School Administrators Turn to Innovative Solutions to Generate Revenue

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Social enterprise InterSchola sees increase in school districts using its online marketplace to sell surplus goods. As students celebrate "school's out for summer," school administrators are just getting busy as they prepare to sell furniture, kitchen equipment, vehicles and other assets to generate revenue for their budgets. Serving one-third of public schools in California and with clients in five other states, InterSchola’s online auctions have returned nearly $10M to public school districts.

Our work with InterSchola has saved us money in storage costs, disposal costs and even labor costs.

As schools across the country get ready to close for the summer, things are only heating up for school administrators preparing for the 2011/2012 school-year. Dealing with shrinking budgets, many school business officials will utilize the unique services of the social enterprise InterSchola (http://interschola.com/) to help them sell no-longer-needed buses, kitchen equipment, computers and other unused goods sitting in school warehouses. InterSchola has seen a marked increase in the number of school districts working with them to sell surplus assets as a means to clean classrooms, clear out school buildings and raise funds for the next school year. Serving one-third of public schools in California and with a foothold in five other states, InterSchola’s online auctions have returned nearly $10M to public school districts in six states.

Clovis Unified School District in central California is one of the hundreds of clients that has benefited from InterSchola’s unique service model. After working with the company for six years, Clovis Unified has sold 355 items for a total of over $165,000. In addition to the money returned to the district’s general fund, the process saves valuable staff time and frees up precious warehouse space, as well. Leeann Errotabere, Director of Purchasing for Clovis Unified, notes, “Our work with InterSchola has saved us money in storage costs, disposal costs and even labor costs. These funds have been diverted to other uses in the district. At times, those savings can be more valuable even than the revenue generated by the sale of surplus goods – although that’s nice, too.”

While it may be standard process to attempt to sell surplus goods through “old school means,” such as live auctions or flea market type sales, tight budgets are compelling administrators to seek creative solutions. School staff is often too lean to ensure compliance with the regulations required to sell public goods, resulting in surplus that sits in storage or assets that get sold at a local sale for a fraction of their worth. In worst cases, goods are simply discarded and sent to landfill. InterSchola, which specializes in the regulation-heavy school surplus marketplace and has expertise in online auction marketing, maximizes the value of these goods, while doing a majority of the work for the school clients.

Melissa Rich, President of InterSchola, founded the company in 2004 after working in the educational technology sector. Rich notes, “You hear parents holding bake sales to raise extra funds. Now, we’re seeing more school administrators excited to think creatively not only about saving money, but also about raising money – an area once reserved mostly for the PTAs.”

While surplus sales benefit schools, they also present an opportunity for buyers of all types to acquire worthwhile goods at a reasonable price. InterSchola regularly sees items, such as work trucks, portable buildings and maintenance and kitchen equipment, put back into use by individual buyers, small businesses, nonprofits and even other schools.

About InterScholaTM
InterSchola was established in 2004 to help school districts with surplus inventory realize the value of these assets while at the same time freeing up expensive storage space and valuable staff resources. InterSchola’s unique model is designed to eliminate the headaches associated with surplus disposal by managing the public auction process from start to finish and to ensure compliance with complex regulatory codes. Items sold have ranged from pianos to portable buildings, from computers to cars, and from food service to facility equipment. InterSchola has returned millions of dollars to schools, districts and other local public agencies and has helped save countless more dollars previously spent on staff, storage and surplus disposal costs. Learn more at http://www.interschola.com.

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Maureen Futtner
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