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Bird Donates $50,000 Matching Grant to Santa Monica Education Foundation


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August 20, 2018 -- The Santa Monica Education Foundation on Monday announced it received a $50,000 matching grant from Bird, which recently saw its chances of operating its electric scooter business in the beach city dwindle.

The matching program -- which will run until September 4 -- will be used to launch the foundation's annual fundraising campaign, which for the first time will only cover Santa Monica schools.

Bird will match all donations up to $50,000 to support arts programs, STEM and instructional assistants at all Santa Monica public schools, foundation officials said.

“What an incredible way to start the school year!” Linda Greenberg, the Foundation's executive director, said in a statement Monday.

“With this match, Bird shows their commitment to excellence in public education and is helping make sure that all students thrive."

Greenberg said the Santa Monica-based company had pledged to provide the $50,000 matching grant last month.

Several weeks later, Bird learned it had finished 10th among a list of scooter companies vying for two licenses to operate in the city ("Two Major Scooter Companies Rally Supporters After Snub From Santa Monica City Officials," August 14, 2018).

"I did call them to see whether they would honor the commitment," Greenberg told The Lookout. "I try to stay out of politics, and when I heard what was going down, I picked up the phone.

"They didn't even hesitate," Greenberg said. "They unequivocally said, 'We support education in the City, and we are happy to do it.'"

It's not the first time Bird contributes to the program. Last fiscal year, the company donated $11,500 to "help round out" the foundation's fundraising goal, Greenberg said.

“Santa Monica is Bird's hometown, which means we care deeply for its well-being both now and into the future,” said Carl Hansen, Bird's director of government affairs.

“We are proud to offer this match so that the thousands of students impacted by the Ed Foundation can have access to critical education programs," said Hansen, who previously acted in the same capacity for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

Starting last month, the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation was rechristened to reflect its fundraising role exclusively for Santa Monica under a new policy adopted by the School Board.

A Malibu-based nonprofit entity became responsible for fundraising for Malibu schools ("School Board Separates Santa Monica, Malibu Fundraising Efforts," July 6, 2018).


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