We are so grateful our community is filled with parents and other community members who prioritize education and want to ensure our schools continue to be among the best. Since 2000, parents, alumni, and community members have raised over $8 million of additional funding for Orono Schools through the Orono Foundation. These additional funds have helped propel Orono Schools to rank among the very top in the nation, but we can’t take these achievements for granted. In order to maintain and further advance the excellence of Orono Schools, we need to continue to step up. Below outlines the different ways financial donations can be directed.

The Impact of Orono Foundation for Education

Tax dollar
Tax dollars are not enough
  • Public schools are primarily funded by tax dollars, but not all tax dollars are kept in our district. Rather, they are redistributed across the state and each MN public school gets the same basic amount per pupil.
  • The only funds that stay in our district are referendum dollars and private donations to school-related
Private Funds
Private funds are necessary for public schools
  • The amount each MN school district receives from the state has not kept pace with inflation. The basic funding formula would be $550 more per pupil today had it kept pace since 2003.
  • Funding gaps require many school districts to seek additional revenue through foundations. Every school district on our area has one, including Westonka, Delano, and Rockford.
Foundation
The foundation is different from other school-supporting organizations
  • The Foundation truly serves all students and teachers across the K-12 spectrum. In contrast, the other school-supporting organizations serve specific niches.
  • The Foundation supports teacher training, additional teachers and specialists, and technology and coursework not offered at schools of a similar size. These efforts impact all Orono students, their whole learning experience, and their entire education trajectory.
Foundation
The foundation is different from other school-supporting organizations
  • The Foundation truly serves all students and teachers across the K-12 spectrum. In contrast, the other school-supporting organizations serve specific niches.
  • The Foundation supports teacher training, additional teachers and specialists, and technology and coursework not offered at schools of a similar size. These efforts impact all Orono students, their whole learning experience, and their entire education trajectory.
Cooperation
The Foundation and school district have a solid and trusting relationship
  • The Foundation knows that each year the district leadership will thoroughly and diligently assess and identify the greatest needs across the K-12 spectrum and set very strategic priorities. 
  • The District then works closely with the Foundation to finalize where extra funding is needed and where ti would have the biggest impact.
Target
Gifts can be more targeted if you choose
  • The amount each MN school district receives from the state has not kept pace with inflation. The basic funding formula would be $550 more per pupil today had it kept pace since 2003.
  • Funding gaps require many school districts to seek additional revenue through foundations. Every school district on our area has one, including Westonka, Delano, and Rockford.
8 million
The Foundation has raised more than $8 million in 20 years
  • We are fortunate to live in a community that values excellence in public education. The Foundation has raised over $8 Million in 20 years to the schools, which has help propel Orono to become a top-ranked and high-demand school district.
Cooperation
The Foundation and school district have a solid and trusting relationship
  • The Foundation knows that each year the district leadership will thoroughly and diligently assess and identify the greatest needs across the K-12 spectrum and set very strategic priorities. 
  • The District then works closely with the Foundation to finalize where extra funding is needed and where ti would have the biggest impact.
Target
Gifts can be more targeted if you choose
  • The amount each MN school district receives from the state has not kept pace with inflation. The basic funding formula would be $550 more per pupil today had it kept pace since 2003.
  • Funding gaps require many school districts to seek additional revenue through foundations. Every school district on our area has one, including Westonka, Delano, and Rockford.
8 million
The Foundation has raised more than $8 million in 20 years
  • We are fortunate to live in a community that values excellence in public education. The Foundation has raised over $8 Million in 20 years to the schools, which has help propel Orono to become a top-ranked and high-demand school district.

Annual Fund Donations

Donations directed to the annual fund supports the immediate needs of the Orono Schools, including teacher training, technology and curriculum, and additional teachers and specialists.

Excellence Funds Donation

Donations can be much more targeted when directed toward an Excellence Fund. There are seven Excellence Funds:

  • Academics
  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • Buildings & Grounds
  • Leadership & Ethics
  • Teacher Development
  • Technology

Endowment Fund Donations

Donations directed to the endowment fund are used to increase the provision of a consistent, long-term funding stream that empowers more strategic planning for the future.

Bash Fund-A-Needs

Dollars support a variety of priorities set in conjunction with District Leadership each year, and is typically announced at the annual Bash. Past Fund-a-Needs have included support for a 3-D Printer, World Languages, Service Learning, and other district-wide initiatives.

Scholarship Funds

The Orono Scholarship Fund, established in 1955 by Orono alumni, is now a standing committee of the Orono Foundation for Education. Each year, the Orono Education Fund grants college scholarships to Orono high school seniors based on the Orono schools’ scholarship-recipient recommendations. The requests are evaluated and awarded on the basis of merit.

Memorial Funds

Donations given for specific projects are part of the Orono Foundation for Education’s Memorial Funds. These gifts are separate from the unrestricted donations used towards the annual grant for the Orono schools. Some donations are given to celebrate a milestone, memorialize a loved one’s death or honor a friend or family member in a meaningful way. In the past, donations to the Memorial and Designated Gifts Funds have sponsored motivational speakers, character-building programs and improvements to playgrounds. Donations have also gone towards new language software, building projects and book acquisition. Memorial Gifts and Designated Gifts are an important part of the Orono Foundation for Education and can be a special and unique way to honor a loved one.

Since 2000, the generosity of parents, alumni and community members has raised over $8M of additional private funding for Orono Schools through the Orono Foundation of Education, propelling Orono Schools to rank among the very top.

Please contact us to learn more about the various opportunities in giving toward any of these funds!

Everyone Counts.

Your gift, no matter the size, makes a difference to every member of the Orono Community. Because of you, we are better together: fiercely committed to raising funds for today’s needs and tomorrow’s dreams.