Osborne talks about fundraising for schools with Danville Kiwanis
On Thursday, Nov. 1, Phil Osborne, executive director of the Danville Schools Education Foundation (DSEF) presented an overview of the organization’s collaboration with other community groups to combine resources through partnerships and more aggressive fundraising to improve effectiveness in addressing a broader range of issues. Those groups include:
• Boyle County Education Fund;
• Wilderness Trace Community Foundation;
• Governor’s Office for Early Childhood Education; and
• Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles “hunger Initiative.”
Referencing that civic clubs like Kiwanis can make a positive impact on the lives of the 70 percent of students living at poverty level in Boyle County, Osborne spoke specifically about the importance of early childhood development, hunger initiatives, expanding opportunities in arts and humanities through enrichment activities, connecting technology to academic success and promoting lifelong learning through scholarships.
Osborne quoted a report from the Kentucky Youth Advocates; “Kentucky leads the nation in the number of students who live with relatives rather than their parents.” With a percentage more than double any other state, Kentucky also has the second highest rate of parents incarcerated.
Sharing that he grew up in poverty in rural Appalachia, Osborne credits Boy Scouts, music and education that allowed and inspired him to break out of the cycle of poverty that still afflicts many in his extended family.
Osborne’s commitment to Danville Schools began when his two oldest children attended in the district during which time he served as Jennie Rogers PTO president, chair of Bate Middle School Site-Based Council and as a volunteer with DHS and Central Office in strategic planning.
DCEF was formed in 2005 with a vision to create an investment vehicle for individuals, corporations and the foundation to contribute tax-deductible donations in support of students and educational programming and has always been governed by a board of community volunteers.
Osborne shared that his early endeavors focused on specific goals and objectives for a more robust effort in community outreach to groups like Kiwanis Club of Danville and initiating a proactive campaign to increase alumni contributions.
“It all takes money and so I’m shaking the trees,” Osborne said as he explained, “Fundraising will now include an annual campaign that will kick off on Nov. 27 with the International Day of Giving, seeking grant funds beyond Hudson-Ellis and outreach to local financial planners for alumni endowments.
“In the early years, DSEF prevailed through the benevolence of an anonymous donor. That resource is now supplanted by grants from the Hudson-Ellis Fund and Bluegrass Community Foundation that provided $10, 000 to the school’s Cradle Program.”
Osborne concluded the program stating “DCEF has raised more than $100,000 from the annual Dancing with the Danville Stars event that goes directly to benefit the schools or is awarded to teachers in the district through a grant program. The annual Bill Pollom 5K Race is also another community event that donates proceeds to the foundation.”