FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE SCITUATE EDUCATION FOUNDATION?
The Scituate Education Foundation (SEF) is a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The mission of SEF is to benefit the community by funding innovative educational programs with the support of a diverse group of public and private organizations.
Foundation grants will support learning activities that foster creative thinking, innovative problem solving, and hands-on learning opportunities that are not already included in existing school or town budgets. Funds are generated through corporate donations, state and federal grants, private foundations and community contributions and used to encourage achievement among students of all ages and foster a culture of learning and curiosity within the town. All donations and in-kind contributions are tax deductible.
WHAT IS THE VISION OF THE SCITUATE EDUCATION FOUNDATION?
Scituate will be recognized as a thriving, vibrant community that encourages innovation, collaborative thinking, problem solving, and skill development through diverse learning opportunities for all ages.
We further hope to:
- Encourage all students to work to their highest potential.
- Reward teachers for innovative efforts and exemplary teaching.
- Build confidence in our schools and pride within the community.
- Involve the community in assuring a quality education for the leaders and workers of tomorrow.
- Cultivate a community of learners with support from individuals, businesses and civic organizations that value educational opportunities.
WHY DOES SCITUATE NEED AN EDUCATION FOUNDATION?
Education foundations are privately operated, nonprofit organizations established to assist public schools. They are different from school districts, public institutions or local governments and are designed to complement programs and activities currently being provided by the district.
Scituate Public Schools have long been supported by active volunteers and organizations. From 2000-2012, the Scituate Education Alliance (SEA), a nonprofit organization serving the entire district, was dedicated to providing learning opportunities for parents and teachers.
After SEA disbanded a small group of engaged parents rallied to develop a funding framework to support quality education programs and initiatives for students of all ages. While slightly different in its approach and mission, SEF draws upon some of the best practices used by SEA as well as those of other successful education foundations. SEF will bring new funds to the Scituate Public Schools and the community by allowing for the opportunity to efficiently fundraise for special programs and enrichment that would not otherwise have funding.
A majority of high performing school districts in the area have similar organizations to provide financial support to their schools in the face of rising taxes and diminished state aid. Currently in the U.S. there are over 6,500 education foundations in 14,500 school districts. These foundations have been pivotal in building bridges between public schools and the community and for fostering environments where students of all ages thrive and succeed. For a list of sample projects being funded in surrounding towns, please click here.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR A SEF GRANT?
SEF welcomes applications from Scituate public school teachers pre-k through grade 12, administrators, parent teacher organizations, and other non-profit organizations offering education-focused programs and/or activities.
HOW WILL GRANTS BE AWARDED?
Grants will be made through a formal grant application process beginning March 1 of every year. The grant review committee will select new programs and monitor and evaluate current programs. For more information on the grant process, please click here.
HOW WILL THE SCITUATE EDUCATION FOUNDATION RAISE MONEY?
SEF solicits funds throughout the year from corporations and individuals who recognize that excellence in public education is essential to the social and economic fabric of our community. SEF is not intended to supplant or replace the public funding of our schools. After gaining initial support from the community and other stakeholder organizations, SEF will focus on the following fundraising channels:
CORPORATE: we will partner with public and private organizations that can help us to establish credibility and build sustainability. Additionally, we will seek to double individual donations through corporate matching programs.
PUBLIC + PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS: we will work with the district and independently to secure funding from state grants and private foundations. If the opportunity arises, we will seek federal funding.
- Events: we will choose fundraising events that are innovative and have a unique appeal to the community.
- Annual Appeal + Targeted Campaigns: we will implement an annual appeal in conjunction with smaller targeted campaigns.
- Estate/Legacy Gifts: we will pursue this channel when and where it is appropriate.
- Endowment + Naming Opportunities: we will solicit endowment and naming opportunities for grants and/or awards that meet our overall objectives.
HOW ARE EDUCATION FOUNDATIONS DIFFERENT FROM PTOs OR OTHER COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT SCHOOLS?
While PTOs raise money for specific schools, education foundations allow for the funding of all public schools in the district, thereby expanding the pool of resources available to teachers, administrators and other community leaders.
Both types of organizations are critical for school systems to thrive. Collaboration and transparency with other parent and community groups are core values of SEF. Many members of Scituate PTOs and parents groups serve as volunteers for both organizations which enables ongoing and open dialogue and opportunities for partnership around the funding of larger projects.
HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?
There are two ways to become involved with SEF:
- Donate – donations are tax-deductible and may be made in the form of checks, stock, or bonds. To make a donation or learn more, please click here.
- Become a volunteer - We welcome anyone who would like to donate time, energy, and talent to help SEF meet its goals.
Please contact us for more information on how to get involved.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
The SEF volunteer base includes residents, parents, grandparents, business owners, teachers, retired professionals, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and students! To learn more about our leadership team, please click here.