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One of the main jobs of the Steering Committee is to develop and maintain the annual program budget. Estimated expenses must be matched to realistic revenue sources. We started with the core program consisting of student visits to the cultural organizations and then as the funding was available, expanded the program to include pre and post visit activities, books and anything else that supports the goals of the program.

Sample budget


Kids Discover the Trail! was designed as a program to enhance the educational experience of all children with the hope that it might someday be absorbed into the School District budget. With pressure on school budgets and tax payers, this dream is not likely to happen for the foreseeable future. The program was designed as a pilot and took four years to reach full capacity.

Then and now, funding has been provided in two major categories: community donations to IPEI as the tax exempt fund raising agent and school district in-kind support. The bulk of the funding comes from cash donations from the community at large, primarily local foundations, local businesses and individuals, all of whom believe in the benefits for our students of hands-on experiential learning and in taking advantages of community resources that enhance the curriculum. Fund raising efforts continue throughout the year and are currently led by IPEI.

It is our hope that eventually with the help of the Discovery Trail partners this program can be endowed. We are encouraging each Discovery Trail partner where possible to approach their donors to solicit interest and support for their share of KDT! programming expenses. So far one organization has done this and several others are working on it. In addition, IPEI would like to establish an endowment that would cover the administrative costs.

The school district contributes in-kind support to allow teachers to attend meetings, staff development activities to support program development and BOCES aid return for the cultural enrichment portions of the program.

Financial Procedures:

With eight cultural organizations, eight elementary schools, school district administration, BOCES, the Discovery Trail and IPEI, it continues to be important to document the financial procedures for both the revenue side and the expense side of the program. How is money raised, where is it held, does it earn interest, who gets the interest, how are the expenses applied to the program, how are bills paid, what paper trail do you need, who does the audit?

Sample financial procedures