FAQs

Dedication to Education Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is Dedication to Education?

Dedication to Education is our annual direct appeal campaign run by the Douglass Elementary School PTO. The month of September will again be our “Dedication to Education” month.

This is THE major fundraiser of the school year.

What is a direct appeal campaign?

This is your family’s chance to give directly to the school by writing a check or donating online. This method of fundraising has been selected as the preferred method for many years in a row by our community, because it is cost effective and requires minimal time and effort from our busy families.

There are many advantages to a direct appeal campaign. These include:

• 100% of the donation goes directly to the education initiatives budgeted for and funded by the PTO (see the PTO Budget)

• The kids (and/or parents) don’t have to sell anything

• There is no classroom based competition

• The donation is tax deductible (PTO is a 501(c)(3))

• It’s eligible for corporate matching gifts

• Has lowest expenses of ALL fundraisers

• Your contributions are confidential

Best of all, your donation will be used in your child’s classroom THIS YEAR!

Douglass Elementary is a public school. Why are our taxes not enough?

Believe it or not, school taxes in the state of Colorado are not high relative to other states. In addition, Colorado Public Education ranks 43rd in the nation in per pupil spending (adjusted for regional cost differences). Also, Colorado is 40th in median student-teacher ratio in primary level schools. Our PTO is a 501 (c) (3) organization established to raise funds for the needed programs that the District and State will not provide. Fundraising is a necessity. (source: http://greateducation.org/colorado/stats.html)

How does the PTO decide what to spend money on?

First and foremost, these donations go directly into your child’s classroom the year they are received.

Our Principal, teachers and staff know all too well the needs of our children. They know what works to keep Douglass Elementary a school of excellence. The PTO and the Principal discuss the needs every spring for the following year. PTO considers requests from the School Accountability Committee (SAC), which is a committee all schools must have according to Colorado State Law to support and address school improvement goals. The PTO also considers any PTO Survey results and feedback from families to confirm needs and costs. A PTO budget is allocated and spending is approved for the entire year. This cycle repeats every year and the PTO welcomes your participation.

Looking at the PTO Budget, a great deal of these funds is spent on daily small group literacy instruction with teachers, paraprofessionals, and tutors. Douglass teachers believe these small groups and one-on-one instruction make a measurable and immediate difference in your child’s education.

How did Douglass arrive at the donation amount per child?

Based on the  PTO Budget and the anticipated enrollment at Douglass for the school year, the $200 per child suggested donation amount is very logical. Compared to other area schools, $200 per child is a “middle of the road” donation request. We understand that some families can give more; others cannot give quite as much. We encourage families to donate what they can to support their child’s education!

I’d like to give to the campaign, but I’m not comfortable with the amount suggested. What should I do?

Any amount that your family can give directly to this cause is appreciated. All giving will be kept confidential. The Dedication to Education team will report progress in terms of percentages of Douglass family participation and will share final numbers as total dollars given, and success of participation at the end of the campaign.

There is need at Douglass and not every family will be able to give the suggested donation amount. Please give what you can. If you can take advantage of the opportunity to give more, please consider a scholarship amount for another child(ren).

Can grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends give to the Dedication to Education campaign?

Yes! The campaign runs for the full month of September. Douglass parents are encouraged to mention the campaign to other family members and friends. Perhaps it will be a relief to the persons who normally (and graciously) buy gift wrap from your child on a regular basis. Unlike gift wrap sales, all the proceeds of a direct appeal campaign go to Douglass. All donors will receive a letter thanking them for their donation and providing a receipt for tax purposes.

Additional brochures, donation forms, and pre-addressed envelopes are available in the Douglass main office. If you know of someone who would like to donate, feel free to stop by and pick up an extra or two!

Please download the "Family Letter" form to pass along to family and friends to encourage them to donate. 

How do I give to Dedication to Education?

Giving is easy!

• Write a check payable to Douglass Elementary PTO. Place the check in the green pre-addressed return envelope with the handy donation form. You can add postage and snail mail this, send it back in a Friday Folder, hand it to your child’s teacher, or drop it in the Dedication to Education mailbox in the main office.

• Donate online here. We use PayPal, a well-known and reputable site for online giving. This secure site is available for anyone wishing to put their donation on a credit card, or use their personal PayPal account.

I'm not able to give the full amount at one time.  Is there a payment plan?

While we have no formal payment plan in place, incremental payment installments of any amount are welcome.

Why is Dedication to Education in September and not later in the year?

D2E funds are necessary for PTO budget commitments in the year they are raised.  In short, the money raised from D2E begins funding classroom support immediately, and it is needed in the beginning of the year. The early timeframe also gives the PTO enough time to plan any additional fundraisers that may be needed later in the school year. Of course folks are always welcome to give to Douglass PTO’s non-profit 501(c)(3) organization at any time of the year. We will send you a receipt for your tax records.

Why do you send out so much literature? Doesn’t this cost a lot?

Multiple modes of communication are a necessity. Some people prefer email, and some prefer direct mail. This year we are only doing email and Friday Folder communications. We are trying to be more “green” and effective. All of the time and cost associated with preparing the materials was donated, as well as some of the printing expense, and so any cost is very minimal. This fundraiser has the LEAST expenses of ALL fundraisers.

I still have a question. Who can I contact?

The Dedication to Education Committee and the PTO President welcome your questions and feedback. Please feel free to contact one or all of us. All discussions will be kept confidential.


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