ECPSF 2020 Annual Report

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Annual Report

Ensuring the Future

500 Main St, P.O. Box 511 Eau Claire, WI 54702 715-852-3015 ECPSF, an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), is a supporting organization of the ECCF

Charitable partner of Eau Claire Area School District

Mission Dedicated to promoting education by fostering supportive relationships with Eau Claire Area School District and the community; raising funds to provide learning opportunities for students, teachers and staff; and awarding grants for value-added projects.

2020-2021 Board of Trustees Jim McDougall, Chair Founder & CEO, UpStream

Wayne Wille, Vice Chair Trust Portfolio Manager, US Bank


Dustin Wiesner, Treasurer

Ensuring the Future

Dr. Blenda Yun, Past Chair

Tax Manager, Wipfli LLC Physician, Mayo Clinic Health System

Grant Beardsley Corporate Counsel, Royal Credit Union

Julia Diggins

Letter from the ECPSF Chair 2020 has been unlike any other year. Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation is proud to serve as the charitable partner of Eau Claire Area School District, supporting students, families, and teachers, during uncertain AND normal times. In 2020, thanks to you, ECPSF was able to grant over $20,000 in Covid relief for Eau Claire Area School District students and staff, supporting the rapid virtual learning changes they faced. This included internet/connectivity support for students and families, home teaching materials for staff, and more! We were also able to increase our annual granting, providing more than $100,000 to schools and classrooms in an uncertain time. While our 2020 Golden Apple Awards banquet was cancelled amidst the pandemic, honorees were still celebrated with grant funding. And a bright light for the year was Solar on Eau Claire Schools, installing 360 solar panels at each of our high schools. There has never been a more important time to show our students, staff, and teachers our support. It is an honor to help donors like you fulfill your philanthropic goals supporting education. I invite you to join me by making a gift to the Foundation. Planned and endowed gifts have an especially lasting impact, and gifts of any size can be used to support students and teachers today. Together, we are Ensuring the Future of quality public education in Eau Claire. Thank you for your generosity for our schools.

Director of Development UW-Eau Claire Foundation

Mike Emberson Co-Owner, Zacho Sports Center

Kimberly Hill Phelps Retired Educator

Heather Market-Sullivan Community Volunteer

Jennifer McHugh VP Community Engagement, Royal Credit Union

David Morley Retired Educator

Rebecca Noland Retired, City of Eau Claire

Derek Prestin Attorney, Ruder Ware

Ex-Officio: Mike Johnson Superintendent, Eau Claire Area School District

Dr. Lori Bica Commisioner, Eau Claire Area School District Board of Education

Past Chairs: Dan Market (2011-2015) Charlie Grossklaus (2015-2017)


Jim McDougall Chair, Eau Claire Public Schools Foundatoin Founder & CEO, UpStream

Sarah French, Executive Director 500 Main St, P.O. Box 511 Eau Claire, WI 54702 715-852-3015

Types of Funds Unrestricted Fund

$500 to establish, $10,000 minimum to begin granting

Allows ECPSF the most flexibility to allocate dollars to the ever-changing needs of our schools through the grant process.

Donor Advised Fund

$1,500 to establish, $25,000 minimum to begin granting

Allows individuals, families and businesses to be fully involved in their philanthropy. Fund holders have the flexibility to recommend grants to specific schools.

Scholarship Fund

$1,000 to establish, $15,000 minimum to begin granting

Allows fund holders to support the post-secondary education of students from a high school of their choice.

Designated Fund

2020 Assets Held in Each Fund Type

$500 to establish, $10,000 minimum to begin granting

Allows fund holders to support their favorite school, activity, sport, or program forever. They can support one or more schools, even specific programs.

Acorn Fund Allows donors to invest as little as $500 up front, then add tax-deductible contributions for up to five years. The Acorn becomes fully funded when it reaches the minimum balance required for granting.

Pass-Through Fund Allows donors to support a specific purpose or project that will benefit our schools. This type of short-term fund closes once its goal is accomplished. Although the fund is temporary, its impact is forever!

Covid Relief CONNECTIVITY SUPPORT: When school buildings closed in March, it left students and teachers to navigate education online. A local retiree donated $10,000 with an eye on supporting internet access and connectivity for district students. The shift to online education proved especially difficult for families in rural and lowerincome areas, many of whom did not have adequate internet access. Katie Dewitz, a firstgeneration college graduate and local retiree, wanted to help. “I was motivated to help kids from lower-income families because I know that a good education is vital,” Dewitz said. “Concerned that distance learning may not have been as accessible to students in these families, I decided to try to do something about it.” Ms. Dewitz’s gift supported internet access and connectivity costs for several students and families.

EMERGENCY TEACHER GRANTS: At the unexpected onset of school building closures in the spring, ECPSF also launched an emergency grant program to support district teachers and staff, suddenly shifting to educating their students remotely. The new virtual format required different educational tools. ECPSF awarded an additional $10,000 to support teachers’ home technology needs, modules for online learning, audiobooks, postage costs, and more! “A cornerstone of what we do is provide grant funding to support ECASD’s greatest needs and educator innovation,” said Sarah French, ECPSF Executive Director. “We are thrilled to support our teachers’ work and creativity, especially during uncertain times.”

DISTRICTWIDE FUND FOR TODAY The Districtwide Greatest Needs Fund for Today supports a wide variety of needs in Eau Claire Area School District. The fund supports the annual classroom grants cycle, as well as the various and ever-changing needs of the District as a whole, from technology amidst virtual learning to unpaid lunch balances. Unlike many other Funds which have a specific focus, the Districtwide Greatest Needs Fund is unrestricted, allowing ECPSF to support the District’s most pressing needs annually. A gift to this Fund is an excellent way to ensure that all ECASD schools can continue and enhance their work supporting students.


Solar on Eau Claire Schools Solar on Eau Claire Schools, launched in December 2019, raised more than $291,000 to fund the engineering, installation, racking, and 25 years of maintenance for two solar arrays (360 panels each), atop Memorial and North High Schools. The fundraising initiative was a grassroots success, despite the pandemic, with match challenges from Pablo Foundation and Left Coast Fund, care of Hammond Climate Solutions. The panels were donated by Couillard Solar Foundation in partnership with Midwest Renewable Energy Association. Eagle Point Solar was named installer from the District’s competitive bid process. Installation took place in September and October, and arrays turned on in December. “This project has a profound impact on our students’ education and serves as a catalyst toward ECASD’s sustainability goals,” shared Superintendent Mike Johnson. In addition to the solar panels’ performance being incorporated into the STEM curriculum at the two high schools, exposing students to career opportunities in environmental and solar industries, it also saves Eau Claire Area School District approximately $20,000 per year in utility costs. The project provides an incredible $900,000+ value for the District over the life of the arrays. Mike Johnson Superintendent, ECASD


October 2020 Ribbon cutting event From left kneeling: ECASD Superintendent Mike Johnson, Memorial alum Kiersten Wille (2020), ECPSF Board Chair Jim McDougall, Memorial science teacher Erin Layde, North science teacher Jake Behrens. From left standing: School Board President Dr. Tim Nordin, Couillard Solar Foundation trustee Claire Couillard Lindstrom, Solar on Eau Claire Schools committee co-chairs Ellen and Steve Terwilliger, ECPSF Executive Director Sarah French.


Kirk Jansen

K-6 Teacher, Chippewa Valley Montessori Charter School

Each year, ECPSF awards grants to teachers for innovative classroom projects. One such grant in 2020 had students honing new skills. Chippewa Valley Montessori Charter School’s E2 Tea Company is a class-wide project where students grow, harvest, dry, and package mint and other herbs to create tea blends. Using funds from their grant, they also reuse fruit from the school lunch program to create dehydrated snacks, and purchased grow lights essential to keep the plants alive during darker months. Teacher and project coordinator, Kirk Jansen, welcomed the grant and opportunity to try something new with his students. “This has allowed them to find purpose and positivity in a non-traditional way. It’s highly motivating, particularly for students still trying to find a way to feel successful in the classroom.”

STUDENT BOOK GIVEAWAY (DISTRICTWIDE): As students were released from classrooms in the spring for home learning, ECASD library administrators came together to bring books to them. Through a grant from ECPSF, library services were able to host pop-up drive-through book giveaways, so parents could pick up age-appropriate books for their kids.

Caroline Akervik Library Media Coordinator, ECASD

“eBooks and audiobooks are wonderful, but physical books have their own special magic,” shared Caroline Akervik, Library Media Coordinator for ECASD. “We kept everyone safely socially distant and handed bagged books into trunks and through opened car windows. Cars were wrapped around the parking lot. Everyone was super excited!”






$261,179 granted in 2020

For our full list of Funds, please visit

Scholarship Spotlight A team of leaders from PESI Inc. launched a new scholarship in the name of their Executive Director, Mike Conner. An Eau Claire non-profit organization, PESI Inc. provides cutting edge continuing education to professionals across the nation. Conner is a graduate of Memorial High School, and the PESI team was looking for a way to celebrate his work and provide support to the next generation of leaders. The scholarship supports Old Abe grads pursuing a degree in an entrepreneurial field. The PESI/Mike Conner Scholarship’s first recipient, Dane Clouse MHS ’20, is studying at the University of Minnesota. “I am incredibly grateful. Scholarships like these are what makes it possible for students to pay the hefty price of college.”

2020 Grant Listing

Record Granting Year!


ECASD Districtwide:

Manz Elementary School:

Prairie Ridge Early Learning Center:

• Back to school backpacks and school supplies • Blugold Beginnings programming • Border Battle expenses • Brighter Futures Scholarships • Covid relief: internet/hotspots for students • Homeless program needs: winter gear, school supplies, transportation, activity and athletics fees • Outstanding lunch balances • Solar on Eau Claire Schools • Special Olympics • Student books giveaway

• Field trip: 4th grade, Eau Claire Children’s Theatre • Kindergarten classroom play area • Student home support materials for reading and math • Staff instructional resources

• Classroom sensory and development tools • Family services • Food pantry supplies • Weekend meals

McKinley Charter School:

• Classroom library • Coding lessons robots • Covid relief: postage costs, home printing

Chippewa Valley Montessori Charter School: • Counselor training materials • Covid relief: postage costs • E2 Tea Company student entrepreneurship program DeLong Middle School: • Field trip: 7th grade, Science Museum of Minnesota Flynn Elementary School: • Covid relief: postage costs • Field trip: 1st grade, Eau Claire Children’s Theatre • Field trip: 5th grade, Walker Art Center • Field trip: 2nd grade, Eau Claire Children’s Theatre • Portable whiteboards and indoor recess games Lakeshore Elementary School: • Covid relief: postage costs Locust Lane Elementary School: • Sensory hallway supplies Longfellow Elementary School: • Covid relief: postage costs, home printing, student worksheets • Osmo home kits for students • JRLC after school program staffing and expenses

• Covid relief: postage costs Meadowview Elementary School: • Covid relief: postage costs, home printing • Field trip: 4th grade, Youth Frontiers Kindness Retreat • Special education reading and math materials Memorial High School: • Covid relief: podcast microphones and headset, tripod, postage costs, home printing, workbooks • Flexible classroom seating • Giving Tree student needs • Special education classroom supplies North High School: • 2020 Seniors yard signs • Covid relief: postage costs, home printing • NHS Doghouse entryway signage • Northernaires Show Choir • Washer and dryer for athletics Northstar Middle School: • Field trip: 8th grade, Guthrie Theatre • New instrument for band/orchestra • School golf cart • 25th Anniversary Celebration supplies Northwoods Elementary School: • Covid relief: home printing, lamination • Mrs. Schaller’s Budding Artists after school art club • Water bottle filling station

Putnam Heights Elementary School:

Robbins Elementary School: • Covid relief: postage costs, home printing and lamination, Moby Max Roosevelt Elementary School: • Covid relief: audio interface, staff book study • Flex space floor tables • Technology docking Sam Davey Elementary School: • School art gallery • Flexible classroom seating Sherman Elementary School: • Kindergarten free choice classroom supplies • Headphones and jacks for English language learners South Middle School: • After school robotics club • Classroom supplies • Covid relief: postage costs, home printing • Friday club supplies • Mask-making materials Scholarships: Caravan Scholarship: UW Madison Eric Mosel Scholarship: Minnesota State University Mankato J Murphy STEM Scholarships: University of Minnesota Duluth, UW La Crosse, UW Madison Joanne Marie Sommer Scholarship: University of St. Thomas PESI/Mike Conner Scholarship: University of Minnesota Ross Proctor Music Scholarship: UW Stevens Point Ruth Girnau Scholarships: Michigan Technological University, St. Olaf College, University of Minnesota (2), University of Minnesota Duluth, UW Eau Claire (2)

Leave a Legacy for Learning! Does your commitment to education in Eau Claire extend beyond your ability to make a current cash gift? If so, please consider remembering the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation (ECPSF) in your estate gift plan. Planned gifts come in many shapes and sizes, and can benefit our schools in any way that you wish to have an impact and leave your legacy. Your gift can support ECPSF’s mission, can be added to an existing fund, or can establish a new fund to support your particular area of educational interest. All who establish a planned gift to benefit ECPSF become members of the Legacy Society. Of course, wishes for anonymity are strictly honored.

Types of planned gifts: • Charitable Gift Annuity

• Bequest by Will

• Charitable Remainder and/or Charitable Lead Trust

• Life Insurance

• Real Estate

• Retirement Plans

We welcome you to contact us to discuss your goals in supporting education. In all cases, please also seek the advice of your attorney, financial planner, accountant or other estate planning professional.

Become a Charter Member of our newly formed Legacy Society! Charter Members: Don* & Jan Etnier Ruth Girnau* Charles & Becky Grossklaus Phil & Carol Mosel Rick & Carol Olson Corrine (Connie) Ulrich* Anonymous (2)

To learn more about how to make a gift in your estate plan to support our schools, please contact Sarah French, Executive Director, at 715-852-3015 or

“Our kids received a wonderful education from the caring staff at North, and I loved my years teaching there. To carry on our son’s memory, we chose a scholarship to give Huskies a chance to further their education. Students selected exemplify the characteristics that made our son, Eric, who he was. Hopefully more will choose to carry on their loved ones’ memory as we have.” – Carol Mosel

*Denotes deceased

The annual Golden Apples are awarded by the nomination of peers and distinguish one outstanding educator or staff member in each of the twenty ECASD schools, as well as one honoree from districtwide support. ECPSF partners with generous area businesses to sponsor unrestricted grant funding for each honoree and school. Grant funding has been used to support classroom supplies, playground equipment, field trips, musical instruments, and more!

Founding Partners for Education Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation was founded in 2011, started by a small group of community educators and leaders believing that support beyond the tax dollar can make good education excellent. ECPSF gratefully thanks the Founding Partners for Education who joined together to establish a strong base of funding and support through their leadership gifts. Anonymous (2)

Dan & Debbie Market

Dean J. Arnold

Jeff & Eileen Munger Family

Dr. Louis G. Arnold

David E. Richie

David & Gail Barnes

Terry* & Flo Sheridan

William & Beth Blackburn

Kirk & Wendy Strang

Steve Brimmer

Susan & Roger Tietz

Greg Caucutt & Amy Carr Caucatt

Skip & Jane Van Gorden

Patti Cigan

Family & Friends of Michael J. Webb

Trish Cummins & John Plewa

Ben & Lori Whitis

Katheryn Proctor Duax & David L.E. Duax*

Becky & Dave Wood

Ken & Lori Faanes

Dr. Blenda Yun & Lane Biggs

Mark & Donna Faanes Jim & Lynn Fering Thomas & Monika Fiedler Mike Graf & Lisa Stetler Graf Charles & Becky Grossklaus Wayne & Carole Halberg Christine Hambuch-Boyle & Stephen Boyle Family Mary Ann & Herb Hardebeck Slavko & Elizabeth Ivankovic Jerry & Jane Johnson Wendy Sue Johnson Jeff & Karen Jones Jack & Sally Kaiser Mary Beth Kelley-Lowe & Scott Lowe Harold ‘Diz’ Kronenbrg* Marv Lansing & Nancy Kraft

American Phoenix, Inc. Eau Claire North High School Athletic Booster Club Eau Claire Seymour Lions Club First Choice Occupational Medicine & Disability, & Hebl Family Ken Vance Motors Lasker Jewelers, Lasker Family Macy’s Foundation Market & Johnson, Inc. Micon Cinemas, Mike & Connie Olson Family Northwestern Bank Scheels Wipfli Xcel Energy

*Denotes deceased

Credits Photography by: Jeff Thompson Photography Layout & Design by: Rebekah Bendorf, Graphic Designer


Financial Report Statement of Financial Position Assets Checking and Money Market Investments Pledges Receivable - Funds

Statement of Financial Activity 2020*










$ 3,106,766

$ 2,487,756

Other Liabilities



Total Liabilities



Prepaid Expenses Total Assets


Support & Other Revenue Contributions - Funds Contributions - Operations Investment Gains (Losses) Administrative Fee Revenue


Change in Net Assets

Total Liabilities & Net Assets *2020 Unaudited

ENSURING THE FUTURE 500 Main St, P.O. Box 511 Eau Claire, WI 54702 715-852-3015





$ 3,106,766

$ 2,487,756










$ 1,014,056

$ 1,051,092











Grants & Expenses Grants Operating Expenses Fund Expenses

Beginning Balance of Net Assets


Investment Management Fees


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