Barhite: Springfield hires company to seek donations from alumniWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | email@example.com
Springfield Local Schools is hoping to leverage its alumni to support some of the district’s endeavors after its recent failed levy attempt.
The Springfield Schools Foundation, along with the Board of Education, decided to hire Kevin Mullan, founder of My Alumni Office in Holland.
“The No. 1 reason people don’t give is because they aren’t asked,” Mullan said.
He plans to change that.
“If public schools did alumni relations like private schools, it would change education forever,” he said. “Public education isn’t getting into the alumni base and tapping into it. If you look at private schools, graduates of private high schools are largely giving back to their high schools and college alma maters.”
Mullan was the director of alumni relations at St. John’s from October 2009 to September 2011. Then, he was the director of alumni relations at Jesuit College Prep Dallas from October 2011 to May 2014, before returning to the Toledo area.
While in Dallas, he said Jesuit College Prep never wanted for anything — athletics or academics. However, the primary barrier is the cost. It is expensive to do alumni relations.
That is how Mullan came up with My Alumni Office. Springfield is his second customer, which means a lot because his wife, Dani, graduated from Springfield in 2000.
“Schools could come together and share an alumni director,” he said. “At the core, that is what My Alumni Office is all about. It is designed to be everyone’s alumni director.”
Last year, across the country, education was No. 2 charitable activity behind church, Mullan said.
“The alumni of Springfield are absolutely charitable. They aren’t being asked to give to Springfield,” he said. “This is an opportunity for alumni, parents and members of the community to rally around the causes, the issues and the things that they care about in Springfield.”
Springfield Schools Foundation board president Cynthia Beekley is excited about the chance to get more alumni involved.
“We decided to do this because we feel the need to raise more money to support the school district,” Beekley said.
The cost to hire My Alumni Office is an initial $5,000 implementation fee and then quarterly installments of $8,750. The foundation and district are sharing the cost. Part of the district’s money is coming from the funding that used to go to the district’s alumni director, Beekley said.
Mullan said the recently failed levy makes this a perfect opportunity to focus on the positives of the district and the alumni who want to give back.
For more information about My Alumni Office, call 419-290-2622.
Brandi Barhite is community ombudsman for Toledo Free Press and a member of the Springfield Schools Foundation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.