As the weather turns cold, the (BEF) is asking Birmingham residents to think spring and "plant a seed" as part of its annual fund campaign.
Through Dec. 31, the foundation will be hitting the streets and asking parents and community members to donate to the BEF, an independent nonprofit group that raises private monies and awards grants to help fund various programs at . In the past, the BEF has awarded grants to support academics, athletics, the arts and technology.
Last year alone, the BEF raised more than $117,000 for the district, a part of which went to fund literacy libraries at all eight elementary schools as well as several Our Great Idea grants.
According to Superintendent David Larson, the BEF is the largest single source of alternative funding for the school district.
Larson said that when it comes to the BEF's annual fund, 100 percent of all money raised goes directly back to classrooms.
"(The BEF's) support is felt in and out of classrooms across the district, providing much-needed financial assistance for academic, athletic, technological and artistic programming for all of our schools," wrote Larson, alongside BEF President Gerald Rito and BEF Executive Director Laura Couger, in an email to parents this week.
To encourage donations, the first 100 donors who give $125 or more will receive a $25 gift card to .
"It all begins with a seed, the glimmer of great idea, a new way of looking at things," the email reads. "There are so many more seeds we would like to plant, but we need your help to make it happen."
Those looking to donate may do so via check, credit card or as part of an employer matching-gift program. Donors may remain anonymous, though names are encouraged.
Donations may be made online or by mailing in a card sent to all Birmingham households in the upcoming week.
Contributions of any size are welcome, but the following donation levels are recognized:
- Donor: $26-$125
- Supporter: $126-$250
- Advocate: $251-$500
- Champion: $501-$1,000
- Partner: $1,001-$2,500
- Faculty Circle: $2,501+
As a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, all donations to the BEF are tax-deductible.
For those looking to contribute year-round, BEF donors may also purchase a commemorative brick or register their Kroger Plus Card with the foundation to rack up dollars every time they buy groceries. For more information, visit http://supportbef.org.