1.  What is the Skaneateles Education Foundation?

The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in 2008 which raises funds through events and contributions in order to support the pursuit of excellence in every student in the Skaneateles Central School District.

2.  What is the mission of the Skaneateles Education Foundation?

The Skaneateles Education Foundation is established to solicit and manage charitable contributions and bequests for the benefit of student education. Its principal purpose and goal is to supplement though not supplant, state and local public funding. Its efforts are solely directed at enhancing the quality of education, by strengthening the curriculum and expanding the resources available to students and faculty in the Skaneateles Central School District. Through its partnership with the community, the Foundation endeavors to enrich the educational experience of every student.

3.  Why do we need an education foundation?

There exists a growing gap between what public funds provide and what the Skaneateles school system needs to remain at the forefront of excellence. The Foundation directs its efforts and the grants it makes to help bridge that gap in the hope that each student is afforded equal opportunity to reach his or her academic potential.

4.  Aren’t our taxes enough to pay for local education expenses?

Public revenue does provide for personnel compensation and benefits plus essential services such as transportation, building maintenance, building supplies and utilities but falls short in providing discretionary resources for enrichment and innovative program development in several areas.

5.  Is the formation of the Foundation related to the state budget crisis?

No. However, the state budget crisis does underscore how important the Foundation can be to the community. During times when the school district receives less state funding, and monies needed to research and develop the best curricular programs are not available, our students will seamlessly continue to receive the quality education which each parent and member of this community expects.

6.  Are there other education foundations like the Skaneateles Education

Nationally, there are over 3500 education foundations, many of which have been making a difference in their local communities for two decades. In New York State it is estimated that there are just over 100, with most having started in recent years. Locally, there are foundations supporting Auburn, Union Springs, Fayetteville-Manlius and Syracuse City schools.

7.  Who runs the Foundation and decides how the money gets spent?

The Foundation has a 21 member Board of Directors which governs the operations and business of the Foundation. Within the Board, there are specific committees that review all grant applications and make recommendations to the Board for approval of grant expenditures.

8.  If I give to the Foundation, how will my money be used?

Donations will be used to enhance the education experience of the student and teacher through creative initiatives and programs, new learning tools and methodologies, and needs based student grants. Although it is not necessary to achieve them all, grant proposals funded by the Foundation (outside of the context of needs-based awards or grants for student projects) will receive favorable consideration when they achieve a high percentage of the following Foundation objectives:
Serve as an opportunity for enrichment that cannot be funded through the
normal school budget
Demonstrate innovative approaches or methodologies
Are consistent with the Skaneateles Central Schools curriculum and
NY State DOE standards
Serve as an effective pilot for possible future programs
Include a method of assessing the project’s effectiveness
Offer the possibility of continued impact for more than one year
Encourage and facilitate student and other educator feedback
Offer expanded opportunities for application in other curricula and use by
other educators
Anticipate, encourage, or reflect the expanded use of technology
Encourage partnership with other funding sources
Impact as large a number of students as possible

9.  What are the types of things that the Foundation will not pay for?

Faculty/Staff salaries and benefits
Support of sports teams and equipments
General capital improvements
Building and grounds operations and maintenance
Ongoing transportation expenses
Routine purchases of equipment and supplies
Support of current curriculum, programs and projects

10. Can I specify how my money will be used?

At this time, the most powerful way you can support the Foundation is through a non-restricted gift. As the Foundation receives and reviews grants over the next couple of years, specific funds may be created to which you may direct your contributions. However, at this time we do not provide for directed gifts to designated funds. If you are interested in making a restricted gift to the Foundation, please contact the Foundation office.

11. If I give to the Foundation, can I deduct it on my income taxes?

Yes, in accordance with IRS regulations for charitable gifts to a 501(c)(3) organization.

12. What is the Skaneateles Education Foundation Endowment Fund?

The Endowment Fund preserves the principal amount of gifts in perpetuity and uses the annual appreciation of the Endowment Fund to cover Foundation activities. If you would like to make a gift to the Endowment Fund, please contact the Foundation office.

13. How would I make a gift of appreciated securities to the Foundation?

If you are interested in making a gift of appreciated securities, please contact the Foundation office.

14. Can I put the Skaneateles Education Foundation in my will?

Yes, donors may include the Skaneateles Education Foundation as a designated beneficiary of a bequest. It is recommended that this be done with advice of counsel.

15. Can I designate the Education Foundation in my United Way contribution?

Giving to the Foundation through regular deductions from your paycheck to the United Way is a powerful and easy way to make a contribution. You can designate the Skaneateles Education Foundation when you fill out your United Way pledge card.

16. Can I designate my gift in honor of someone?

To make a donation to the Foundation in honor of someone, please designate this on your donor form. The gift will be recognized on our website and in our annual report.

17. How do I set up a memorial gift to the Education Foundation?

To make a donation to the Foundation in memory of someone, please designate this on your donor form. The memorial gift will be recognized on our website and in our annual report.

18. How can I get involved with the Foundation other than through
      a donation?

The Foundation is happy to utilize volunteers in assembling mailings. In the future, the Foundation may conduct fundraisers that will also require the help of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the Foundation, please contact the Foundation office.

19. Does the school district have any say in how the money gets spent?

The Foundation will be guided by an advisory board, which will be comprised of Skaneateles teachers, administrators and community members. The Foundation will also maintain an open and collaborative relationship with the Board of Education. However, the Foundation will have final approval on all grants and funds expended.

20. Who can apply for grants from the Foundation?

Any faculty, administrator, staff or student (with help from a faculty advisor) of the Skaneateles Central Schools may apply for a grant.

21. How do you apply for grants from the Foundation?

Any person applying for a grant must submit a Skaneateles Education Foundation Program and Grants Application, or a Student Financial Assistance Application, available on the website, at each building or from the Foundation office.

22. What are the Foundation’s administrative expenses?

The Foundation’s part-time Executive Director receives a salary through a restricted private grant. The Foundation does have nominal expenses such as stationery, printing costs, mailings and website upkeep. The design of our logo, brochure and website has been generously donated by community businesses. It is the duty of the Foundation to responsibly spend all donations and to keep any incurred costs for administrative and fundraising activities at a minimum.
23. How does the Foundation differ from the PTC?

Both organizations are complementary and dedicated to improving the learning experience of students in the Skaneateles School District, yet there are significant differences in how they achieve their goals and generate resources to accomplish their distinctive missions. The Education Foundation takes a broader approach to fundraising by soliciting support from all community residents, regardless of whether they have children currently attending school, as well as seeking support from the business community and private foundations. In addition, the Foundation board is comprised of community members who may or may not have children attending the schools yet are passionate about the role education plays in the community and the world beyond. The programs that the Foundation supports through grants span all grades and academic disciplines, and include campus-wide curricular initiatives that benefit all students.