Conversation with Dick Lee regarding Ballard High School Foundation, June 18, 2002
Dick Lee is Ballard alumnus instrumental in founding the Ballard High School Foundation.
He is a member of the
Alliance for Education
Development Board and is currently assisting other high schools in the forming their own foundations.
Fundraising at Ballard High School:
- Approximately 12 years ago, the Ballard PTSA sponsored the “Ballard Beaver Bash,” a fundraising event
that was a parent-based initiative supported by staff, parents and alums to meet the
immediate financial needs of the school. Dick Lee’s business helped underwrite the first few “bashes.”
This annual event has raised over $700,000 over the years.
- A few years later (and on the eve of Ballard’s remodel), a group of alums decided to
form the Ballard Foundation. Their first board included parents, alums and other
community business leaders (although 2/3rds are alums). They started out with a “Millennium Club”
(asking 150 people to give $1000 or more). They raise approximately $250,000 per year
and monies go toward more than immediate needs (i.e., art for the building, band uniforms,
musical instruments, etc.). They have raised over $1.8 million and are currently starting
a campaign to create an “endowment”.
- An Athletic Booster Club was recently formed to raise dollars for athletic activities.
This group allows the Bash folk to focus their dollars on educational excellence.
Specifics about Ballard Foundation:
- Every community group in the school has an opportunity to sit on the Board
- Board meets 4 times per year, although their subcommittees meet more often
- Is successful because their Board continues to grow and evolve with the school
- Board prides itself on being the “eyes, ears, and umbrella of the entire school”
- Foundation did not try to raise a large endowment during its first few years,
but concentrated on meeting certain other needs during the school’s remodel.
Why they did not name themselves the Ballard Alumni Foundation:
- “Alumni” in name limits their outreach to community businesses
- Most alum associations only give to scholarships and are not “pro-active” in their funding
- They already have the “Golden Beavers” (a representative of which sits on their board)
- Don’t want people to think they are funding an alumni association, instead of the school.
Dick Lee offered to put us in touch with Garfield grads he knows from his grad year.
He also said he would e-mail me a list of alums he knows that are interested in starting a Garfield Foundation.
Dick would like the opportunity to speak to our group.
He specializes in consulting on events surrounding school capital improvements.
-- Elisabeth Squires