As Michigan School Leaders Carve 2012-13 Budgets, Alternative Revenue Development Offers New Revenue Source

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As Michigan public school leaders carve 2012-13 budgets, Troy-based Alternative Revenue Development (ARD) offers a very real option for generating supplemental revenue, with no cost to districts to participate.

While ARD cannot solve all of the funding challenges in public education, ARD does provide a very real, sustainable source of income.

As Michigan public school leaders carve 2012-13 budgets, Troy-based Alternative Revenue Development (ARD) offers a very real option for generating supplemental revenue, with no cost to districts to participate.

ARD was born out of the Michigan public education funding crisis three years ago, partnering with school districts to exchange advertising space for new revenue. Since then, the Troy-based startup has distributed more than $215,000 among 26 school districts, including Wayne-Westland, Farmington, Trenton and Huron Valley, and several districts are now on track for revenue generation of $3,000-$8,000 a month. Districts have used the funds to fill budget gaps and protect threatened programs.

“Michigan school leaders this year are again in the unenviable position of slashing programs and resources to balance budgets,” said Sam Curcuru, president and CEO of ARD. “While ARD cannot solve all of the funding challenges in public education, ARD does provide a very real, sustainable source of income that is not influenced by Lansing.”

ARD develops additional revenue streams for school districts through national, regional and local sponsorships. The program is designed to help maintain a quality education for students by offering supplemental funds as state funding cuts continue. The funds, to be spent at the school board’s discretion, can be used for such things as sports programs, performing arts and music programs, classroom support materials, or teacher retention.

“ARD is closing in on a critical mass of school districts this school year—all of which support the business model of exchanging district website banner advertising space to generate new revenue for our schools,” Curcuru said. “Participating school communities are connecting more directly with local and national businesses via the Web, and it’s making a difference. It’s not just superintendents and board members who are showing interest, but parents and community leaders who are asking for our support.”

Participating districts to date have saved sports programs through covering essential transportation needs and buying new equipment. Others are able to provide critical learning technologies in the form of iPads and Whiteboards for the classrooms.

About Alternative Revenue Development
Alternative Revenue Development establishes new, non-traditional, and sustainable revenue streams for school districts via the creation of commercially sponsored networks. For more information about the organization, call (248) 688-9488 or visit http://www.altrevenues.net.

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Lori Bahnmueller
The Berline Group, Inc.
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