Arts For the Schools: The power of the in-kind gift | SierraSun.com
Eve McEneaney
Special to the Sun

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Arts For the Schools: The power of the in-kind gift

The stage floor at North Tahoe High School recently received an upgrade, thanks to an in-kind donation.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Like all nonprofits in the area, Arts For the Schools relies on financial donations to provide direct services to our community. In our case, without the generous support of financial donors, we could not continue to provide art education to children and students in the region.

But in-kind gifts are just as powerful. An in-kind gift saves the nonprofit from spending program dollars, allowing the organization to be better stewards of the financial donations they receive. It's also good to know that an in-kind gift still allows for, in most cases, a donor to receive a charitable receipt for their donation.

We have some amazing in-kind donors that have saved Arts For The Schools thousands of dollars every year. For example Martin Warchal, owner of Warchal Flooring, donated a week of his time this year to fix the stage floor at North Tahoe High School.

The floor was damaged after years of use, and in April 2014, Arts For The Schools presented Ballet Folklorico Mexicano, who wore shoes which added to the damage on the floor. Warchal Flooring donated the work to sand and repair the holes in the floor for free. This amazing donation not only benefited Arts For The Schools, but the taxpayers supporting the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

For over 14 years, James Burau's law firm has filed our annual Board of Trustees list for a greatly reduced fee. Mr. Burau actually inherited the in-kind filing from Mark Pfotenhauer, who passed in 1999, and donated his time to file from 1992 to 1999. Before him, Edmond Barnett donated the filing probably since 1984, when Arts For The Schools began.

Many more thoughtful in-kind donations save Arts For The School money each year, including Dave Ferrari, who donates lodging to put up our performing artists; or donations from Ray Villamon, owner of Fireside Pizza and Rubicon Pizza, who feeds the artists during the week.

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Coffeebar supports art by donating yummy coffee and treats for a reduced fee for our public performances. New Moon Natural Foods, Coffeebar and Willard's Sport Shop also donated staff time to sell tickets for our onStage series.

The effect of some in-kind donations has made Arts For The Schools more productive in our daily work and provided a more professional space for us to meet with donors.

For example, McEneaney Construction, a general contractor, oversaw repairs and built custom furniture allowing us to fit more employees into the office. Truckee-Tahoe Lumber donated building materials; Charlie Hood Drywall repaired walls in the Arts For The Schools office; and Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee donated paint. For an organization with a limited budget, we could not perform daily work without the help of these kind-hearted donors.

So remember, if you don't think you can't help an organization because you are tight on money, your greatest gift may be your skill, your labor or just passing the word along about a good cause. These things have more power than you realize.

Arts For the Schools is a bistate nonprofit that provides art education to public, private, charter, pre-school and home schools in Placer and Nevada counties in California and Washoe County in Nevada.

Arts For The School's vision is for art education to be part of every child's life and for the value of art education to be embraced as an important learning experience within schools and community. Join us for our Harvest Party on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 10046 Chruch Street in Truckee.

Eve McEneaney is the executive director of Arts for the Schools. She may be reached at eve@artsfortheschools.org or call 530-582-8278.