Each year when school begins, the Foundation accepts applications from R-XI faculty and staff for small grants whose purpose is to provide supplies and equipment in classrooms, buildings, or even across the district. The grantees are asked to use the funds for innovative, even out-of-the-box-thinking projects. The total amount funded each fall is several thousand dollars and there is not one of its 33 years in which Teacher Grants have not been funded in some way!

But there is a challenge looming and there is a way for YOU to join us in solving it. The account from which current Teacher Grants are funded is slowly dwindling.

With the emphasis the group has placed on Scholarships for UHS Graduates, dozens of seniors are now receiving their share of over $50,000 every spring directly from the Foundation to continue their schooling. In over thirty years, over half a million dollars has been raised, awarded, and administered by the Foundation for scholarships! That is quite a track record, and one not matched by many other Missouri public school foundations of any size.

We are launching a simple but hopefully effective project that can have the same effect on the Grants program that the Scholarships program has enjoyed over the decades and we are inviting everyone to join us in making it happen.

As tax season is upon us, perhaps you have found that a few hundred more dollars of charity giving might have closed a gap in your deductions for the year. Or you might just be thinking that a few extra dollars a month are available in your budget to have a truly worthwhile effect on the Union schools. No matter your reason for participating, rest assured that you will be making a lasting difference to the schoolchildren of our community and that the Foundation’s appreciation for your gift will be boundless.

If someone wished to become a donor for a specific, annual Teacher Grant, the unbelievably simple 3-step mechanism for doing so can be found right here on the Foundation website, takes about five minutes start-to-finish, and can be customized completely to your specifications. Here are the three steps:

STEP ONE – Click on the DONATE! button in the menu above (if you are on a larger device; OR it can be found within the site menu on a mobile device). The Foundation’s extremely secure Donorbox.com page will appear. There is a little boilerplate at first telling you what we use donated funds for and giving you technical information about the extreme security Donorbox uses when transferring funds from your accounts to ours. Below or beside that (depending on your device) is a dialog box. This is where you create your Teacher Grant account. Choose any amount, designate the funds for Teacher Grants, make it a one-time or recurring donation, choose to honor a living person or someone who has passed with a memorial, and (please!) leave Comments to give us exact instructions about the way the money is to be used.

To see how this might work, one of our board members has recently gone through this very process to create a grant in memory of a favorite longtime R-XI educator. Their monthly recurring $50 donation will generate an annual grant of $600 dedicated to a specific grade range and content area within the district. You can create a grant of any size by reviewing the amount you have available and doing some quick math. A $25 dollar monthly recurring donation generates $300 of annual grant money; $10 dollars weekly (you can choose to customize the amount and the recurring interval during this step) will fund a $520 dollar grant. It is totally up to you and you have absolute control as you build and manage your grant.

STEP 2 – When you press the Next button at the bottom of the first dialog box, you will be directed to the second screen. Your contact information and choices about joining our newsletter email list and reading the legal stuff about using Donorbox is the purpose of this step. While you do not have to join the email list, we would love for you to. And you do need to provide contact info – so we can get ahold of you if we have questions about how you want your grant to be administered – and check the Terms of Service box. We will ONLY use your contact info to communicate with you specifically about the grant you are creating. No one else will ever see your email, phone number, etc.

STEP 3 – By pressing Next and moving to the third step, you will choose whether to use a debit or credit card, Paypal, or a bank account transfer to make your donation a reality. This step is at least as simple as checking out on any other online purchasing site. (By the way, be sure to read the article in the February 2020 newsletter about using AmazonSmile to the Foundation’s advantage as you shop online! Every little bit helps…)

The beauty of this whole project is that YOU are always in control. You will be invited to create a Donorbox account from which you can change any part of your grant account or even discontinue it if needed. Each January, we will automatically send you an annual receipt for tax purposes. And you will automatically be invited to all Foundation events, especially the annual presentation given by the teacher grantees and their students so you can see how your gift is actually touching the lives of Union young people.

Thank you for considering being part of this exciting new chapter in the Union R-XI Foundation’s life! Please use our contact information at the bottom of the page if you have any questions or suggestions.

Spotlight On: YOU & How To Help With Teacher Grants