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Green Dot Public Schools
In 2014, after a five-year period of transition and growth, Green Dot Public Schools was ready to revitalize and restructure their fundraising strategy. They were running a large $120 million school system but with limited support outside of government funds. Since their founder had moved on, many of their individual donor relationships were at a standstill. Soon 95% of Green Dot’s funding came only from government support. Yet, as leaders of a national charter school system, Green Dot’s staff wanted to elevate community voices in support of their mission by rebuilding their individual giving program.
Director of Development Douglas Weston says Green Dot used their Developing Development Program (DDP) journey to “ignite an organization-wide development culture and think strategically about increasing advocacy and support across multiple channels.” Before DDP, there was never an effective space for board and staff to collaborate. Douglas says being together at the same table in the DDP workshops played a “catalytic role” in engaging everyone in real conversations about their students, schools and fundraising efforts. Back at the office, board and staff actively shared responsibilities in completing the fundraising assessment, case for support and fund development plan required by DDP. Douglas says DDP’s curriculum kept them on target and was critical to Green Dot’s success: “Not only were we able to articulate the direction we wanted to go, but we were better equipped with activities that would get us to our fundraising goals.”
Today, there is a “shared framework, language and culture around philanthropy” at Green Dot. The hallmark of their individual giving program is their “hands-on philanthropy approach,” where donors are involved in school tours, field trips and mentoring programs. Douglas and his development staff feel that this strong development plan is their “gift to education reform.” Thanks to the work they put in during DDP, Green Dot is ready to reach more schools, effectively closing the achievement gap and connecting students across diverse communities nationwide.