FAQ | Fremont Union High Schools Foundation

FAQ

Background Information

Founded in 1983, the Fremont Union High Schools Foundation (FUHSF) is a group of parent leaders and community stakeholders whose primary goal is to raise funds and develop resources for the equitable distribution across all five high schools, serving more than 10,500 students, in the Fremont Union High Schools District in Sunnyvale. The high schools in our district are Cupertino, Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook and Monta Vista. The Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization governed by a board of directors that is entirely independent of the district and board of trustees. Its advisory council meets quarterly to provide guidance on topics of interest as requested by the board of directors and executive director.

With explosive student population growth and funding cuts to education at the state level, FUHSF provides critical support to build students’ 21st century skills. Unlike many other California school districts, the Fremont Union High School District is a “basic aid” district. This means that the District does not receive additional funds based upon our growing student enrollment. The local community provides 90% of our funding from property taxes with the remaining funds derived from federal and state sources. And though property taxes generally increase 4% per year, this increase only covers the District’s annual cost of living increase. The Foundation steps in to close the gap between district funding and programmatic needs.

What is the mission of the FUHS Foundation? 

Our mission is to develop resources and community relationships for the development of quality education in the Fremont Union High School District.

Which high schools do we fund?

All five high schools in the FUHSD: Cupertino, Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook and Monta Vista, currently serving 10,800 students and 9,350 households.

Do the high schools each receive equal funding from the Foundation?

Yes!  Funds raised are distributed equally across all five high schools.  Each school receives approximately $40,000 in funding each year.

What is the current donation amount requested and is it tax deductible?

The Foundation currently suggests a $400 donation per student per school year but donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.  All donations are tax-deductible and our tax identification number is 94-2907804.

Do parents provide all of the funding for these programs?

No.  Though individual donations from parents and community member make up approximately 80% of our revenue, the remaining 20% is derived from corporate sources in the form of sponsorships.

What programs does the Foundation currently support?

The Foundation focuses its’ support on three areas:

Academic enrichment

Student support services

College and career readiness

 

For the 2016-2017 school year, the Foundation funded the following programs:

Art Show & Choral Event (District-wide) $5,000

Athletics (All schools)                                 $20,000/$4,000 per school

FBLA/DECA (All schools)                          $10,000/$2,000 per school

Drama (All schools)                                    $10,000/$2,000 per school

Journalism (All schools)                             $15,000/$3,000 per school

Naviance (All students)                              $10,000

Robotics (All schools)                                 $35,000/$7,000 per school

School Loop (All students)                        $7,000

STEM (MVHS/LHS)                                     $40,000/$20,000 per section

Science (Digital Design HHS/FHS)         $38,000/$19,000 per section

Direct Grants to Teachers (All schools)   $10,000

 

TOTAL                                                           $200,000

 

Why did the Foundation choose these programs to support?

The Foundation works closely with District staff to identify areas where funds are most needed and can have the greatest impact. Projects are vetted and discussed within the Superintendent and senior staff and then brought before the Foundation board for discussion and approval.

Why should I donate to the Foundation rather than to the individual school programs? 

The Foundation provides a stable source of funding for programs which benefit students throughout the entire district.  The Foundation is not meant to replace programs supported by individual PTAs, and other parent organizations; rather it serves as an essential partner with the District, parents and other members of the community who want to ensure that despite ongoing fluctuations in Sacramento our public high schools continue to provide a world class education.

Why does my donation matter?

A quality education is priceless but not free. Local and state funding for public education provides only enough for basic high school curriculum and programs. Fortunately, your financial support allows the Foundation to act locally to bridge the funding gap between what taxes can cover and the exceptional educational experience that students, colleges and employers value in our community. And as we know, there is a direct, positive correlation between extraordinary schools and property values.

Is the Foundation fiscally sound?

Yes!  The Foundation is a designated by Guide Star as a Silver Participant.  Our overhead rate is currently 21% and our day to day operations are managed by an Executive Director who is a certified fundraising executive with more than 10 years of experience in the non-profit sector.  As a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, she ensures we follow the donor Code of Ethics and all non-profit best practices.

Who is on the board of directors?

The board consists of 20-25 current parents, alumni parents, student alumni, community leaders, corporate professionals.  We strive to represent all five high schools and ethnic, gender and cultural diversity that represents the students we serve.  The board of directors also includes the superintendent of the district and an executive director, who works for the Foundation part-time.  The Foundation also employs a part-time administrative manager.

What is the Crab Feed and how does it support our students?

Each spring, the Foundation hosts an annual Crab Feed & Vegetarian Feast fundraiser held at DeAnza College.  Tickets may be purchased at your school’s main office or on our website (www.fuhsfoundation.org)  beginning in January of each year.  This community event features all you can eat crab or vegetarian meal, a silent auction, raffle and door prize.  Student and community volunteers are instrumental in executing this event, which raises approximately $20,000-$25,000 for student programs.

Other than a cash donation, how can I help support the Foundation?

We are always looking for volunteers to serve on committees or join our board of directors.  You can also support the Foundation by shopping via smile.amazon.com and designating the Foundation as your charity of choice.  You may also shop via www.escrip.com to support the Foundation.  Simply register your credit and debit cards and a percentage of every purchase you make will be donated to the Foundation.

Does the Foundation provide any other services?

Yes.  As a non-profit organization, the Foundation administers multiple scholarship funds for various organizations throughout the district.  The Foundation does not receive any compensation to administer these funds but the scholarship administrators are responsible for any banking fees associated with their scholarship funds.

Where is the Foundation’s office located?

The Foundation maintains a mailbox at the district office, 589 W. Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94087.  There is no physical office but you may contact us at 408-773-1218 and leave a message.

How can I learn more about the Foundation?

Please join us at our monthly board meeting, held the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 5:30 at the district office located at 589 W. Fremont Avenue in Sunnyvale.  You may also visit our website at http://www.fuhsfoundation.org/ or call 408-348-0633 to speak to our ED, Ann-Marie Meacham.