Businesses and schools have a perfect symbiotic relationship, fostered in part by the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation.
PPIE was founded in 1986 as a subcommittee of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce before being spun off as its own nonprofit in 1986. The group's mission is to provide financial aid to all schools in the Pleasanton school district in technology and student support.
"We are a partnership of business, education and the community," Susan Hayes, executive director, explained. "We have always been tied to business and can't exist without their support."
While PPIE has long enjoyed the support of local businesses through sponsorships and other programs, a new outreach is shining a spotlight on real estate partners.
"Real estate is the closest industry that is tied to education," Hayes said. "Our real estate (specialists) are experts in our community. They sell our community every day and know the reasons people want to live here. Pleasanton is known for our schools. They attract people who value education, and many who move here eventually become part of our education community."
The new sponsorship program highlights real estate-related businesses and agents who make an annual $500 donation to PPIE.
"The real estate program came out of conversations I had with industry," she said. "We wanted to identify how can we leverage our relationship with the real estate community to our mutual benefit."
Companies or agents who donate to the program are listed on PPIE's real estate community sponsors website page, including a link to that company's or agent's website. Each new sponsor is also featured on the group's Facebook page.
The ongoing benefit is that potential homebuyers are referred to PPIE's real estate community sponsors website page when they consider moving to town.
"I get calls and e-mails all the time from people who are interested in moving here," Hayes said. "I can speak to education, but I would really rather drive them to someone who knows much more about the community. The idea of driving them to a real estate expert who knows all the benefits of our community benefits us all."
The real estate program, which launched in early January, is just one way businesses can support PPIE. Any business can make a donation, and employees and businesses can donate to the group's annual Giving Fund campaign through corporate matching programs. The fall-to-spring campaign collects much-needed funds that are distributed to schools the following school year.
The current Giving Fund campaign, which ends March 31, will fund programs for the 2015-16 school year. Last year's campaign raised an incredible $445,000 for the schools.
"Public education is free, but high-quality public education is not," Hayes noted. PPIE "helps ensure that we can continue to provide high-quality education in Pleasanton."
A fun way for businesses and employees to get involved with PPIE is through its annual Run for Education, featuring 5K, 10K and 15K runs. This year's third annual run will be on April 12 with the start and end at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
The race needs lots of volunteers and, of course, plenty of enthusiastic runners and walkers. There are also many ways companies can sponsor the event.
"We have a variety of opportunities for corporate sponsorships" starting at $250, she said. Companies can even sponsor an expo table at the fairgrounds, which runners peruse after the race.
"Last year, we had more than 2,700 runners," Hayes said proudly. "In addition to the participants who run, walk and push strollers, their families also attend. Eighty-five percent of participants were associated with schools last year, so having a presence at the event is a great benefit if you're a local company."
The bottom line is that great schools, supported by the entire community, benefit everyone.
"A healthy school district tis a component of a healthy community and that in turn creates a healthy economy," Hayes said. "We're educating their next generation of employees, and we'd like to make sure they're qualified for the job."
Learn more about PPIE, its many business sponsorship opportunities, the Giving Fund and the Run for Education at ppie.org .
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