Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Union County Education Foundation?
The Foundation is a separate, independent, community based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and works to improve public education without any vested interests. It will be supported by visionary volunteers, individuals and business leaders in our community who are committed to:
- Providing technological advancements, classroom enhancements and innovative educational programs for our public schools.
- Recognizing and encourage excellence and leadership in students and teachers – both in and out of the classroom.
- Creating an ongoing endowment for generations to come through continued investment and ethical stewardship of our resources.
Why do we need a foundation?
For the past hundred years, public schools have relied on government agencies and local property taxes to fund their operation and existence, but these sources are struggling to keep up with the school district's growing financial demands as it prepares students for a global economy. Private sector investment is needed. Rather than put an additional burden on school administration and the community at large, the Union County Education Foundation establishes a properly organized and orchestrated funding program that will bring in corporate, foundation, and government grants, as well as gifts from individuals.
How will foundation funds be used?
As stated in our mission, the Union County Education Foundation will make grants and funds available for use by Union County Public Schools for technological advancements, classroom enhancements and educational programs. As an independent organization, the foundation has the flexibility to respond without bureaucratic constraints to specific needs of our students or schools as conditions warrant.
Who decides how and where funds will be used?
The Foundation is governed by a thirteen member volunteer board of directors who represent a cross-section of Union County. The board will seek input from UCPS, donors and supporters, parents and interested citizens as to what programs and initiatives warrant consideration for funding. The board will have final approval on how funds are dispersed in keeping with its mission statement and spending policies. The size and number of grants will be reviewed on an annual basis and are only limited by the size of the Foundation's corpus. Therefore, our effectiveness is directly proportional to the level of support we receive from the community, individuals, corporations and the competitive grants we are awarded.
What can the foundation do to help offset budget shortfalls in our local school system?
It is important to understand that the foundation's primary mission, as stated above, is to build an endowment over time that will allow us to fund innovative educational intiatives and other programs that are NOT part of or normally provided for in school budgets. We cannot directly fund teacher salaries and/or benefits as public school teachers are employees of the state of North Carolina and their benefits are also provided by the state. However, we CAN fund programs and areas that meet our mission criteria which, in turn, free up budgeted expenses that could then go toward salaries and other needs.
The foundation is part of a long term solution to the needs of public education in Union County. It will take time and repeat investment to build a sizeable corpus. Many similar foundations have been in place in North Carolina and the United States for over 20 years and now have multi-million dollar endowments that are positively impacting their local schools and the futures of their children. We have the same opportunity and the need to build that support is more critical than ever.
How can I support the foundation?
The Union County Education Foundation (UCPEF) solicits and accepts gifts for purposes that will help the organization further and fulfill its mission. UCEF urges all prospective donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts, including the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. As a tax exempt organization, all gifts to the foundation are fully deductible to the extent allowed by law. Gifts can include cash, marketable securities, bequests, insurance, trusts, real estate, tangible property, etc.
Cash gifts can be made by check and mailed to the foundation office, or made online, securely by clicking here. For gifts other than cash, we recommend you contact your financial advisor and the foundation staff for assistance.
What are my rights as a donor to the Foundation?
PHILANTHROPY is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that as a donor to the Union County Education Foundation, you have these rights:
- To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
- To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
- To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
- To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
- To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
- To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
- To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
- To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
- To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists thatan organization may intend to share.
- To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.