Districtwide Fundraising Falls Flat

Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation

After a decidedly bumpy journey, the 2014-15 fundraising drive for local public schools came to a rest June 30.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) amassed about $2,365,000 through its recently implemented and hotly debated centralized funding system, which this year supported arts and enrichment programs as well as academic support staff and professional development.

The figure is considered preliminary and will not be final until after further accounting, SMMEF executive director Linda Greenberg said.

Regardless, the campaign fell well short of its $4-million goal, despite lasting 17 months — an extended cycle that resulted from the foundation’s desire to align its calendar with the academic year.

It became a roller coaster of an endeavor for the district’s nonprofit fundraising arm, which tried to educate the community about the new system and what it pays for while battling low participation