In response to some questions we've had from parents, the board of the GPES Education Foundation put together some FAQs (frequently asked questions) for your consideration. Please don't hesitate to contact any board member with additional questions! Thank you to the many parents who have already contributed. You will be receiving your receipts for tax purposes and look for your invitation to our "GPES Celebrate the Arts" event to honor our supporters at the Garrett Park Town Hall on the evening of September 27.
Is the GPES Education Foundation part of the PTA? Why do we need both?
The Foundation is separate from the PTA and was formed to provide multiple-year fundraising for large projects, such as an expanded stage for the new school. PTA bylaws prohibit fundraising over multiple years. We are working closely with the PTA to ensure that our programs are complementary and that we strengthen each other's goals.
Is a contribution to the GPES Education Foundation tax deductible?
Yes, the GPES Education Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with a 501(c)3 status. You can deduct donations from your taxes if you itemize your taxes. The Foundation will send a receipt for any donation received for your tax records.
Can I contribute a smaller amount over several months instead of one large donation?
Thanks to a great parent suggestion, we are now accepting installment payments -- either through our website at http://www.gpesef.org/how.htm#donate or by sending us an email request at email@example.com whereby we'll provide a printed form.
Are we the only public school to have a foundation?
Many schools now have separate foundations to focus on unique community needs. Kensington Parkwood raised tens of thousands of dollars to supplement their new school construction and high schools such as Walter Johnson also have separate foundations for that purpose.
Why should public schools even need foundations?
This is an excellent question. We wish that funding in Montgomery County would cover all our school requirements, but it does not. School construction is focused on central planning and does not reflect all the individual needs of school districts. We also feel that strong public schools are the foundation of our neighborhoods and our society. With so many private schools near Garrett Park, the standards are set high. Fortunately, public school foundations also benefit a significant number of children who could never hope to attend a private school. Our hope is to provide fundraising guidance to other public school districts without foundations.
How will I be recognized for my donation?
As an individual or corporate donor to the GPES Education Foundation, you will be recognized in the school on a donor board to be constructed when the new school is built in 2010 as well as in the Foundation’s website, newsletter and other materials. Corporate and event sponsorships are also available and we are happy to talk to any business about opportunities for partnerships.
How do I know that my money will be spent on the school?
The Garrett Park Elementary School Foundation directors and officers are unpaid volunteers. The Foundation has no paid employees. By law, all donations are used for improving the quality of the educational environment at GPES and for administrative purposes such as postage, office supplies, and informing the community about the foundation through brochures, etc. All materials, including bylaws IRS applications, conflict of interest statements, etc., are available upon request.
How can I find out more about the Foundation?
More information, as well as online donation forms (one-time or installment) and contact information, can be found at http://www.gpesef.org , or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information or printed forms. You may also call 240-274-2088. Volunteers and board members are also needed!