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August 31, 2008

A Class Charitable Foundation?


I've been thinking about how we could leave some sort of legacy at Highland High School. 

What about establishing a class 501(C)3 (tax-exempt) charitable foundation for the purpose of making gifts to the Highland High foundation? We could put money into it from fundraisers and donations, for the purpose of making contributions to Highland High that make a real difference, with the stipulation that whatever we help with be marked, "Donated by the Highland High School Class of 1972 Charitable Foundation," or something to that effect.

We would have to walk through the process of forming a 501(C)3 foundation and elect a board of directors from the class. The process of putting one together isn't that difficult - I sit on the boards of a couple of foundations, and have overseen the formation of one. 

Does this idea have any appeal? 

- Greg Gunter

Comments

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Claudia Fredrickson on September 1, 2007 6:56 PM
I'm all for it!! I'll donate as soon as I can! Great idea.     Thanks Greg.
See Ya!   Claudia
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Linda Kawamura Poulton on September 3, 2007 8:50 PM

Greg, I think this is a great idea...count me in!  I agree with Grant that giving the donation as the class of '72 would have a greater impact than donating individually.  I am keenly aware of how much the public schools need private sponsors to keep quality programs going.  Let us know how we can help get the process going.   Linda

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Chery Cerise (nee ZImmerman) on September 5, 2007 1:08 PM
Although I was unable to attend the reunion, I absolutely love the idea of a Highland Class of '72 Foundation (non-profit organization) that supports the school. I too have had experience with non-profit orgs There are a few practical aspects that need to be taken care of and decisions to be made, as Greg has suggested. But wouldn't it be great to assist our Alma Mater and its students now?

Please count me in - I'll help in whatever way I can.

- Chery
Reply
Jeff Read on September 5, 2007 10:42 PM
I think that this is an excellent idea. Although at times the public school system does not necessarily prioritize its budget to maximize every last penny, I can tell you from my years in education that the budgets are lean to begin with and getting tighter each year. Many schools are being forced to go to four day weeks and running "pay-to-play" extra-curricular programs or cutting their programs all together.
As a principal of a local high school I would love to have funds available to help students in multiple areas. A viable and active "HHS Class of 72" foundation would provide some future HHS students opportunities that they may otherwise not receive and would leave a wonderful legacy for our class.
I will support this whole-heartedly and will pledge $100 to start, and ask all of my classmates who are in a position to respond to match or raise that pledge. This shouldn't be about whom among us can make the biggest pledge or whom among us cannot make a pledge.
Pledge what you can even if it is only time, support, and good thoughts. I would be delighted to help in any way I can. I hope Ms. Barnett is not editing my writing on this. I think I may have rambled a bit:-)

Go Rams!!!!

Jeff Read
Reply
Valerie Schulthies on September 8, 2007 9:14 PM
I hate to sound like a downer, but for the amount of money involved, I think setting up a separate foundation would be overkill. It requires not only creating the corporation but also filing the tax-exemption applications with the IRS and the state, then filing annual tax returns, paying taxes on investment income, making required annual payouts, and exposing the board members to legal liability for any violations of their fiduciary duty.
 
If people want to contribute through a fund rather than directly, setting up a class fund through a community foundation might be an easier option. I did a web search and I see that there's an Idaho Community Foundation in Boise. Here's a link to their site. http://www.idcomfdn.org/pages/advantages.htm
 
Hope this helps.
Valerie
Reply
Kevin Clayton on September 10, 2007 1:06 AM
Wow - I'm proud to be a part of this group! I lean towards Valerie's remarks. By donating directly to the HHS foundation (those of us who went to the school tour all received brochures soliciting donations!), we get the tax deduction, and the class gets recognition for the donation. Is there any way we can get the input from the foundation itself? As an example, the foundation could report semi-annually the total amount contributed by individual members of the class, followed up by a rallying cry from Greg to the class to step up (can you say telethon?!). Comments like those from Jeff, who challenged everyone to match his donation are great.

thanks again to everyone!!
Reply
Michele Troughton on November 17, 2007 1:14 AM
Everything I've read so far sounds great. Can this be coordinated long-distance? I could assist.
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