Schools mull donor recognition

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times

The Aspen Board of Education will continue its conversation on donor recognition at a school board meeting at 8 a.m. today.

In an effort to gauge community feedback, the board will look at survey questions regarding naming rights, recognitions and sponsorships at the meeting, Aspen Board of Education President Susan Marolt said Friday.

The Aspen Education Foundation, a nonprofit fundraising arm of the Aspen School District, suggested the school revisit the possibility of donor recognition at a March 21 Board of Education meeting.

According to the Board of Education’s current operational policy, which was adopted Oct. 7, 2013, the superintendent shall not recognize donors or contributors, whether individuals or businesses, via any tangible, permanent method.

The policy also states that the superintendent shall not permit the display of temporary forms of recognition unless the display is directly related to the support of middle school or high school athletics; is located within a middle school or high school gym or athletic field; is visible only during athletic competitions that are open to the public; and has met the guidelines established by the superintendent with respect to appropriateness of subject matter, service or product.

Aspen Education Foundation Executive Director Brooke Bedingfield said recognizing donors is essential in the fundraising process and that naming is one way to do that.

The discussion of funding comes in the wake of a statewide education-budget crisis.