Why does the Foundation ask for $2,500 per child? Why should I donate when I am not able to give at this level?
While this amount represents the average district family donation, we would not be able to reach our $900,000 or 80% participation goals without the unique contribution that every donor offers. Last year, our donations ranged from $5 to over $20,000. We are able to reach our goals year after year because each family gives at the level they can and is invested in the success of our children and our schools.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes, your donation is tax-deductible. Our tax ID is 93-1012148.
If I donate to the Auction, do I also need to donate to the Annual Campaign?
Only the Annual Campaign funds are used to fund the basic operating budget of the school. Thus it is important for each family to participate in the Annual Campaign each year. Auction funds have traditionally been used to fund the Portola Valley Schools Foundation Endowment as well as for other specific uses. While we may need to use Auction dollars to fund revenue shortfalls in some years, in other years we will fund the District’s Strategic plan.
How are the Annual Campaign and Endowment different?
The Annual Campaign funds the academic year specifically, and each year the school counts on the Foundation for over 10% of the budget for the programs we all expect. The Endowment focuses on longer-term projects, which benefit the school through staff or program development as well as infrastructure. In addition, grants are given for specific one-time teacher initiated efforts. The Endowment also provides a safety net for the schools in case of emergency.
How large is the Endowment? When did it start?
Started in 1998, and then galvanized into action at the 2000 Gala by a visionary group of 9 families, the Endowment now comprises assets of over $3 million and actively makes grants from its earnings in support of Portola Valley Schools.
I pay very high property tax every year. Isn’t that enough?
While much of our school district revenue comes from local property taxes and state aid, historically the funds raised by the Foundation have provided over 10% of the District’s budget, enabling small class sizes, science, music, drama, physical education, art, reading specialists, and classroom aides. By giving to the Foundation, you are helping to continue the excellence in education that we all expect in our community. Our award winning schools depend on it to deliver this level of excellence.
What kind of programs does the Endowment fund?
The Endowment makes grants in three specific areas: augmenting the core curriculum, supporting excellence in teaching and providing an engine for innovation. Each grant supports one or more of these objectives, and is made in response to specific requests from the district, its teacher or its administrators.
Who oversees the District’s finances?
The implementation of the Budget Advisory Committee and the Audit Committee by the School District has greatly improved the level of transparency and external review of the District’s financial situation. The Foundation has played a significant role in each of these committees, increasing our ability to fully understand key decisions as well as improving our capability to help the District. The Foundation is also represented on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee which provides insight into the future of our schools and increases our understanding of the District’s overall vision.