GHSF > Frequently Asked Questions
Why create a Foundation?
Why create an Endowment?
How does an Endowment Work?
How is the Money Used?
Won't Endowment giving conflict with existing annual fundraising efforts?

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Why create a Foundation?
GHS opened in 1923, graduated its first class in 1924, and has a rich diversity of alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and students. These "friends" of GHS would like to give back to current and future members of the GHS community.
Why create an Endowment?
Like most public school systems, the Seattle Public Schools are struggling to educate an ever more diverse student body for an increasingly complex world. A non-profit foundation with a board of trustees to guide the raising and perpetuation of an endowment will provide an annual stream of funds to support enhanced programs at GHS.
How does an Endowment Work?
The Foundation collects funds from alumni and friends of Garfield and deposits them with our fiscal sponsor, the Alliance for Education (AFE). AFE's board of directors oversees all endowment monies as a single pool, and manages this pool of funds for long-term growth.

Each year, a "payout rate" is determined after considering the recent investment performance of the endowment and the recent rate of inflation. For example, if the endowment balance were $1,000,000 and the payout rate were 4%, then $40,000 (4% of $1 million) would be available to spend on Garfield. The payout rate is adjusted each year to balance the goals of allowing the endowment principal to grow over time (keeping ahead of inflation) while providing the maximum amount of current dollars to invest in Garfield.
How is the Money Used?
Each year, the Foundation solicits Grant Proposals from teachers, students, and staff. These might be requests for new books, computers, digital cameras, software, curriculum materials, scientific equipment, or any other sort of good or service that might help Garfield students.

A group of Foundation members meets to review the grants, prioritizes them, and then funds as many grants as can be funded given the available money (from the Endowment pay-out plus any non-endowment gifts).
Won't endowment giving conflict with existing annual fundraising efforts?
We do not think so. The Garfield Annual Fund, sponsored by the Garfield PTSA, is a very important fundraising effort for Garfield, and current Parents should definitely make the Annual Fund their first priority.

Beyond that, whether an individual donor chooses to give to annual fundraising efforts, or endowment funds, or both, is a choice of the donor. Garfield is much better off if it can provide several different ways for friends of Garfield to support the school, whether those are existing annual drives to support the Jazz Band or athletics, or restricted or unrestricted endowment, or bequests.

Independent primary and secondary schools, public high schools, and colleges and universities have a lot of experience with private giving, and providing many choices for donors is best for everyone.

Minutes of Foundation Steering Committee meetings.
List of site changes in chronological order.

Last updated Wednesday, July 26th, 2006.
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