Plan B for PA fundraising arm


First Posted: 5/31/2013

Following an ineffective information session on Thursday, the Pittston Area Educational Improvement Organization is now seeking alternative marketing efforts in hopes of bringing in area businesses to fund innovative school projects in exchange for tax credits.

Pittston Area School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Garzella said the turnout for the information session was smaller than what was expected, but that the school district and those involved in the program aren’t throwing in the towel.

“It was disappointing,” Garzella said. “But we’re absolutely not giving up.”

The next course of action for the non-profit organization will be a June 11 advisory meeting in which future marketing strategies will be discussed – though Garzella already has an idea of what changes need to be made in order to attract prospective businesses to contribute.

“We have a couple things that we’ve talked about,” he said. “I think what we could do right now is focus on a more personal face-to-face meeting and meet with the businesses that we know personally.”

Garzella said the organization can achieve this through the use of lists containing area businesses that are already participating in similar programs.

“We’d like to look at this list and see how many of those businesses are in our community and maybe focus on those who haven’t yet been approved and want to be,” he said.

Additionally, the organization hopes to paint a clearer, more concrete picture of what businesses stand to gain from participating.

“We have to also look at it from a financial perspective in that we need to lay it out and black and white as to how exactly each business will benefit,” he said.

Businesses that contribute to the program could receive a tax credit of 75 percent of its donation, up to as much as $750,000 per taxable year. That tax credit could increase to 90 percent if a business commits to two consecutive years.

The funds would allow administrators to populate classrooms with new and innovative technology for students.

“I do think it’s going to take a personal touch and we have to reach out. But we’re capable of doing that.”

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