With available revenue diminishing from year-to-year to the district, school officials took the first step in hiring a professional to help identify new sources of income Tuesday night.
The School Board gave the OK on a hiring process and job description for the newly created position of director of development and marketing. The position will focus on fundraising and boosting enrollment in the district.
It now allows the district to start fielding applicants for the salaried position, budgeted at $75,000. The district's goal is to have the position start generating additional revenue in the first year, and fully funding itself by year two.
A director of marketing and development would assess short and long term funding, and develop and implement a marketing strategy to achieve a 1.5 percent contribution to the overall general education fund by 2016. That 1.5 percent equates to roughly $300,000 in the budget.
“We’ve always had the idea that this position would help generate money for the district,” said board member Ruth Treisman.
Additionally, the marketing professional would help boost enrollment by crafting a marketing story that defines Shorewood’s strengths versus other districts.
Shorewood Supporters of Excellence in Education is a fundraising outlet for the district that has drawn comparisons to what this position will do. However, the position will not diminish what SEED has done, but will work closely with SEED, parent-teacher organizations and other boosters in generating more fundraising opportunities for the district.
"We’re counting on the expertise to help provide that coordination across multiple entities," said Superintendent Martin Lexmond.
The professional would work directly with Lexmond in an effort to become more responsive to the needs of other fundraising groups. Currently, the groups are on their own islands and there is no unification. This would help solve that problem, according to the board.
“This is not a ‘dialing-for-dollars’ person, that’s not the only thing,” said board member David Cobb.
Officials will soon post the position on appropriate professional organization sites, followed by indentifying the interview panel, screening applicants, finalizing interview questions, conducting interviews and finally making a recommendation to the board. The interview panel will consist of 10 members.
The board hopes to have the position filled in the next three to four months.