I am so excited to share our latest victory with you – Jefferson RISE has raised over half of our planning year goal, in just two months! Today’s calculations put the current total at $159,895 and rising. Since fundraising began in October, Jefferson RISE has averaged an astonishing $2,251 per day in donations. Donations made during this time allow Jefferson RISE to hire the best teachers and provide them with the support, training and tools they need for next fall. Each dollar raised helps build a safe, structured, and scholarly environment for students on the road to college.
Reaching the halfway mark came after experiencing a donation “domino effect.” Last week, Jefferson RISE received the green light on a “sizeable contribution” (alluded to in my previous blog post) of $25,000 donation from the Jefferson Community Foundation, which brought the total to $79,885. The Foundation’s gift could not have come at a better time. The RISE Team had spent weeks working around the clock to meet an anonymous donor’s conditions: If Jefferson RISE could raise $75,000 on our own by December 1st, the anonymous donor would match the funds. The Foundation’s gift pushed us just over $75,000, which triggered the additional $75,000 match, instantly doubling our assets.
To all who have donated, words cannot express how thankful I am for your kindness, especially over the Thanksgiving holiday. Small, individual donations were instrumental in reaching our first major milestone – 83% of our donors give between $20 and $200.
On December 2, Jefferson RISE participated in #GivingTuesday, an international day for giving thanks and giving back. Many of you joined us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share the spirit of giving with your friends and family and to encourage friends in your network to donate. In twenty-four hours we raised $1,585. Our story was spread from one family member to another, across state lines and into your living rooms. Thank you for allowing us to share the holidays with you, and for giving everyone at Jefferson RISE a lot to be thankful for this year.
It may seem small in comparison to the goal, but the funds raised on #GivingTuesday are very important. The $1,585 we raised is enough to purchase intervention math and literacy software, books, furniture, technology, and supplies for two 6th grade students. Jefferson RISE is dedicated to preparing all students for college and careers – we need the appropriate tools and resources to accomplish this task. There are no shortcuts in providing an excellent education and we will not settle for less.
December marks a shift for Jefferson RISE. You may start to see us around town, as we give Jefferson parents the opportunity to learn more about our program. I am patiently awaiting responses from numerous grants, and will continue to submit an increasing amount of grant applications this spring. The funds we have raised so far will sustain operations through early spring, allowing my focus to shift to hiring, recruitment, and facilities planning. This is a luxury we never thought we would achieve so quickly.
The halfway mark is certainly cause for celebration. But we cannot pause for even a second. Jefferson RISE will use this wonderful momentum to launch itself into the next phase of fundraising. We wouldn’t have our early successes without the help of our supporters. Thank you for being a part of our team, our family, and our journey. I can only hope that every update from On the RISE is as happy as today’s post.