Uh-Oh! Financial Trouble At Delaware Charter Schools Network?

In a recent email to parents, the Delaware Charter Schools Network asked parents to donate money to keep them going. They have been around for well over a decade now and they have never tried to raise funds like this to my knowledge. They normally receive funds from the Delaware charter schools that send annual dues and grants from other non-profits like the Rodel Foundation or the Longwood Foundation.

As we end the week, we begin something new! As the only Charter Support Organization in Delaware, the Delaware Charter Schools Network advocates for and supports all of our schools – but as I have told you all before, we cannot do it alone. We need support too. To that end, today we are launching our first-ever crowdfunding campaign! Our goal is to raise a total of $20,000 to help us with programming that we provide.

Because it is our first campaign, we thought it might be easier to break this into milestones – and our first is to raise $5,000 in the first week. Would you consider becoming one of our first supporters to help make it happen?

While $20,000 doesn’t seem like a ton of money for a non-profit, I have to wonder what the sudden need is for extra money? Did the rent go up at 100 W. 10th St. in Wilmington? Did they lose funding from one of their grants? Are some charter schools deciding not to pay their dues?  Did their lobbying costs go up?

On the website for this campaign, it talks about how DCSN holds the Public School Choice Expo each year up in New Castle County. It appears they will have two in New Castle County, one in Kent County, and one in Sussex County this year as well.  The campaign, hosted by a company called Funderbolt, isn’t listed on the DCSN website which I found rather odd.  I would think they would put a link to it on there as well if they need this money so bad.  Even more odd, for a crowd-funding organization devoted to raising funds for schools, they can’t even spell the word “philanthropy” right.

To date, the campaign received three donations totaling $75.00.

While it is certainly legal for DCSN to hold this kind of campaign, and other organizations like the Delaware PTA rely on parent dues for their existence, this kind of outreach is unprecedented. Is this a sign that the charter world in Delaware is struggling?  Or did Kendall Massett see the cash-cow that is Basis Charter Schools in Arizona where they ask parents for $1,500 a year to “support teachers”?