Southern Wake Academy

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FAQ: Questions and Answers about Giving to SWA

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Why does SWA need to raise money?

Although we are a public school, we receive approximately 30% LESS funding than traditional public schools.  SWA receives government funding that covers our basic operating expenses.  Due to our limited funding, this significantly impacts our ability to fund many extracurricular and enrichment programs that our students need and deserve.  Furthermore, we need to provide our teachers with the technology tools and educational resources that will empower them to do their very best work.  It is imperative that our stakeholders are committed to a culture of philanthropy, and support the efforts of the fund development program to add value and raise money for SWA.

What is the SWA Annual Fund? 

To supplement government funding, our school created the SWA Annual Fund for which we seek donations and grants from our school community, corporate sponsors, foundations, Friends of SWA, and outside funders that will have a direct impact on our teachers and their students.  The SWA Annual Fund is designated as the primary source to accept financial donations that are unrestricted, and align with the mission and values of Southern Wake Academy.

What is SWA planning to purchase with the SWA Annual Fund?

Our administration and our teachers determine the purchases from the SWA Annual Fund.  The unrestricted donations and grants deposited to the SWA Annual Fund are used to fund our top priorities, including cultural arts, technology, athletics, tutoring, transportation, extracurricular courses, and enrichment programs.  Like most schools, SWA has a “Wish List” of specific items to help us fulfill our top priorities.

How much should I donate to SWA?

SWA does not require any person to donate to our school. Your charitable gift is a personal decision that should reflect your personal circumstances and ability to give. No matter how big or small your contribution is, your participation is what truly matters!

Do other charter schools have a fund development program or Office of Development?

Yes.  Nearly all charter schools continually fundraise and seek donations from their closest constituents and members of their community.  Fund development is the process that supports philanthropy, and this requires staff and volunteers to carry out the functions related to fundraising.  Indeed, most charter schools have an Office of Development or a fund development program.

Is my donation to SWA tax deductible?

Yes!  SWA is a tax-exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service code.  All grantors and contributors may rely on this determination to deduct the amount of their contribution to the maximum amount allowed by law when filing their income taxes.  It is the responsibility of the donor to report their donations, and it is recommended to consult a tax advisor to ensure your donations are properly reported to the IRS.

Does SWA provide a written receipt when I donate?

Yes!  SWA believes in thanking donors for their charitable gifts.  The Office of Development issues a receipt in the form of a Donor Acknowledgement Letter to all donors with the date, and amount of their donation.  For all In-Kind gifts to SWA, there will be a written description of the non-cash contribution.  We believe in helping our donors submit any forms requested by the IRS for their donations.  Please contact us should you need any help or assistance to report your donations to the IRS.

Does a small donation have a positive impact on fundraising at SWA?

Yes!  Our greatest hope is to receive a donation from all SWA families, as the total amount of these gifts will have a direct impact on our teachers and their students.  It is widely recognized and accepted that philanthropist, corporations and foundations will view participation as a key indicator of our families’ commitment toward building the best possible educational experiences for our students to determine if we are deserving of their support.  Therefore, we ask all SWA families to donate!

What are the primary ways to give at SWA?

The most common ways to donate to SWA:  1) write a check payable to Southern Wake Academy, and deliver it to Ms. Mangum or Ms. Healy, 2) mail a check to school address; always write SWA Annual Fund on the memo line of your check, 3) visit SWA website, and click on DONATE NOW to make an electronic debit from your credit or debit card, or 4) Contact Mike Heavey, Director of Development, by phone or email, to discuss your personal circumstances related to making a donation.  Our commitment is to remove any barriers to accept your charitable gifts.

Does SWA accept in-kind gifts?

SWA will gladly consider in-kind gifts instead of cash or stock donations.  Gifts In-kind is a kind of charitable giving, instead of giving money to buy goods and services, the goods and services are given.  All SWA donors will receive a Donor Acknowledgement Letter that states the description of the gift, but not the value, of their non-cash contribution.  Your in-kind gift may qualify for a tax deduction under IRS rules, and we recommend consulting a tax advisor to ensure your gift is properly credited.  The Office of Development will assist with any tax filing requirements that will benefit our school, and help with reporting your in-kind gift.

Who should you contact about fundraising ideas or giving to SWA?

Please contact Mike Heavey, Director of Development, at 919-696-4417, or email: mheavey@swake.org to learn more about our fund development program, including gift giving options, establishing charitable bequests, estate planning, selling stocks, volunteer opportunities, and joining the Development Committee.  Always feel free to share your gift giving or fund raising ideas that will help support SWA!

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