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Endowment: FAQs

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What is the difference between SchoolPower and SchoolPower Endowment?

SchoolPower and SchoolPower Endowment are separately formed yet closely affiliated nonprofit corporations that have overlapping boards, shared staff and facilities, and the common goal of supporting Laguna Beach schools. SchoolPower devotes most of its efforts towards annual fundraising and events, contributing most of the proceeds to the School District on an unrestricted basis. SchoolPower Endowment is charged with accumulating and managing endowment funds for the long term, and collaborating with donors and School District leadership to make both unrestricted gifts and more targeted grants and contributions.

Should I give to SchoolPower Endowment or directly to the School District?

Contributions to both are welcome, and SchoolPower Endowment will work collaboratively with donors and the School District to satisfy the goals of both. SchoolPower Endowment exists as a vehicle to assist donors and the School District in the segregation and management of endowment funds serving both restricted and unrestricted purposes. In addition, the pooling of contributions into a unified SchoolPower Endowment magnifies and extends the impact of the individual donations of many donors.

How are SchoolPower Endowment board members selected?

Currently, SchoolPower Endowment has an 11 member board. Three of those members are appointed by SchoolPower, generally at the direction of the current SchoolPower President. The remaining SchoolPower Endowment board members are elected by the remainder of the board on a self-perpetuating basis, serving for staggered and renewable three year terms.

Who decides which school programs will be supported with SchoolPower Endowment funds?

All grants from unrestricted SchoolPower Endowment funds are made in consultation with School District staff and leadership. The School District defines the needs. We provide the funds. The disbursement of restricted or donor advised funds is likewise directed to needs identified by the School District, in consultation with donors or in accordance with the restricted purpose of the fund.

What are some examples of programs that are supported by the Endowment?

Every year, SchoolPower Endowment makes grants to benefit each and every school site in Laguna Beach. For example, at the elementary level, our donors’ contributions to the Endowment fulfill teachers’ requests in the areas of math, science, art, reading and science, including expansion of STEM. Recent middle school grants include the Forensic Mock Trial project, investment in digital equipment for use in science and engineering projects, and the dramatic transformation of the middle school library. Examples of Endowment grants to Laguna Beach High School range from a pilot career mentor program and 3-D Printer for Environmental Science / STEM to equipment for video production. District wide, SchoolPower Endowment grants have enabled the School District to advance its foreign language program, expand and improve the K-12 music program and transform the classroom technology and environments of its educators and students.