When does the campaign end?
The One Community Campaign runs through October 4, 2019, but we really appreciate early donations. The earlier you donate, the less emails you’ll receive from our parent volunteers!
Why are we community funded?
Before Prop 13, districts could count on tax income to meet their funding needs. In 1978, California school budgets were upwards of $9 billion. The following year - with the passage of Prop 13 - those budgets were slashed, nearly overnight, by nearly 60%. California now ranks 39th in funding per student (adjusted for cost per living). (1)
Now, districts are limited to the funding they either receive from the state (for lower income/lower property value districts) or can raise on their own through local property taxes and donations (for community-funded districts). MPCSD is a community-funded district, and therefore must make up most of its budget through local taxes and parent donations.
In response to Prop 13, parents in our community created the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) and school Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) to restore the quality in our local schools.
What is the One Community Campaign (OCC)?
This school year, we are launching the One Community Campaign, which combines the PTO and MPAEF fall fundraising into one ask. This will make the purpose of your giving clearer and the process of giving much easier. ONE gift. ONE check. Both organizations provide the resources required to support teachers and programs in our community-funded school district.
What is a PTO?
Each school in the Menlo Park City School District has its own PTO. PTOs are non-profit volunteer organizations that provide services and materials that enrich our students’ education and support our vibrant community of parents, children, teachers and staff. Parents and teachers at a school come together to work on programs that benefit the educational experience of the children at that particular school. Your donations to the PTO fund lunchtime clubs and after-school programs at Hillview, and student and family events and culturally enriching programs at Encinal, Laurel and Oak Knoll, including assemblies, the STEAM Fair, Science Fair, Art in Action, STEAM on the Knoll, classroom supplies, supplemental curriculum, and much more. PTOs provide human and capital reinforcements to help our schools' teachers and staff focus on educating our children and enriching their learning experience.
What is the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation?
MPAEF is a parent-led non-profit organization that, for the past 37 years, has been raising critical funds to support quality education at the four public schools of the Menlo Park City School District: Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll, and Hillview. For the 2018/2019 school year, the MPAEF granted $3.7 million to the school district to allow the district to fund 37 counselors, teachers, and school specialists for art, science, music, and library programs across the district. Since 2009, the MPAEF has provided over $28 million to the MPCSD from parent donations.
What do funds raised by the OCC support?
Dozens of critical programs at our schools, and now you can write just one check for both through the One Community Campaign:
31 teachers in art, science, music, world language and library
A 15% reduction in class size (compared to the CA average)
47 electives at Hillview
Cutting-edge STEM programs in the classroom
Ten psychologists and counselors to provide a mental health safety net at every school
Opportunities for 600 under-represented district families
Curriculum enhancement such as the STEAM Fair, events and maker spaces at every campus, art supplies/instruction, and Musicals
Culturally enriching programs including Poetry in Motion, assemblies and field trips
Family events such as the elementary school family picnics, Hawkapalooza, Relay for Life and the Decades dance
Why is the MPAEF raising its suggested donation this year?
The MPAEF has not increased its ask in 9 years, even though the district’s spend per student has risen 34% during the same time period. The percentage that the MPAEF contributes to the district is at a 10 year low, currently at 7.4% of the total budget.
Here is a link to information on the MPAEF grant amount and % of total budget back to the year 2010-11.
How is my contribution split between my PTO and MPAEF?
Parents across the district worked together for many months to ensure a fair and equitable distribution across schools and the MPAEF, accounting for all donation scenarios. Up to the first $250 of your donation goes to each of your children’s schools, and the remainder is allocated to the MPAEF. Here are some examples of how your donation could be allocated across your PTOs and the MPAEF.
Are my contributions tax-deductible?
Yes! Your donations to the One Community Campaign are tax-deductible because it is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The tax ID is Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation: #94-2871701. Receipts for funds accepted by the OCC will be the MPAEF tax ID # since MPAEF is the organization that is receiving and distributing the money to the PTOs.
Will my employer match my contribution?
Corporate matches are a critical source of funding for the One Community Campaign. Many employers will match your contributions, doubling your impact. Once you have donated, CLICK HERE to find out how to submit your corporate match. When you apply for your corporate match, please direct your donation request to the MPAEF, which will distribute those funds to the PTO and MPAEF based on what you personally donated. Since it generally takes several months to receive corporate match dollars, it helps with our planning to know you’ve requested it. Please submit a pledge for the dollar amount of the corporate match on the SupportMPCSD website so we know to look for it.
How do pledges work?
Pledging is a great way for you to participate in the OCC and contribute towards our fundraising goal while allowing you to defer payments until a more convenient time, such as during the next tax year, when you’ve vested stock or when you’d like to contribute from a donor advised fund. Once we’ve received your pledge, we’ll remove you from our weekly email list, saving both your and our parent volunteers’ time. Your child(ren)’s PTO will be paid upon fulfillment of your pledge, as long as the pledge is fulfilled by March 1, 2020. Any donations that are fulfilled after March 1 will revert fully to the MPAEF. For example, if you pledge $3,000 and pay in April 2020, the full $3,000 is paid to the MPAEF. If you pay it by March 1, then your PTO receives $250 and the MPAEF receives the remaining $2,750.
Who do I make my check out to?
Please make checks to “MPAEF-PTO Community Campaign.” You can send them to 181 Encinal Ave, Atherton, CA 94027.
Why was the OCC created?
We are so excited to bring the PTOs and the MPAEF together into one fundraising campaign. The MPCSD, PTO and MPAEF leadership teams have consistently received feedback from district parents that the separate fall fundraising campaigns for each of the four PTOs and the MPAEF were confusing and inconvenient and that they wanted to streamline the donation process. The OCC makes the donation process clearer and more convenient.
What if I want to give a larger amount to my school's PTO, or to give exclusively to one organization or the other?
The OCC donation process was created to ensure that all of the PTOs and the MPAEF were provided with the funds they need to support critical school initiatives. If you would like to individually support your PTO or the MPAEF, you can make a separate donation after the OCC ends on October 4.
What If I want to direct my MPAEF donation to my child's school vs. the entire district?
The MPAEF does not accept directed donations via the OCC.
How does fundraising compare across schools?
Up to the first $250 of your OCC donation goes directly to your child’s PTO, so your contributions directly fund your school’s enrichment activities. Your donations to the MPAEF allows that organization to make an unrestricted grant each year to the MPCSD, which the district leadership uses to fund teachers, counselors and specialist programs equitably across all four schools.
Have any questions? Contact us at: