizing the relationship between the district and the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation.
The nonprofit foundation works to ensure equity and access to education for all students.
In addition, the board adopted the district’s first-ever Naming Rights Policy, a donor recognition tool allowing for naming of facilities, endowed funds, and programs within the 16-school district.
The education foundation has announced the creation of two new positions that will be filled by fundraising professionals.
Ed Lin has joined the foundation as director of major gifts. He previously served at the Harmony Project in Los Angeles as director of development. Lin has spent the past five years as a fundraising professional after a prior 15-year career as a corporate attorney.
A second position, director of annual giving and leadership gifts, will be served by Jessica
Ureña. She is currently director of individual giving and operations
at Marymount College, where she has worked since 2008.
Her prior experience includes stints as a fundraising professional with The Nimoy Foundation, Autism Speaks, The Sundance Institute, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The district’s centralized fundraising policy requires that all fundraising for staff positions and professional development occur through the education foundation rather than through individual schools’ PTAs. The foundation says its annual fundraising goal will be $4 million per year, commencing with the 2014-15 school year.
“We’re very excited to formalize in writing an operating agreement with the education foundation that articulates how we will work together as the centralized fundraising policy takes effect,” said district Superintendent Sandra Lyon.
“This agreement underscores the vital role the foundation has fulfilled with the district for the past 30 years, and the even greater importance the foundation now has as we all work together to sustain programs and staff in the face of declining public funding for our schools.”
Already in 2012-13, the foundation says it has secured the largest gift in its 30-year history, a $4.8 million bequest from the estate of late Peggy Bergmann.
“These are just steps in the process,” says foundation Executive Director Linda Greenberg Gross. “We’re working hard to increase our fundraising activity and success now so we’re in a position to succeed every year going forward in meeting our new goals. I’m excited by what we’ve done so far, but I’m even more excited about where we’re headed.”

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