By Tim Leeds
Members of the Havre Public Schools Education Foundation Board of Directors made plans and set goals for the first full year of the foundation during their first annual meeting last night.
At the end of the meeting, held at Robins School starting at 7 p.m., Board President Rick Harada summarized some of the key issues discussed during the meeting as setting goals for the foundation, deciding on what activities to use as fund raisers, finalizing a conflict of interest statement and finalizing an investment policy.
Secretary/Treasurer Byron Ophus presented a financial report on the current status of the foundation. There is currently more than $2,800 in the foundation's general fund, more than $10,000 in the Robert "Wiggy" Ragnvold Endowment designated for golf programs, $10,000 in the Nolan Endowment to provide future art scholarships and $400 to provide a scholarship this year, and more than $25,000 in the Dr. Jim and Kay Elliott Endowment to provide memorial scholarships.
The board members discussed setting a goal for fund raising for the year to provide operating money for the foundation. Ophus said $5,000 might be a good first-year goal, with the hope that they would be successful enough that they would have to spend all of it for operations.
Dr. Kirk Miller, ex officio board member, said they should try to find an annual event to attach themselves to for fund raising. He said finding an annual event that people would identify the foundation with would probably create more long term success for a fund raiser.
Miller said he would eventually like to have enough money, in the range of $100,000 or more, so that the income off of the account would provide for all expenses and be self-perpetuating.
Miller also presented one draft of a logo for the foundation, created by a Havre High School student in the computer aided drafting (CAD) lab at the school. He said the upper level CAD and art classes are not until the upcoming semester, and the board agreed to have those classes create and present some drafts of logos. The board committed $500 to purchasing some kind of equipment for those programs to provide a tangible, long term benefit for the school's students in return for the work on the logo.
Miller also received the board's approval to add a button to the Havre Public Schools' web site to link to pages for the foundation. He said the pages would list the board members, current contributions and goals set and realized. Board member Mary Van Buskirk suggested including a pledge card on the site.
Van Buskirk presented a draft of a conflict of interest statement. The statement summarizes the ideas that board members should not be on different entities with direct programmatic conflict of interests in fund raising.
Ophus said the board needs to come up with a statement of their investment policy to be used with future contributions to the foundation. He also said they might want to consider developing a policy, such as using an outside service, for the accounting for the foundation, and to consider working with investment professionals about some issues for the foundation, such as how to manage Charitable Remainder Trusts, where the donor receives some income off of the donation made.
The board also established a scholarship committee, consisting of Miller, Peck, Karen McIntosh and Dr. Dorothy Bradbury, to help establish guidelines for scholarships, including the Nolan and Elliott scholarships. Miller said he would work with Havre High School counselors Kay Nessland and Connie Peterson to set up some guidelines to present to the committee. He said he wanted to be able to present some possible guidelines to the families that made the endowments, so they wouldn't have to come up with all of the ideas themselves.
Harada said they would welcome input from community members, including ideas about goals they should set and fund raisers they could hold. He said people could contact any of the board members with suggestions, or send a message using a function on the web page. Miller said the link from the Havre Public Schools web site to the foundation should be up fairly quickly.
On the 'net: Havre Public Schools: http://www.havre.k12.mt.us