Q: What is the Employer Identification Number (EIN) of the Edgemont School Foundation?
Q: What is the Edgemont School Foundation?
A: Founded in 1993, the Edgemont School Foundation (Edgemont School Foundation) through its endowment, awards monetary grants that support and enhance the Edgemont School District’s curriculum, its students, and its teachers. The Edgemont School Foundation is a fully qualified IRS 501(c)(3) entity chartered in New York State as a Not-for-Profit charity. After several failed school budget referendums in the early 1990’s, many Edgemonters desired a vehicle that could create and finance new and alternative school programs and initiatives. With the encouragement of the Edgemont Board of Education, the Edgemont School Foundation was formed by a diverse group of concerned parents, school administrators, and alumni. The Edgemont School Foundation board meets monthly to review grant proposals, monitor existing programs, create new and exciting fundraising events, and manage its endowment.
Q: How Is Edgemont School Foundation Funded and Supported?
A: Financial support for the Edgemont School Foundation takes many forms: Contributions, Matching Corporate Gifts, Appreciated Stock, Bequests, Gifts in memory of loved ones, Alumni Walkway bricks, Gifts to honor birthdays and other occasions. These grants enable our school district to rank among the top in New York State, and in the country. Without the money contributed by our generous concerned neighbors and friends of Edgemont School Foundation, enhancements like the grants listed below have come to fruition.
Q: The PTA, PTSA and Edgemont Scholarship Council also raise money. What are the differences between these and the Foundation?
A: The Foundation, PTA and PTSA are organizations that exist to provide critical support for our school’s success. Each makes significant contributions; however, they are different in structure and focus. The Foundation was established solely to raise money and make grants to our school. It was created to be a long-term entity and has focused on curriculum development and funding larger critical infrastructure needs. The Scholarship Council provides important need-based scholarships to Edgemont graduates attending college. We encourage you to support all Edgemont organizations and appreciate the differences.
Q: Why does Edgemont School Foundation maintain an endowment and not grant all of its funds to the school district?
A: Since Edgemont School Foundation was created to be a long-term vehicle, the Foundation maintains an endowment which is currently approximately $925,000 and professionally managed. The interest and dividends earned on investments, along with annual donations, helps ensure that the Foundation can continue to fund grants each year to the district. It would not be a prudent long-term strategy for the Foundation to drain its endowment given the likelihood that the district will continue to have budgetary pressure in the near future that need to be filled in order for Edgemont to remain top-tier schools. Recent grants of $162,000 for critical technology infrastructure and $125,000 to modernize the high school auditorium are examples of the Foundation stepping up to fill significant District needs.
Q: Do most residents give a donation?
A: Many residents do contribute and have been faithful supporters of the Foundation. We are grateful for each and every gift. Our teachers and students are most fortunate to have this kind of support from the community. This past year, we receive donations from approximately 400 families. There may be many reasons why a school family would choose not to make a donation to the Foundation. One reason may be that people really don’t know what the Foundation does and how donations are used to give all of our children such important incremental resources. Every student in our school benefits from Foundation grants, whether their families are donors or not. Keeping Edgemont Schools among the top in the nation helps maintain real estate values – an added reason for residents without children in the schools to continue to support the foundation. We hope to increase the donor participation rate amongst our residents.
Q: Who decides how the money is spent?
A: We have a board which is comprised of all volunteer community members plus one school board representative and the superintendent. The community members represent a broad cross section of our overall community. As representatives for all our donors, our board takes their responsibility in considering all grants very seriously. We are focused on ensuring that the grants awarded are beneficial for a large number of students, are consistent with the goals of the school, and our mission. We have a rigorous procedure for evaluating and approving grants.
Q: How independent is your grant process from the goals of the administration if you have the Superintendent and a School Board member on your board?
A: An important reason the Edgemont School Foundation has been successful over the years is because we actively engage our administration and school board. By doing this, we have ensured consistency in prioritizing needs and working toward the common good of the school. This does not mean that the administration or school board dictates what we choose to fund. Instead, they provide meaningful input into our direction and level of support for the school as does each member of our board.
Q: How can I justify giving the school any more after years of tax increases?
A: Taxes are a concern for everyone in our community and they have gone up over time. A large part of our taxes go to the school and help to achieve the community’s goal of excellence for our students. However, there are costs that are outside of our district’s control such as pension requirements, state- mandated programs and certiorari awards that have increased dramatically over the years. While our taxes may be considered high – our property values remain relatively strong. The quality of our school has a direct impact on the strength of housing values.
As a community, we have very high standards for our school. However, we cannot achieve these standards through public school funding alone. Our teachers and administrators have innovative and exciting ideas to improve the educational experience of our students and they need a place to go for financial support. The Foundation fills this very important role.
Q: What has the foundation funded? Would it matter if the Foundation did not exist?
A: Since inception, the Edgemont School Foundation has awarded the Edgemont School district over $2.2 million in grants which have had a significant impact on our school children and help ensure that our school system stays on the cutting edge. Grants have included curriculum development in the following areas: technology, art, science, drama, foreign language and facility modernization. See attached list of prior grants and imagine the school district without these initiatives which enrich the education of our students.