Mission

The Skaneateles Education Foundation (SEF) through its partnership with the community seeks to enrich the educational experience of every student in the Skaneateles Central School District.

Our Vision

SEF fulfills this mission by engaging the community through charitable contributions to supplement state and local funding with the goals of enriching the curriculum, inspiring educational innovation and creating possibilities for the students of SCS.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Skaneateles Education Foundation?

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

  • 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. 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. 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.

  • Who runs the Foundation and decides how the money gets spent?

    The Foundation has a 19-member Board of Directors that 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.

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

    • Faculty/Staff salaries and benefits
    • Support of sports teams and equipment
    • 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
  • If I give to the Foundation, how will my money be used?

    Donations will be used to enhance the educational experience of students and teachers through creative initiatives and programs, new learning tools and methodologies. Although it is not necessary to achieve them all, grant proposals funded by the Foundation 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 many students as possible
  • 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.

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

    The Foundation welcomes volunteers on many committees and advisory groups. If you are interested in serving on a fundraising committee, or have a specific area of interest or expertise to share with the Board, please contact SEF’s Executive Director.

  • Are there other education foundations like the Skaneateles Education Foundation?

    Nationally, there are 4800 education foundations, many of which have been making a difference in their local communities for two decades. In New York State, there are estimated to be more than 100, with most having started in recent years. Locally, there are foundations supporting Ithaca, Fairport, Westhill, Fayetteville-Manlius, ESM, North Syracuse and Syracuse City schools.

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  • Can I specify how my money will be used?

    The most powerful way you can support the Foundation is through an unrestricted gift. Donations can be earmarked to the following funds:

    • Fund for Greatest Priority
    • STEM Fund
    • Jean Graham Fund
    • Endowment Fund
  • 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.

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

    The Foundation maintains an open and collaborative relationship with the Board of Education and the SCSD Administration. However, the Foundation will have final approval on all grants and funds expended.

  • 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.

  • Can I designate my gift in tribute of someone?

    A donation to the Foundation in honor or in memory of someone special will be recognized on our website and in our annual report. Please designate your gift as such on the donor form or online payment.

  • 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.

  • Who can apply for grants from the Foundation?

    Any faculty, administrator, or staff member of the Skaneateles Central Schools may apply for a grant. Applicants must submit a completed application, available on the website or through the Foundation office. The Foundation accepts Lightning Grant/Common applications on a continual basis. Application dates for larger grants are March 1st, July 1st, and November 1st.

  • What are the Foundation’s administrative expenses?

    The Foundation employs a part-time executive director and a very part-time hourly administrative assistant. The Foundation utilizes office space, internet and phone service in the middle school free of charge. Nominal expenses are incurred for marketing and office functions. The design of our logo and website has been generously donated by Mindshare LLC. 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.

  • What is the history of SEF and how did it get started?

    The Skaneateles Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) educational support foundation, convened its first meeting in November 2008. The original impetus for such an organization resulted from the efforts of Irene Stafford (President of the Board of Education) and Philip D’Angelo (Superintendent of the Skaneateles Central School District) to create a support foundation established primarily to help students demonstrating extenuating circumstances and need. That organization had first been called the Skaneateles Extended Learning Fund (SELF), and it received seed funding as the result of a gift from the SCS Class of 1951 and other individual gifts.

    SELF has now become the Skaneateles Education Foundation with an expanded mission, new by-laws, and a Board of Directors comprised of twenty community members, including retired SCS faculty, SCS alumni, and two current SCS faculty members. The Superintendent of Schools serves as SCS Liaison to the Foundation Board. A seed grant from the Allyn Foundation has helped to cover initial administrative expenses.

    The Class of ’51 gift, and other contributions made to SELF, were entrusted to the Foundation and a formal fund-accounting system was established to assure strict adherence to the restrictions accompanying the original gifts. The Foundation Board approved new Bylaws and a new Mission Statement. A committee structure was put into place: Finance and Legal, Marketing and Public Relations, Development and Fundraising, Program and Grants, and Needs-based Grants. These committees prepared and implemented Program and Needs-based Grant Guidelines and Applications, as well as other organizational policies and procedures.

    In the summer of 2009, the Foundation conducted three events to speak with community leaders and get feedback on its mission and intentions. These “focus groups” provided valuable information and counsel to the Board as it moves forward to fulfill its mission.

    The Foundation is deeply indebted to all those persons who comprised the Board of SELF, the initial interim Foundation Board, and to those professionals who contributed good counsel, energy, and time to both organizations in the formative period.

Our People

The Board of Directors is comprised of parents, teachers and community members who share a common interest in assuring the best possible education for children in our community. Several are SCS alumni and former faculty members. All have committed their own financial support to the Foundation and its mission.

Board Members

  • Kelly Leahy Whitney, Ed.D

    Board President

    Dr. Kelly Leahy Whitney moved to Skaneateles in the summer of 2017, and is the third generation in her family to make Skaneateles home. She lives in Skaneateles Village with her husband, Evan, and their daughter, Tabitha, who attends State Street. ...

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    Dr. Kelly Leahy Whitney moved to Skaneateles in the summer of 2017, and is the third generation in her family to make Skaneateles home. She lives in Skaneateles Village with her husband, Evan, and their daughter, Tabitha, who attends State Street. She serves as the Chief Product & Partnerships Officer for iCivics, a national civics education non-profit founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Kelly’s education and career have focused on educational media and technology. She holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University, and she has worked on many highly lauded educational products at PBS, Harvard, MIT, Nickelodeon, and Discovery (among others). She has served on a range of volunteer governing and advisory boards/panels focused on digital learning, including the White House, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education. In addition to her new Skaneateles Education Foundation duties, she is currently serving on an advisory board at the Library of Congress.

  • Kathleen Witter '95

    Vice-President; Program & Grants Committee

    Kathleen grew up in Skaneateles and after living in Boston for a period after college, she has been back in the area since 2010. Kathleen and her husband, Chad, graduated in 1995 from Skaneateles High School. They have three girls - Celia, ...

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    Kathleen grew up in Skaneateles and after living in Boston for a period after college, she has been back in the area since 2010. Kathleen and her husband, Chad, graduated in 1995 from Skaneateles High School. They have three girls - Celia, Isabel and Lillian. Kathleen does marketing research and consulting for a firm called HawkPartners, which is based in Boston.

  • Courtney Alexander '94

    Treasurer; Finance & Legal Committee Chair

    Courtney Alexander (Jones) is a graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools Class of 1994. Born and raised in Skaneateles, she is a lifelong resident. Courtney and her husband Jim have 4 children, two graduates and two sons currently enrolled at SCS. She is ...

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    Courtney Alexander (Jones) is a graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools Class of 1994. Born and raised in Skaneateles, she is a lifelong resident. Courtney and her husband Jim have 4 children, two graduates and two sons currently enrolled at SCS. She is the Treasurer at Skaneateles Nursery School, and the Program Manager at New Dimensions Medical Services. Courtney has worked on fundraising with several organizations including the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Moms & Kids Childcare Cooperative. She has also enjoyed volunteering as a coach with Lakeshore Baseball.

  • Cristy Winkelman '80

    Past-President; Development & Fundraising Committee

    Cristy was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1980 graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools. She is currently working as a licensed real estate salesperson and as a customer service specialist at HABA USA in Skaneateles. Cristy has worked in ...

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    Cristy was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1980 graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools. She is currently working as a licensed real estate salesperson and as a customer service specialist at HABA USA in Skaneateles. Cristy has worked in retail for over thirty years, beginning right here in Skaneateles. She previously worked for Ralph Lauren for fourteen years before leaving Florida with her infant daughter to return to family, friends and the much stronger school system Skaneateles has to offer. Cristy serves as the secretary and co-treasurer of the Dwight W. Winkelman Foundation. Her daughter will be a 2022 graduate of SCS.

  • Rich Allen

    Program & Grants Committee

  • Erica Barnes Thomas

    Marketing & Communications Committee

    Erica, her husband Stephen, and their two children (SCS class of ’25 and ’33) moved to Skaneateles in 2016, drawn, in large part, by the exceptional school system and amazing sense of community. Prior to Skaneateles, the family lived in the Washington, D....

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    Erica, her husband Stephen, and their two children (SCS class of ’25 and ’33) moved to Skaneateles in 2016, drawn, in large part, by the exceptional school system and amazing sense of community. Prior to Skaneateles, the family lived in the Washington, D.C. area for nearly 18 years. Professionally, Erica spent more than 20 years as a financial/marketing consultant and business development executive for the Advisory Board Company, based in Washington, D.C. “Retiring” from her role last year, Erica is thrilled to have the opportunity to dig into the wonderful Skaneateles community and to give back through positions with the Skaneateles Vincent House Guild Board, as well as the Board of Managers at our YMCA & Community Center.

  • Gary Campbell

    Finance & Legal Committee

  • Beth Caraccio '94

    Program & Grants Committee

    Beth Caraccio was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1994 graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools. She and her husband, Michael, currently the Skaneateles Middle School Principal, moved back to the village several years ago. It was their goal to ...

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    Beth Caraccio was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1994 graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools. She and her husband, Michael, currently the Skaneateles Middle School Principal, moved back to the village several years ago. It was their goal to have their 3 young children, Dominick, Gianna and Gabriella, experience the small-town upbringing and outstanding schools Beth so loved as a child growing up in village. They often say it was the best decision they ever made to move back to the area where the old phrase “It takes a village to raise a child,” is alive and well. Beth is an elementary school teacher who has been teaching for over 20 years and is currently a kindergarten instructor with the West Genesee school district. She loves helping students learn and looks forward to contributing her professional skills and knowledge to the Skaneateles Education Foundation, furthering its mission to enrich the lives of all the students in this beloved community.

  • Molly Elliott '94

    Development & Fundraising Committee

    Born and raised in Skaneateles, Molly is 5th generation from a family that loves and appreciates the beauty of this town. After graduating from Skaneateles High School in 1994 and attending Potsdam University, she returned home to Skaneateles where she is ...

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    Born and raised in Skaneateles, Molly is 5th generation from a family that loves and appreciates the beauty of this town. After graduating from Skaneateles High School in 1994 and attending Potsdam University, she returned home to Skaneateles where she is now happily married and raising 3 beautiful children with her husband Tom. They feel fortunate to be involved in their community, raising their children in a charming, family-oriented atmosphere. With more than 17 years of experience selling real estate here, Molly is knowledgeable about what Skaneateles has to offer, not the least of which is this outstanding school district which she is eager to give back to through her work with the Foundation.

  • Jill (Piper) Girzadas '92

    Marketing & Communications Committee; Finance & Legal Committee

    Jill grew up in Skaneateles along with an extensive extended family, many of whom still reside in the home of the Lakers. She graduated from SCS in 1992, having played lacrosse, volleyball and competitive Irish dancing. Jill went on to graduate ...

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    Jill grew up in Skaneateles along with an extensive extended family, many of whom still reside in the home of the Lakers. She graduated from SCS in 1992, having played lacrosse, volleyball and competitive Irish dancing. Jill went on to graduate from St. Mary's College (Notre Dame, IN) in '96 with a BS in Economics and Finance. She continued her education and switched careers from the corporate sector by earning a Masters in Elementary Education from DePaul University in '00. She thoroughly enjoyed teaching in both private and public schools in Chicago. Jill and her husband, Gary, have raised their four children in Indiana for the past 13 years. While there, Jill served on the Elementary PTO Board as Treasurer, managing a $60,000 operating budget that supported largely academic needs of the school such as Art Smart and a contracted Art teacher. Jill assisted with instituting QuickBooks Online and MySchoolAnywhere. A job for Gary at Syracuse University brought the family back to Skaneateles in 2017, and they couldn't be happier to once again be a part of this great community. Their children will graduate from SCS in the classes of '29, '27, '24 and '22.

  • Kelley McQuiggan

    Development & Fundraising Committee

    Kelley McQuiggan is a recently retired fifth grade teacher from State Street School. She taught in Skaneateles from 1986 to 2019. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Kelley served as the Odyssey of the Mind coordinator for the district for almost 30 years. ...

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    Kelley McQuiggan is a recently retired fifth grade teacher from State Street School. She taught in Skaneateles from 1986 to 2019. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Kelley served as the Odyssey of the Mind coordinator for the district for almost 30 years. Kelley and her husband Jim, who is a financial consultant for Pinnacle Investments, have resided in the Skaneateles area for 32 years. They have two grown children, Kyle and Ryan, who are graduates of SCS. Kelley has been involved with many activities and events related to Skaneateles Schools and the community.

  • Karen Tallerico

    Marketing & Communications Committee; Development & Fundraising Committee

  • Peg Whitehouse

    Development & Fundraising Committee

    Peg is a 30-year resident of Skaneateles where she and husband Doug have raised their children, Stephanie ('02) and Tristan ('06). Peg attended Baldwin-Wallace University and Northern Illinois University, where she graduated with a MA in Art History. She recently ...

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    Peg is a 30-year resident of Skaneateles where she and husband Doug have raised their children, Stephanie ('02) and Tristan ('06). Peg attended Baldwin-Wallace University and Northern Illinois University, where she graduated with a MA in Art History. She recently retired after 15 years as the Director of the John D Barrow Art Gallery and as a Skaneateles Library Trustee. Previously, Peg taught at Skaneateles Nursery School and volunteered at Moms and Kids, Girl Scouts and various positions in SCS, including President of PTC and many years on SIT (School Improvement Team) and DPT (District Planning Team). Peg now has a granddaughter in the district, Class of 2032, and looks forward once again to contributing as a vested stakeholder and working with SEF.

  • Joshua Williams

    Program & Grants Committee

    Joshua Williams is a New York State Certified 7-12 English Teacher. He has been teaching 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts at Skaneateles Middle School for over 13 years. Josh is a creative teacher who inspires our students in many ...

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    Joshua Williams is a New York State Certified 7-12 English Teacher. He has been teaching 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts at Skaneateles Middle School for over 13 years. Josh is a creative teacher who inspires our students in many ways. He often serves as an assistant director on our district's musical productions. He is a co-advisor to the National Junior Honor Society as well as the Middle School Variety Show. Josh is a member of the School Improvement Team. He has served as a yearbook advisor, a chess club advisor, and an assistant basketball coach. Josh has been involved in numerous charitable donations in his time at Skaneateles, including generous donations to UNICEF, Free the Children (WE.org), and the Skaneateles Polar Plunge. Josh also serves as an advocate for the homeless through the Syracuse-based organization We Rise Above The Streets. In the summer, when not traveling around the world, Josh can be found in Clift Park as the announcer for the Skaneateles Community Band concerts.

District Liaisons

  • Lynda Quick

    Superintendent

  • Susan G. Murphy '80

    Board of Education

    Sue is a native of Skaneateles, 1980 graduate of SCS, and 1982 graduate of Mohawk Valley College. She worked for the Onondaga County Bar Association as their Associate Executive Director for 17 years and has worked for the Town of Skaneateles since 2000. Sue ...

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    Sue is a native of Skaneateles, 1980 graduate of SCS, and 1982 graduate of Mohawk Valley College. She worked for the Onondaga County Bar Association as their Associate Executive Director for 17 years and has worked for the Town of Skaneateles since 2000. Sue is the Farmer's Market Manager and Summer Camp “Rec” Coordinator. She has served on the Skaneateles Board of Education since 2012 and was president of the board from 2017 to 2019. Sue has two boys who graduated from SCS; one is currently off to college while the other has a full-time job in the district.

Ex officio/Committee Volunteers

  • Connie Bohrer '82

    Jean Graham Fund Committee Chair

    Connie Coyne Bohrer is a native of Skaneateles and a 1982 graduate. After teaching and consulting for Arlington County Public Schools in Arlington, Virginia, Connie returned to New York State to complete her Master’s in Literacy Education with Syracuse University. ...

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    Connie Coyne Bohrer is a native of Skaneateles and a 1982 graduate. After teaching and consulting for Arlington County Public Schools in Arlington, Virginia, Connie returned to New York State to complete her Master’s in Literacy Education with Syracuse University. She began teaching at State Street School in 1994 and since then has taught second, third, fourth, and fifth grades. Connie currently serves as a Reading Specialist for grades 3-6. She enjoys spending time traveling with her three children; Calvin, Emma, and Maddie, who are all SCS graduates.

  • Jennifer Bolster

    Finance & Legal Committee

  • Tara Colvin Page

    Marketing & Communications Committee

    Tara loves to design. She is a freelance designer with 20+ years of design experience at advertising agencies, a package design boutique, and in-house marketing departments. She has designed projects for brands such as Welch Allyn, ADT, Crayola, Craftsman, Vaseline Intensive ...

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    Tara loves to design. She is a freelance designer with 20+ years of design experience at advertising agencies, a package design boutique, and in-house marketing departments. She has designed projects for brands such as Welch Allyn, ADT, Crayola, Craftsman, Vaseline Intensive Care, Syracuse Stage, Kwikset, Food Bank of CNY and the Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY. She is excited to work with SEF on a marketing and communications strategy, and to help the foundation develop a creative design concept and brand. Tara and her husband, Michael, moved to Skaneateles in 2011. Their son Christopher will graduate with the class of 2023.

Staff

  • Heather Carroll

    Executive Director

    Heather and her husband, Tim, have four daughters, Classes of ’21, ’22, ’24 and ‘27, all of whom attend Skaneateles Central Schools. When the girls were little, Heather served as president, treasurer and historian of Moms & Kids Childcare Cooperative. As they grew up, ...

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    Heather and her husband, Tim, have four daughters, Classes of ’21, ’22, ’24 and ‘27, all of whom attend Skaneateles Central Schools. When the girls were little, Heather served as president, treasurer and historian of Moms & Kids Childcare Cooperative. As they grew up, Heather moved up with them, serving as Elementary PTC Vice President for one year and President for two. Heather chaired the committee that raised money for and built a new playground in 2015 at the State Street Intermediate School. Heather served on the board of the Skaneateles Education Foundation as Chair of the Fundraising Committee for 3 years and was hired part-time in 2015 as the foundation’s Executive Director. Outside of work, Heather and Tim enjoy entertaining in their turn-of-the-century Mandana Barn. Renting the barn as a venue for weddings and donating the space for fundraisers has become a family business that keeps them busy from mid-May through mid-October.

  • Amy Chabot

    Administrative Assistant

    Amy Chabot, a Central New York native, has two boys attending the Skaneateles Central Schools and with her husband, Stephen, has lived in Skaneateles since 2003. Amy earned her Bachelor's degree in Accounting and her Masters of Business Administration at St. ...

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    Amy Chabot, a Central New York native, has two boys attending the Skaneateles Central Schools and with her husband, Stephen, has lived in Skaneateles since 2003. Amy earned her Bachelor's degree in Accounting and her Masters of Business Administration at St. Bonaventure University. She has been the treasurer at Holy Trinity Preschool in Skaneateles since 2012, and works part-time at the Galbato Law Firm in Auburn in addition to other part-time accounting work. Amy served on the board of the Elementary PTC and worked on the State Street School playground project in 2015.

Financials

2018-19 Financial Statement

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019, the Foundation had revenues of $93,807 and expenditures of $84,666. The largest sources of revenue are $10,318 from contributions, $68,939 from fundraising events and $14,645 from investment income. The largest components of expenses are grants to other organizations in the amount of $31,281, salaries of $25,066 and fundraising expenses of $12,412.

Net Assets are defined as the Organization’s assets less its liabilities. For the year ended June 30, 2019 net assets were $221,412 consisting of $193,308 with donor restrictions, and $28,104 without donor restrictions. Net Assets with donor restrictions consist of temporarily restricted and permanently restricted net assets.

The Foundation maintains a conservative fiscal policy, balancing long-term sustainability of the organization while providing meaningful grants, leveraged to achieve the greatest good for District students and donor dollars.

For a comprehensive look at SEF’s financial breakdown and expenditures, please download and review the 990 reports below.

Annual Report

For stories about SEF grants and impact in the district, please download and review the annual reports below.