Faqs - SCSD Educational Foundation

Questions we get all the time.

What is the Syracuse City School District Educational Foundation?
The Syracuse City School District Educational Foundation is a not for profit organization whose mission is to supplement, support, and enrich the student experience to prepare students for a successful future.
When was the Educational Foundation started?
The Foundation was formed during the 2002-2003 school year to support the community’s responsibility to deliver exemplary educational opportunities for all children in the District. The Foundation was the first of its kind for an urban district in Central New York.
Is the idea for an educational foundation unique?
No. Since 1978, over 3,000 communities across the nation have established education foundations with similar missions. There are more than 50 education foundations operating in New York State.
Why do we need a foundation?

  • To enhance learning opportunities for students

  • To encourage innovative educational programs

  • To recognize student, teacher, and staff achievements

  • To foster greater parent involvement

  • To engage new partners and deepen community support for schools.

  • To augment traditional public funding.

  • To fund programs not normally included in the school or municipal budgets.

  • To provide tax-deductible opportunities to support City of Syracuse children and educational programs for all residents.

  • Promote public/private partnerships and enable Syracuse City Schools to benefit from corporate grants and matching gifts.

Where does the Foundation get its funds?
The SCSD Educational Foundation seeks donations from individuals, businesses, private and public grant sources, and through fundraising activities such as our Annual Recognition Breakfast and Annual Golf Tournament, as well as the generous donations provided through the United Way by employees of the District.
What is the Foundation’s relationship with the Board of Education and the Syracuse City School District?
The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) independent, non-political corporation and is not financially associated with or managed by either the Board of Education, Syracuse School District, or Syracuse City Council. The Foundation is governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, and its bylaws clearly define its role as a dedicated fundraising organization that works to support supplemental education programs in the Syracuse City School District. The Foundation Board of Directors includes representatives of the District, the Board of Education, and City Council and who also serve on various Foundation committees, including the Grants Committee. The Foundation Board works in partnership with the District and the Superintendent of Schools to ensure that all programs and grants are in keeping with the fundamental goals of the District. Funding provided by the Foundation to the District may supplement current school board or District priorities but they not substitute for them, nor is the Foundation simply a routine alternative funding source for the schools. The SCSD Educational Foundation seeks to seed promising pilot projects and encourage innovation in teaching and learning. The Foundation will not fund items and programs considered to be a normal part of the annual school budget.
Who may apply for Foundation Education Grants?
Foundation grants are available only to schools in the Syracuse City School District and may be applied for by teachers and administrators. In a few unique cases, we have had students in the District propose projects and write the grant applications, but all applications must be signed by the Principal and submitted by a teacher or administrator in the District.
When can grant applications be submitted?
The Foundation will accept grant applications at any time during the year, but only reviews and awards grants once a year, usually during the month of October. Project coordinators then have until the end of the school year to complete their projects.
How much funding is available for a grant project?
Each year the Foundation Board determines the budget for the grants program. Depending on fundraising efforts from the previous year, this total may fluctuate depending on revenues available. On average, the Foundation has provided $50,000-$65,000 in grants each year. Grant applications can be for any amount up to $5,000.
How are the grant projects that receive funding selected?
The Foundation has a Grants Committee made up of Board members, representatives from the School District, and two District high school students (who also serve on the Board of Directors). This committee reviews each grant application. The grants committee then chooses the best projects up to the total budget for that year, and submits their recommendations to the full Board of Directors for approval. The Foundation Administrator then contacts each applicant to inform them of the committee and Board’s decision. Project coordinators will then begin working with the Foundation Administrator who will purchase the supplies requested and in development of the project.
How can a business or individual support the Foundation’s projects and initiatives?
Individuals, businesses, community groups, and civic organizations are invited to become supporters with a tax-deductible contribution. Sponsorship of events and contributions toward annually scheduled programs are available. Contributors to the United Way can also designate the Syracuse City School District Educational Foundation as the beneficiary of their donation (non-school district employees must write in the name of the Foundation on their donation form). Volunteers and pro-bono services are welcome.

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