Why do we need this foundation?
It is not a question of “need” necessarily. Park Maitland School is, and will always be a top academic elementary school, with or without this foundation. This Foundation was created primarily to offer a tax-deductible vehicle for donations that help provide experiences and services above and beyond the amazing education our children receive; the “extras” that help make Park Maitland School a unique environment in our community.
Who started the Foundation?
Robert and Melissa Kohn were looking into ways to support and augment aspects of Park Maitland School that they felt passionate about but also knew were well beyond the scope of the academic mission. When they began to develop a plan for their own personal giving – they quickly found other individuals who had heard about their efforts and wanted to participate. A key recurring sentiment was the need for a tax-deductible way to channel giving. Until now, Park Maitland School has been the only school in our community without a non-profit foundation behind fundraising efforts. Recognizing that there was interest beyond theirs to support the students in extraordinary ways, inspired the idea for the Foundation.
What will the money be used for or what are the top priorities the foundation will fund?
Each year the priorities will change based on the needs of Park Maitland School families, students, and teachers. Foundation money may be used to add equipment for PE, provide additional lights, sound, costumes for all grade level shows, bring in guest speakers/authors for enrichment, classroom “wish lists”, and more.
What restrictions are there (if any) on how money is spent?
All money raised must be spent on Park Maitland School students, faculty enrichment, and families. Furthermore, money earmarked for specific channels will remain in those channels: e.g. money collected for the arts will only be used for the arts; money collected for enrichment, athletics, or grade-wide funds will remain in their own silos and be distributed 100% where the donation was allocated. The only exception to this will be our annual auction. The Foundation was structured so that no officer or director of the Foundation can take any income, allowing 100% of the revenue to go towards fulfilling the mission.
How are decisions made on how the money is spent? Who decides? Is there a vote? How often is money given out?
The Board will work closely with Park Maitland School Administration and the families of Park Maitland School to identify the priorities each year. As the Foundation grows additional committees will work with the appropriate school representatives on recurring areas of support. Rarely (if ever) will there be a distribution of money directly to the school.
How will the money be raised?
It is our hope that funds will be raised from local community businesses, non-profit organizations, and the support from our loyal Park Maitland School families. We will hold one main auction social event every year, with the possibility of other events as needed for specific goals, though none are planned at this time. We will always welcome passionate supporters of Park Maitland School but we will endeavor to avoid directly asking any single family of Park Maitland School to donate.
Will the foundation impact our tuition and how it’s determined?
We have no impact, voice, or connection to this or any other administrative aspect of Park Maitland School.
What percentage of my donation goes to Park Maitland School?
100% of all monies raised are spent on the Park Maitland School Community, and again, money raised in one silo will not be commingled with other silos. For example, grade-wide dues will only be used on grade-wide activities, etc.
How can I volunteer to help?
The Park Maitland Foundation may ask for volunteers during the year to help with the auction social, chair volunteer committees, or work with athletics. We will communicate and post these volunteer opportunities as they arise each year.
What experience do the board members have running a nonprofit?
The board primarily is comprised of working professionals each with a varied background in different business organizations, and/or fundraising experience.
What other donations can my family make besides monetary donations?
We welcome any and all donation ideas. If you would like to provide an item for the auction, host an event at your business, cater an event, offer up your expertise in a specific area, or something else, we welcome it!
Does anyone from the Park Maitland School faculty oversee the foundation?
No. We do however work closely with Administrators to ensure our focus is aligned with their efforts and vision. The Park Maitland School Foundation exists as a wholly and separate 501(c)(3) organization.
How often will I be asked to donate?
We would love to primarily raise funds through local community/business engagement and annual social events. However, we know that your support will be critical to our success. While we will endeavor to never have to ask any family to contribute, we will always welcome volunteered and purely optional donations.
How do I know where my money is actually going?
As a 501(c)(3) entity we are required to track where every dollar goes. Additionally, we are also obligated to use the money raised expressly for the purposes outlined in our bylaws and the wishes of the donor. This transparency enables anyone to be able to verify and account for where their support was used down to the penny. This applies to every aspect of the Foundation and the areas in which it operates (sports, arts, enrichment, etc…)
How does the Founding Family (Nell Cohen’s daughters: Mary Margaret Bowen, Carolyn Fritch, and Liz Smith) feel about the foundation?
We have received a virtual standing ovation from the sisters as it relates to the founding of the foundation. They were overjoyed to see that Park Maitland School is evolving to meet the changing climate of giving in our community. They have offered to serve in an advisory position to the Foundation if desired. While we will not be working directly with Spring Education (who now own Park Maitland School) they understand our mission and are committed to continuing to support Park Maitland School at its current level of excellence.
Are only higher grades benefiting from the foundation? How will my kindergartener benefit?
Each and every grade level at Park Maitland School will benefit from the Foundation. The arts will support all grade level shows, as well as the school-wide art show and auction. Athletics supports all sports programs for all grade levels. We hope to bring in incredible guest speakers and experts that will benefit parents and families of all age groups. We will host fun family-friendly events to help families feel connected to our school and to each other, and so much more…
Will I have a vote on what the Foundation is raising money for?
Since we are NOT a PTA or Advisory Board for the school, there will not be a parent “vote” on how funds are allocated. However, communication is critical to our success and the board will listen to all requests and input when identifying needs. Starting this summer, our website will include “buckets” for which donors can choose specific areas to allocate funds. In addition, donors can always request specific use of funds for which we are required to honor. If a donor wants to make a specific purchase, they are welcome to do so through the Foundation and could qualify for a possible tax deduction.
Will the school continue to charge more for sports than a pass-through league fee? What does that extra charge cover?
Short answer, yes (for the time being). We will continue to charge a flat $250 fee for all sports at Park Maitland. Park Maitland is trying to build a unique and competitive comprehensive sports PROGRAM. We are one of the only elementary schools in our area that has a comprehensive sports program. In addition to paying each of the leagues the required league fees, your registration fee helps us provide:
-custom jerseys and/or T-shirts for each of our sports,
-equipment such as volleyballs, basketballs, footballs, cones, bags for our volunteer coaches -order banners/medals, etc. for our championship teams
-host an end of the year sports recognition reception/assembly
-recognize our volunteer coaches with appreciation gifts
100% of the money raised for sports will be reinvested back into athletics for enrichment and sports programming. We are hoping that the fees along with tax-deductible corporate donations to athletics, will allow us to eventually be able to lower the registration fee for parents.
Will the grade funds change now that it is run through the foundation?
The grade/class funds process will remain the same. All funds will be collected and tracked separately for each grade level. In as far as grade-wide events or even classroom celebrations, not one thing will change except the entity written on your check. This will ensure transparency, limit personal liability to grade coordinators, allow tax-exempt purchases, and make your contribution tax-deductible!
How will we be able to give the money for the grade funds?
The foundation will collect grade funds, which are now tax-deductible, through the website (Zelle payments directly to the bank account should also be available). If donating through the website, a letter of donation is automatically generated and emailed to the donor (required for any contribution over $250).
Where are the monies raised through the Foundation held?
All funds are held with an account through Bank of America.
Will the fund cover teacher health benefits, a bigger campus, or buying Domino’s?
No. We have no voice, influence, or standing in any of these areas, nor are we permitted to by our non-profit status.