The Education Foundation of Pendleton (EFP) has granted over $192,800 to the Pendleton School District since its inception in 1985. The Foundation has granted an average of over $10,600 each of the last 3 years after averagingS $6,500 per year prior to that. Historically, EFP has awarded grants fairly evenly among Pendleton’s elementary, middle, and high schools, depending upon the grant requests for the year. Grant requests are submitted by teachers during two cycles, one in the fall and the other in spring of each academic year.
EFP is funded by tax-deductible donations, some of which have come from someone who has named the EFP in his or her will. The largest donation to EFP was made in 2000 by Elsa Hagen, a longtime Pendleton educator. In her will, Elsa left EFP $99,000. Ms. Hagen’s generous donation enabled the Foundation to rise to an asset level that could be actively managed and diversified to maximize returns. Ms. Hagen left no specific directions for how the funds were to be used, so the funds have been used to support academic experiences that are consistent with the mission of the EFP.
EFP also receives donations in honor of someone who has passed away. A bequest on behalf of a longtime elementary teacher, Judith K. Irish Anderson, was made in 1996. At the request of Ms. Anderson, this donation and subsequent giving made in her honor, have been used for projects that involve environmental studies and the arts. This thoughtful bequest helped broaden the scope of the foundation in making grants to support science and mathematics as well. In 2012 and 2013 Philip and Bobby Farley’s family also designated EFP to receive memorial donations in their honor.
EFP occasionally receives donations with a distinct purpose for their use. In 2008, the John Struve Memorial Fund, a unique program managed by the Education Foundation, was established in memory of John Struve, a Pendleton High School graduate and avid supporter of high school sports. The original donation of $10,000, coupled with numerous subsequent deposits, has been used to promote participation in sports among students that may not have been able to due to financial limitations. Items such as equipment, uniforms, insurance, training, and other sports-related fees are covered at the request of the athletic department and guidance counselors and upon review by EFP.
The Board is dedicated to its mission of providing funds through private contributions to complement the needs of the district beyond those resources normally provided by public funds. In an effort to sustain giving for generations to come, the Board is equally committed to responsible financial management of the endowment which has grown to almost $210,000. The Board works with investment professionals and meets regularly to discuss financial performance. In 2009 the Board agreed to start an endowment in the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) with $50,000 of EFP’s assets; another $15,000 was transferred to OCF in August, 2012. This was done with the help and expertise of the OCF. The Board feels confident that alignment with this reputable organization will be wise for the long-term return and sustainability of the EFP’s assets.