Cupertino’s Their Future Is Now – how they did it

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  (Click for presentation)

Cupertino’s Their Future is Now parent organization held a meeting on May 23, 2010 to brainstorm ideas for next year as well as share what they did to raise $2.2 million in seven weeks. Here are some stats regarding the effort:

Number of schools: 25
Amount raised: $2.2 million
Time frame: Eight weeks
Number of donor families: 5,365
Number of families in district: About 10,000
Number of business donors: More than 100
Source: Flush with $2.2 million success, Cupertino parents share secrets

The San Jose Mercury published an article on the meeting: Flush with $2.2 million success, Cupertino parents share secrets. Fortunately, for Scotts Valley several parents attended on very short notice and based on emails I’ve received have returned with some great ideas for our community. I’ll use this post to provide additional details from their findings.

One of the Scotts Valley attendees provided the following bullet points summarizing what was presented as reasons for TFIN’s success:

  1. Perseverance and Organization
    The district also told them "No, we can’t use fundraised dollars for teachers"  However the parents didn’t accept that as an answer.  They organized quickly and put forth a plan.  As one of the organizers told me, "at the end of the day, it’s our school.  The administration works for us."  The parents understood this is only for 2010/2011.  They also face additional cuts however they will cross that bridge next year.
  2. Marketing, marketing, marketing
    They were VERY organized and detailed in their approach.  They put together a marketing plan as if they were launching a new product.  They had Leads for Corporate Sponsorship, Local Business, Lead for the individual Schools and even a lead for each grade within the school.  The campaign was VERY clear on exactly what was going to be cut.  To get the message to the middle and high school parents, they explained that if class sizes went up in K-3, that teachers with seniority who no longer have a class to teach would be "shuffled" around, so you could potentially have a 2nd grade teacher with an 8th grade class.  It took a lot of people and a lot of hard work
  3. They operated in conjunction with their Ed Fund, taking advantage of their non-profit status.