FAQ about the CEF Endowment Fund
- What is the purpose of the Endowment Fund and why was it formed?
- What is an Endowment?
- How much money is the Foundation trying to raise for the Endowment Fund this year? Why?
- If I provide matching dollars or if I give a gift to the Endowment Fund who decides where the money will go?
- What are some possible areas where endowment funding can be applied each year?
- Why should I also donate to the CEF Endowment rather than giving only to a specific school?
- What are CEF's operating expenses?
- How much money is the Foundation trying to raise for the Endowment Fund in total?
- How is the Cabrillo Education Foundation and the Endowment Fund managed?
- Do you have an Endowment Investing Advisory Committee? If yes who is on the committee?
- Why should I give to the Cabrillo Education Foundation when there are so many other worthy causes that need funding just as badly?
- How can I make a contribution?
- How can find out more about the endowment?
A. In recognition of the need for sustained revenues for our local public schools, the CEF Board of Directors created an Endowment Fund in 2006. Endowment funds provide a lasting gift. Building a permanent Endowment fund is the best way to protect the investment we have made – and continue to make – in financing educational excellence. It ensures that we can continue to offer the widest possible range of educational opportunities for all students attending our public schools, despite the ongoing fluctuation and mandated restrictions in state funding. It secures a stable source of unrestricted income to the schools within the Cabrillo Unified School District.
Q. What is an Endowment?
A. A financial endowment is a transfer of money or property donated to an institution, with the stipulation that it be invested, and the principal remain intact. Allocations are made from the gains on invested dollars. This allows for the donation to have a much greater impact over a long period of time than if it were spent all at once.
A. Our goal is to reach $2.5M by December 31st 2012. For the next school year, we will be distributing four to five percent of the endowment value toward strategic improvements of the schools. The higher the endowment level the higher the distribution will be next year and every year going forward.
Each year a minimum of 4% and a maximum of 10% of the endowment level will be directed to the schools, based on the interest or investment gain over the calendar year. At a $2.5M endowment level, the allocation would be a minimum of $100K and maximum of $250K. Once we get the endowment to $5M, the annual distribution will be between $200K and $500K.
A. An Allocation committee made up of CEF board members and community volunteers collects community and expert input and recommends to the CEF board how the endowment proceeds (4% to 10% each year) will be directed to specific use by the schools. Input comes from parents, community members (including Hispanic community), teachers, students, PTOs, CUSD school board, CUSD staff, experts, and other foundations.
This Allocation committee is currently chaired by John Ediger, Vice President – Endowment Fund. Other members are: Christine Mendonca CEF President, Rob Kuiper CEF Treasurer, Jill Ballard CEF Secretary, Susan Stuart CEF Board Member, Val Dubois community member, Diane Brosin community member and Peter Fingerhut community member.
A. An amazing number of well thought out needs and ideas are continually being brought to the attention of the allocations committee. Emerging themes include technology in the classroom, enrichment, improvement of reading programs, additional electives, assistance for teachers (planning, collaboration, training, aids), K-5 playground activity, and science, to name a few.
A. We encourage continued support for specific school site fundraisers and recommend donating to both a school and the endowment. It is critical that we all, as a community, think beyond just school specific fundraisers and also grow a large endowment which can guarantee a perpetual and increasing payout for the top needs across all the schools.
CUSD supports and encourages endowment donations so that there will be a continuous flow of funds. Direct, one-time donations to districts generally get applied in one year and are not available to maintain programs. Tax deductible donations to the endowment not only help all the schools as students move up through elementary, middle, and high school, but the money keeps earning and providing help for generations to come. Endowments have enabled colleges, universities, and many successful K-12 communities around the country to thrive and improve even during difficult and shrinking government education budgets.
Q. What are CEF's operating expenses?
A. . A substantial amount of Cabrillo Education Foundation's operating expenses have been funded over the years by specific directed donations and through our Pumpkin Festival fundraiser. In addition, the foundation can fund operations by using no more than 7% of donations, allowing from 93% to 100% of CEF donations to go directly to the endowment fund or the immediate use fund.
A. The longer view is to build the Endowment principal by trying to add at least one million dollars per year. The goal is to get the endowment to levels of $5M, $10M, and beyond.
A. The Education Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. It has a volunteer Board of Directors, comprised of eleven corporate and community leaders led by President, Christine Mendonca, Vice Presidents, John Ediger and Mike Alifano, Treasurer Rob Kuiper and Secretary Jill Ballard. The Foundation has iindependent accounting services that are provided by Parsons Accounting. The Endowment Fund guided by the Investment Policy, is being managed, pro bono, by Steve Johnson, President – Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors.
A. Yes we have an Investing Advisory Committee:
- Tom O'Brien, Board Member, Cabrillo Education Foundation
- Rob Kuiper, Treasurer, Cabrillo Education Foundation
- Christine Mendonca, President, Cabrillo Education Foundation
- John Ediger, Vice President – Endowment Fund, Cabrillo Education Foundation
- Robin Jeffs, Principal, Jeffs and Associates
- Steve Johnson, President, Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors
- Lenny Mendonca, Director, McKinsey & Company
- Tom O'Brien, Board Member, Cabrillo Education Foundation
A. We are fortunate to live in a community where our public schools are safe, sound, and offer a caring and progressive educational community. We have some of the best teachers California has to offer, and our high school offers ranked art, music, sports and academic programs. But as we all know it is a constant struggle to meet the needs of our diverse community, particularly when state dollars are just not available to us. It is time for us to come together and to radically change the financial landscape of the educational resources here on the Coastside. This is your opportunity to make a lasting difference to our local public schools, our students and our whole community. With your help, we can raise the bar on educational attainment and opportunity for all our kids, and by doing so bring lasting impacts to our community and California for generations to come.
A. Tax-deductible charitable contributions may be made as:
- Please donate securely online or mail a check payable to Cabrillo Education Endowment Fund and mail to: CEF, P.O. Box 354, Half Moon Bay CA 94019. Click here for our online donation link.
- Appreciated securities & real estate - this may be a way to gain tax advantages for donors who have held assets for long periods of time.
- Stocks & gift stocks - stocks, including stock from start-up ventures, may be placed in an endowment trust with current market value benefits.
- Planned giving - assets as a part of a will may be another opportunity to give a gift of lifelong learning through a charitable trust agreement. Ask us about our 1% solution.
A. Feel free to contact John Ediger (650) 799-9954, Endowment VP or any of the CEF board members. Please also visit www.CEFfund.org to see an overview video, read more about CEF and/or donate online.