Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the Mount Pleasant Education Foundation (the “Foundation”) created and by whom?
The Foundation was created in 1997 by parents who wanted to help fund programs that could not be supported by the Mount Pleasant Central School District (the “District”) budget. The Foundation works independently from the District, raising and granting funds for projects, equipment and materials beyond those provided by school resources. The Foundation assists in funding many programs that the teachers and students would like to have available but are unable to due to District budgeting.
How is the money raised to provide funding for proposed grants?
The Foundation holds various fundraising events that have been developed and are managed throughout the year to insure the dollars are available to fund the grants. These events include a Spring Dinner Dance, a Fall Golf Outing and a 5K Turkey Trot and Family Fun Run. Foundation board members and volunteers all work hard and contribute generously of our own time, associations, and money. Details are available on the Website.
Is Mount Pleasant the only town with a privately funded school foundation?
No – in fact most Westchester towns and many cities and towns across the country have school foundations. In our immediate area, Briarcliff Manor and Chappaqua have each formed an education foundation.
Who submits grant applications? How many grants are awarded per year?
Educators of the District submit grant applications. The number of grants awarded each year varies, depending on the number of applications submitted, whether proposed grants meet the Foundation grant criteria and the cost of the proposed grants. On average, about 10-15 grants are awarded each year. Once proposals are granted the Foundation gives the monies directly to the Board of Education for the schools to make purchases.
Who decides how the money donated by the community is allocated?
Foundation board members review all items and program ideas proposed by educators of the District. The Foundation board members then determine which grants to fund based on established grant criteria in accordance with the Foundation’s by-laws (available on website), a desire to have each school represented among funded grants and the funds that are then available within each budget year. The Foundation often funds programs that provide the greatest reach in terms of students benefiting by the educational item or program.
What is the ratio of monies raised to the dollar value of grants proposed?
The ratio differs from year to year. Some years the Foundation has been able to fund close to all of the programs proposed by the educators of the District and in other years the Foundation has only been able to fund a portion of the proposals. The funds raised in 2012 provided for almost 100% of the proposals received – a ratio of almost 1 for 1. In 2013 the funds raised increased by 50% and the dollar value of proposals received increased by over 500% - a ratio of 1 in 5, monies raised against the dollar value of grants proposed.
Is the Foundation part of the PTA?
The Foundation is not part of the PTA, but works collaboratively with the District and the PTA. The Foundation strongly believes in the continuing importance of each school’s PTA. PTAs serve a vital role in defining the unique character of each school and creating a sense of community. The Foundation recognizes that it takes many parents, residents, and local business owners to provide support to the students of our district. We appreciate the service of everyone that participates in the education of our community’s children, whether it be through sports coaching, scouting, music, theatre and the arts, religious education, PTA, the Foundation or otherwise.
How does the Foundation interact with the School District?
When requested, teachers, principals, the Board of Education and District administrators have assisted the Foundation in evaluating proposed grants to help ensure their educational value, relevance to the curriculum as well as sustainability through the school budget.
Are there restrictions on what the Foundation is allowed to pay for?
Yes – the Foundation may not pay directly for operating costs of the District. Funded grants are gifts to the District, which must be accepted by the Board of Education.
What percentage of donated money actually makes its way into the schools?
100% of all funds raised minus the cost of the events are available for grants. Whenever possible, we seek out pro bono contributions and in-kind donations.
How can I become involved with the Foundation?
The Foundation does several fundraising events and campaigns each year and accepts donations at any time. We are always looking for volunteers to help with our events as well as new fundraising ideas from parents and community members. To get involved please email the foundation, call or speak to any Foundation board member.
Will the Foundation accept money from my company’s matching gift program?
Yes, please indicate on the donation form in our brochure available on the website that your company will match your gift.
Are donations tax deductible?
The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please check with your accountant or tax advisor regarding your particular tax status.