What would you say if I told you there was another way to get money to your local schools other than through government funding? A way that can deliver money directly into the hands of innovative teachers that ultimately directly impact students? You can do that if your school district has an education foundation.
What is an education foundation? An education foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money to provide additional goodies, academic offerings and opportunities within the public schools in their school districts through a grant process that requires teachers to submit requests and show why they deserve to receive the grant. A few foundations operate differently, but most operate in this manner.
Here’s your Friday Fact: In Alabama,
57 60 of our 135 (counting Alabaster who starts school in fall 2013) have foundations dedicated to raising money to assist their schools. There are a total of 55 58 education foundations, as Madison City, Madison County and Huntsville City share one foundation for all three districts. The Baldwin County Education Coalition is comprised of 7 city- or area-based education foundations within Baldwin County, so I guess that’s really 65, but I’m only counting one per district.
[UPDATED 9 a.m. to post Montgomery County’s very active education foundation. UPDATED 10 a.m. to add 3, remove 1: Baldwin County Education Coalition (more on them later!), Demopolis City Schools Foundation, Franklin Y.E.S. Education Foundation, and Talladega County Education Foundation. I removed the Central Baldwin Education Foundation as it is part of the Baldwin County Education Coalition. My apologies for the errors and omissions. Please keep letting me know!]
Education foundations that focus their efforts on providing scholarships to students to attend college, such as this one, are not counted. Rather,only those that provide material support to schools and classrooms are counted.
If your school district does not have an education foundation, you need to get one up and running. And if you already have one, you need to figure out how best that foundation can impact your schools’ classrooms. While paging through Guidestar to find the education foundations listed below, I found many school districts that at one time did have education foundations, but for whatever reason, no longer do. No indication of why they folded.
I went to three sources to find which districts have education foundations:
- Guidestar.org, where I searched their database using a myriad of various search strings. I found that they use many different official classifications, which made the search more difficult.
- School district web sites, where I searched for any mention of a foundation.
- Google, where I searched for everything from “Alabama education foundation” to attaching the school district name and to “education foundation”. Gathering this information was much more difficult than I anticipated. I haven’t had a good record where responses from school districts are concerned, so I didn’t ask them for this information. As such, I freely admit this list may be incomplete. Please let me know if I have provided inaccurate information.
According to the 990s (the tax forms required by the IRS), it appears that most all of these foundations are staffed by volunteers, but it is frustratingly unclear whether any actual school district staff serve in any capacity and thus are paid through the school district to work for the foundation. Six foundations reported they had Executive Directors on staff, whose pay ranged from $15,000 to $118,000.
Many of the foundations did not have 990s on file, even though they appeared to be actively raising money. The IRS requires a non-profit to file a 990 only if the non-profit’s revenue (income) exceeds $50,000 which may explain why no 990 was on file. Wherever I was able to locate a 990 through Guidestar, I have indicated in the table the amount of revenue reported on the form and for which year the form was filed.
Of the 39 foundations on which I could find annual tax information, the breakdown of total revenues is as follows,
- 17 raised less than $50,000
- 9 raised between $50,000 and $100,000
- 11 raised between $100,000 and $500,000
- 1 raised between $500,000 and $1 million
- 1 raised more than $1 million
That’s a LOT of extra money for a local school district. Again, if your district doesn’t yet have an education foundation, start thinking of ways to make it happen. Talk with existing foundations to see what it took to get them up and running. Most all of the money they raise goes directly into students’ classrooms.
If you see inaccuracies in the table below, please let me know.
|School District||Foundation Name||Founded||Date of 990||Revenue|
|ALABASTER CITY||Alabaster City Schools Foundation, Inc.||2011|
|ALBERTVILLE CITY||Albertville City Schools Foundation||2001||2011||$39,000|
|ALEXANDER CITY||Alexander City Schools Education Foundation||1997||2011||$375,000|
|ANDALUSIA CITY||Andalusia City Schools Foundation||1988||2011||$35,000|
|ANNISTON CITY||Public Education Foundation of Anniston||1998||2011||$112,000|
|ATHENS CITY||Athens City Schools Foundation||1995|
|AUBURN CITY||Foundation for Auburn's Countinuing Enrichment in Schools (FACES)||1985|
|BALDWIN COUNTY||Baldwin County Education Coalition - consists of 7 education foundations||2009||each LEF reports revenue separately|
|BARBOUR COUNTY||Barbour County Local Education Fund||1995||2011||<$1,000, $60K in assets|
|BIBB COUNTY||Bibb County Schools Foundation||2011|
|BIRMINGHAM CITY||Birmingham Education Foundation||2009||2011||$835,000|
|BLOUNT COUNTY||Blount County Education Foundation||1998||2011||$180,000|
|BOAZ CITY||The Boaz City Schools Foundation|
|CHILTON COUNTY||Chilton Education Foundation, Inc.||1997||2011||$19,000|
|CLEBURNE COUNTY||Cleburne County School Foundation||1995||2011||$8,000|
|CULLMAN CITY||Cullman City Schools Foundation||1996||2011||$16,000|
|DECATUR CITY||Decatur City Schools Foundation||1992||2011||$278,000|
|DEMOPOLIS CITY||Demopolis City Schools Foundation||1993|
|DOTHAN CITY||Dothan Education Foundation/Education Foundation for Dothan's Future, Inc.||1996||2011||$53,000|
|ESCAMBIA COUNTY||Friends of Education of Escambia County, Inc.||2008||2011||$64,000|
|ETOWAH COUNTY||Etowah County School Foundation||2006||2011||<$1,000, $18K in assets|
|FLORENCE CITY||Florence Falcons Foundation||2002||2011||$221,000|
|FRANKLIN COUNTY||Franklin Y.E.S. Education Foundation|
|GADSDEN CITY||Gadsden City Schools Educational Fund, Inc.||2012||newly founded|
|HOMEWOOD CITY||Homewood City Schools Foundation||1995||2011||$109,000|
|HOOVER CITY||Hoover City Schools Foundation, Inc.||1994||2011||$56,000|
|HUNTSVILLE CITY||The Schools Foundation||2000||2011||$363,000|
|JACKSON COUNTY||Jackson County Education Foundation, Inc.|
|JASPER CITY||Excellence in Education Fund|
|JEFFERSON COUNTY||Jefferson County Schools Foundation||1997||$363,000|
|LEEDS CITY||Leeds Schools Educational Foundation Program, Inc.||2006||2011||$19,000|
|MADISON CITY||The Schools Foundation||2000||2011||$363,000|
|MADISON COUNTY||The Schools Foundation||2000||2011||$363,000|
|MARSHALL COUNTY||Marshall County Education Foundation||2003||2011||$25,000|
|MOBILE COUNTY||Mobile Area Education Foundation||1992||2011||$4,100,000|
|MONROE COUNTY||Monroe County Education Foundation||1998||2011||$54,000|
|MONTGOMERY COUNTY||Montgomery Education Foundation||2000||2011||$155,000|
|MORGAN COUNTY||Morgan County Schools Foundation||2012||newly founded|
|MOUNTAIN BROOK CITY||Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation||1992||2011||$300,000|
|MUSCLE SHOALS CITY||Muscle Shoals Education Foundation||2004||2011||$64,000|
|ONEONTA CITY||Oneonta Foundation for Educational Resources, Inc.||2000|
|OPP CITY||Opp City Schools Foundation||1998||2011||$73,000|
|OXFORD CITY||Oxford City Schools Education Foundation||2008||2011||$79,000|
|PELL CITY||Pell City Schools Education Foundation Program, Inc.||1992||2010||$28,000|
|PHENIX CITY||Phenix City Education Foundation, Inc.||1993||2011||$57,000|
|PIEDMONT CITY||Piedmont Education Trust||1992||2011||$46,000|
|SCOTTSBORO CITY||Scottsboro Education Foundation||1998||2011||$34,000|
|SHEFFIELD CITY||Sheffield Education Foundation, Inc.||1990||2011||$47,000|
|SHELBY COUNTY||The Greater Shelby County Education Foundation, Inc.||1993||2011||$96,000|
|ST CLAIR COUNTY||St. Clair County Educational Foundation|
|SYLACAUGA CITY||Sylacauga City Schools Foundation||1988||2011||$35,000|
|TALLADEGA CITY||Talladega City Schools Education Foundation/Educate Talladega||1993|
|TALLADEGA COUNTY||Talladega County Education Foundation||1993|
|TARRANT CITY||Tarrant Education Foundation||2002||2010||<$1,000, $12K in assets|
|TRUSSVILLE CITY||Trussville City Schools Foundation||2010||$48,000|
|TUSCALOOSA CITY||Tuscaloosa City Schools Educational Foundation, Inc.||1995||2010||$48,000|
|TUSCALOOSA COUNTY||Tuscaloosa County Foundation for Educational Excellence||1995||2010||$23,000|
|TUSCUMBIA CITY||Tuscumbia Education Foundation, Inc.||2007|
|VESTAVIA HILLS CITY||Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation||1997||2011||$232,000|