Campaign FAQ


What is Sebastopol Charter School’s Breaking Ground campaign?

Since its founding 20 years ago, the Sebastopol Charter School has held a vision of a permanent unified school with all grades sharing a single site with ample room for students to move freely. Breaking Ground is the fundraising drive to support the critical first phase of building our permanent unified school. The Breaking Ground campaign will provide the balance of financial resources still needed to complete the essential groundwork required before we can move onto our new campus.

Breaking Ground is the first phase of a longer-term fundraising plan that will eventually support the construction of a beautiful, state-of-the-art campus with sports fields and an assembly hall for the students’ education in music, arts and drama.

How is the Breaking Ground campaign different from the pledge program?

Funds raised by the pledge program each year support both the school’s operating expenses and longer-term facility costs. The Breaking Ground campaign is restricted to supporting the costs of our new campus alone, specifically the fundamental set of site improvements that must be accomplished before classes can begin on the site. A partial list of those improvements includes: major earthmoving, septic system, underground systems for electrical and water, roads and pathways, cement pads for classrooms, modular buildings for classrooms, remodeling the existing house into administration and staff support space, initial landscaping, and construction of outdoor play and woodworking areas.

What is the expected contribution from each parent?

We encourage you to make a contribution to our Breaking Ground campaign, and we hope for 100% participation from all parents!

Specifically, we’ve provided you with a range of giving to be used as a guideline, based on your past giving to the school through our pledge program and otherwise. Please know that your pledge program gifts continue to be held in the strictest of confidence.

Please give more if you can, or please give at the level that feels right for your family. We appreciate your consideration of a voluntary, philanthropic gift.

Does my gift to the pledge program count toward a gift to the Breaking Ground campaign?

No. Breaking Ground is a campaign that is separate and distinct from the pledge program. We ask that your gifts to this campaign be made additionally (over and above) your gifts to the pledge program. We also ask that you not decrease your pledge gift in order to make a gift to this campaign.

If I can’t pledge to Breaking Ground this year, can I pledge another time?

We request your completed Letter of Commitment by the end of this school year, if at all possible, though any and all gifts made before 8/31/18 will count toward this fundraising effort. We respectfully ask for a three-year commitment to allow us to better plan for the future of our new campus.

How will you recognize our gifts? Will our gifts to the campaign be made public?

We are happy to recognize your gift, or to make your gift anonymous, as you wish, and as indicated on the attached Letter of Commitment. Please also see the attached “Recognizing Your Gift” handout in this packet for more information on gift recognition and an opportunity to inscribe a brick in your name or the name of a loved one.

Can I use a corporate matching program for the campaign?

Yes! Many companies match their employees’ chartable gifts. For many years, corporate matching gifts have brought in much-needed support to the Sebastopol Charter School. Matching gifts are credited to you, the donor. If you’d like to see your giving grow, check to see if your, or your spouse’s, employer has a matching gift program.

Does the Foundation accept stocks?

Yes. Gifts of securities provide tax incentives for donors and can make your gift go further. Please contact The Charter Foundation if you would like more information or to make a gift.

What is the campaign goal for Breaking Ground?

After a thorough analysis of construction costs of the Phase 1 campus and all School and Foundation financials, we estimate the school’s move-in needs to be $400,000. We look to close this gap through fundraising from family and friends of Sebastopol Charter School.

Does the Foundation accept credit cards?

Yes, we will accept credit card payments for our Breaking Ground campaign gifts, although we urge you to please write a check or make a bank transfer if at all possible. Transaction fees on credit card payments are quite costly to the Foundation, so we appreciate your consideration of using another type of payment. Please call the Foundation office if you would like to use your credit card.

Are my gifts tax deductible?

The Sebastopol Charter School and the Charter Foundation both meet the requirements of IRS Code Section 501(c)(3). Your gifts are deductible at the highest limits allowed for federal and state income tax purposes.

Besides our current Sebastopol Charter School community, what other sources of capital is the school considering for support of the campaign?

In addition to the support of our current parents, we will seek support from grandparents, alumni parents, and other members of our larger community. Before seeking gifts outside of the current school community, it is important to show success in raising funds from current parents.

If your family would like to make an extended family gift to the campaign, please contact the Charter Foundation office for assistance in making that donation.

I still have questions. May I speak with someone?

Certainly. We are happy to answer your questions! Please feel free to call the Charter Foundation office at (707) 824-8430.

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