Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Education Foundation?
An Education Foundation is a separate organization from the school district. It is a 501c3 charity that will exist in perpetuity. Far beyond even the current Pre-K class!
What is an Endowment?
An endowment is a type of fund that is created with intent to be a perpetual source of income. The principal is invested and only the interest or other revenue is used for awards. An endowment has a minimum of $10,000 and donors can take up to 5 years to fully fund it. Donors also get to name it and set parameters around how it should be awarded.
What does an Education Foundation do?
An Education Foundation raises money to help support the school, teachers and students where taxpayer funding leaves gaps. By awarding grants for innovative ideas in the classroom, supporting staffing and professional development, enriching the student experience and awarding scholarships to graduating seniors.
Who is on the board?
Our board is all volunteer and made up of alumni, parents and other passionate community members. See the full list at www.erahornets.org/about
What does the admin committee do?
The admin committee is chaired by the board secretary and co-chaired by the treasurer. The investment committee is a subcommittee under admin and chaired by the treasurer.
Administration: Oversees the finances and ensures the Foundation stays true to its founding documents.
Investments: Ensures policies are followed in order to protect perpetual funding for endowments.
What does the programs committee do?
The programs committee created the applications and process for all of the program applications to be reviewed. They evaluate applications and provide recommendations to the board on how to award funds. They laugh together, they cry together, they have a very rewarding role.
What does the development committee do?
Development aka fundraising aka events aka outreach. This committee plans fundraising, gathers donations and talks to folks about the Foundation. They will be planning several different FUN fundraisers that will be coming!
What does the marketing committee do?
The marketing committee is also called community relations or PR committee sometimes. They design marketing materials, help get them produced and work to support fundraisers.
Do you accept non-cash donations?
Yes, we accept stocks, real estate, artwork and antiques, gift cards, in-kind services, gift baskets and other things. Pretty much anything except vehicles, firearms and crypto currency. We have a policy for that!
Can I make a pledge with installment donations?
Yes! If you want to make a pledge and pay it over time. Up to 5 years! This is a great way to get on the Founding Donor wall.
How do I get on the Founding Donor Wall?
The Founding Donor Wall will be a permanent fixture that will memorialize all of the donors that contributed $100 or more during our kick off campaign. We are keeping track of donations and the final level and placement will be based on cumulative donations by the end of the campaign (December 2023).
If I setup an endowment, can I say who wins?
This is a yes with conditions answer. Donors can set up the parameters and criteria where they want the funds to be used. Then the programs committee follows the wishes of the donor when they are doing blind reviews of the applications.
Having witnessed the program committee in action, they really want to know about the desires of the donor so they can honor those wishes.
Tax-deductible donations can only be used to support scholarships when recipients are selected from a sufficiently broad “charitable class” as defined by the IRS.
Donors cannot take a charitable deduction for a scholarship that is earmarked for the benefit of a specific individual, even if that individual is unrelated to the donor.
How do awardees get picked?
Every program has an application form that is submitted online. As part of setting up the application, the programs committee builds a rubric that outlines how to score the responses. Each application has any identifying information removed before the program committee scores the responses. Then they match the high scored applications with the desires of the funders to make recommendations to the board. The board has final approval of the recommendations for awards. Once the board has approved the recommendations, the identities of the applicants are revealed.
Can I stop by the office any time?
Our office isn't staffed all the time so please call, text or email to make an appointment is the best bet.