Why form a school foundation?
Shrinking tax revenues, budget cuts, a shift of state funds to poor districts, and parents rising expectations of what their children deserve are all factors in the formation of school foundations. NSEF will provide students, organizations and teachers with support and resources that allow Norwalk to reach beyond budget limitations. NSEF provides a convenient way for you to actively participate in the future of your children, your grandchildren and all the students of Norwalk. Well over half the school districts in Iowa have a school foundation.
What does a school foundation do?
A foundation can accept gifts of cash, securities, bequest, and in-kind contributions to fulfill its mission statement. Gifts may be “unrestricted”, which allows the Board of Directors to direct the use of the funds where the need is greatest. Gifts may also be “restricted”, which means the gifts are directed by the donor to a specific program or use. With these gifts, NSEF could:
- Award scholarships to outstanding Norwalk graduates
- Award education enrichment grants for programs and projects which enhance student learning
- Provide workshops and conferences that strengthen the gifts of students and allow them to develop new skills
- Support academics, special needs and the arts
- Support existing organizations in the district
- Provide a tax-deductible investment for supporters of students of the Norwalk Community School District
How does the foundation work?
The foundation is an independent, community based 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization that is incorporated in the State of Iowa. It is operated by dedicated volunteers that have a passion for education in their community. The foundation is required to file annual reports to the IRS and bi-annual filings to the Secretary of State in Iowa. Donors can be assured that the foundation is operated independently and also makes decisions independently. Funds are administered by the Board of Directors in accordance with the guidelines of the foundation and the donating benefactors.
A History of Giving
In the 2019-2020 school year, the Norwalk Student Education Foundation was able to:
- Award 38 student scholarships totaling $22,000
- Fund the teacher wish list in excess of $22,000, including items such as expanding classroom libraries, offering flexible seating options, assisting with field trip costs, developing a “career closet,” various technology-based requests, and more
- Cover the cost of Initial to Standard teaching licenses for eight new teachers
- Award nine concurrent enrollment teachers $500 each for their continuing education