WILMINGTON — Wilmington Schools Foundation allows employees to apply for funds to purchase innovative teaching materials and fund educational experiences for students that are typically not part of the school-wide general budget.
One way funds are raised for this program is through an employee gift campaign, known as GIFT — Giving is a Family Tradition.
Every dollar donated through the GIFT program is more than a gift, it is an investment in our schools, teachers and students.
This year the campaign was held in September for two weeks: A goal of $14,200 and 10 new payroll gives was set by the WSF board.
If the staff met their goal, lunch would be provided to everyone. During the campaign a cart of goodies was taken around for staff members to choose from.
The first week they chose from a variety of lunch containers. The second week everyone got a lunch bag.
“I love to see the staff’s faces as we come around with their item for the week. It’s like Christmas,” said WSF Executive Director Chastity Flanigan. “My favorite part is hearing about the grants they have received or even getting to see them in use.”
Last year the GIFT Campaign was able to raise $13,531 in funds.
This year we raised an astonishing amount of $14,765!
Last year 141 employees out of 300 enrolled in payroll deduction; this year that number increased by 6 percent to 149.
The national average increase among public institution employee giving campaigns is only about 3 percent to the total number of payroll deduction gifts. The staff generosity doubled the national average of payroll giving. We had 18 new employees sign up for payroll deduction.
Teachers at East End and WHS whole-heartedly supported the campaign by giving at 99 percent. This year’s campaign also saw an increase in giving by non-teaching staff. The district-wide employees are showing the power of giving.
The big takeaway was increased total number of donors by 5 percent for an outstanding total of 66 percent of WCS employees contributing to the campaign — the highest level of participation in the GIFT Program history. The total number of dollars raised increased by almost 10 percent.
Out of gratitude for the staff’s support and reaching both goals, the WSF will be providing a catered meal to every staff member in district, before year’s end.
“I am very proud to be part of this wonderful school district! We have a great team working for the students,” said Flanigan. “The Foundation is happy to be here to help support WCS. The GIFT Campaign participation numbers really show that ‘Giving is a Family Tradition’.”