Questions and Answers about the U46 Foundation

Questions and Answers about the U-46 Foundation

Q. What is the primary mission of the Foundation?
A. The mission of the School District U-46 Educational Foundation is “to acquire and dedicate resources to enhance the quality of education for U-46 students.” The Foundation will provide additional resources to support district-wide initiatives and projects that are value-added and that increase and enhance the educational opportunities for young people in the U-46 community.


Q. Why do we need the School District U-46 Educational Foundation?
A. Foundation support of public education has increased as school district budgets have not been able to accommodate all the activities needed to prepare students for their future. Private resources play an important role in supporting activities that go beyond the district curriculum. 

In addition, a foundation provides donors with the required 501(c)(3) non-profit status for making contributions to the district, individual schools, or specific projects. For example, a donation to a particular school or project may be given to the Foundation and designated for a single purpose or school. All Foundation gifts must be consistent with the Foundation by-laws and guidelines, the U-46 Board of Education policies and the Illinois School Code. 


Q. Who is involved in the Foundation?
A. The Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of fifteen members, including two U-46 Board of Education officers or their designees and the superintendent (ex officio). Foundation board officers are elected per the established by-laws. It is important that board members either live in or have a vested interest in U-46 (i.e. business located in the district). They might have fundraising experience or be alumni or parents of U-46 students. All Foundation board members are volunteers and donate their time and expertise. 

Initially, there will be no Foundation director; however, U-46 staff may provide legal, program, and clerical support as requested. 


Q. What types of projects will the Foundation fund?
A. The Foundation board members have selected five primary areas of interest: Academic Enrichment, Professional Development, The Arts, Cultural Enrichment, and Technology Enhancement. However, projects may not be limited to these areas in the future. 

The U-46 Foundation will support more “global” or comprehensive projects that benefit the district as a whole and foster a promotion of excellence. 


Q. Who decides what projects and programs the Foundation will support?
A. The Foundation has a formal grant application process (see the Grant Requests page.)  The Allocations Committee reviews all submitted grants and makes recommendations at the quarterly full-board meetings, at which time a vote is taken.  


Q. How does the Foundation raise the funds?
A. Foundation board members solicit contributions through mailings and personal visits with potential donors—individuals, corporations, and other foundations. Unlike the fundraising methods of schools and parent-teacher organizations, educational foundations target and solicit substantial contributions to support a specific project making an impact across the school district. The Foundation will provide a variety of methods to give: class reunion solicitations, special events, employee giving, endowments, memorials/named funds, honor a teacher, planned gifts, remembrance in wills, etc.


To donate to the Foundation through an online, credit card donation, click here. Or, click here for information about mailing a donation.


Q. How will other school-related groups (PTA’s, PTO’s, Booster Clubs) be involved with the U-46 Foundation?
A. The Foundation will not replace or duplicate any of the U-46 parent groups or business partnerships. In some cases, projects may be collaborative. While the other groups support specific schools, the Foundation’s focus is districtwide and aims to affect a significant number of students or schools.


Q. Can donors give money directly to the schools without going through the Foundation? 
A. It depends on the donor (individual or corporation). Donations directly to school projects and parent-teacher organizations are encouraged; however, the receiving entity must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for the donor to be able to deduct the contribution. Having the Foundation provides the most protected vehicle for making donations. The Foundation’s exempt status allows the maximum amount of individual tax deduction. Many businesses and other organizations cannot give to public schools but may donate to educational foundations.