Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Solid Foundation

How many times a year do you get hit up to make a charitable donation? 3? 10? 50?? 50 from one organization alone?? Whatever that number is, most people feel it’s too often. The solicitations can be expected to continue as the economy remains flat, many institutions aren’t cutting spending and any available tax revenue is spread thin. 

According to the results of a 2012 survey conducted by, “Most donors are getting savvier about their philanthropy, often researching causes before they make their gifts.”  The site also notes that donors told them they’d be more likely to give more if they saw more tangible evidence of results, and in breaking down some donor demographics observed that middle-aged donors in particular want to be shown a clear idea of where the funds raised are going…to know that the charity they donate to is the best of all organizations working on that particular mission. In short, prospective funding sources are doing their homework and demanding results.

That’s good news for organizations like the Education Foundation for the Methacton Community, a local nonprofit that’s been in existence since 2009 and one that meets all those donor requirements. A registered legitimate 501(c)3 charity, its mission is to ‘ensure the highest level of educational innovation – supporting students, faculty and staff through a partnership with our community’. The Foundation partners with Methacton School District to help identify needs and funding gaps in order to make monetary grants to help foster specific programs that are outside the scope of the district’s budget, enhance the school curriculum, and help meet long-term capital needs the school district has identified.

The money raised by the Foundation stays in the community, and its impact can be readily seen and felt. Chances are good that your children or grandchildren, or those of someone you know, have benefitted directly or indirectly by the numerous projects that this connection between the community and the classroom have funded over the years, such as:

·         Renovation of the planetarium at Arcola/Skyview including the addition of a new telescope

·         Contributions to arts, music and athletics programs
·         Electric car club projects

·         Eagleville’s mobile environmental lab / outdoor classroom

·         A recent $10,000 donation toward the field improvement project (installation of turf fields) to benefit future Methacton athletes


The Foundation receives requests from the school district administration, individual teachers, club sponsors etc. for projects that need funding, and their Board of Directors votes on whether to fund a specific project. Board members include former teachers and Home & School officers, and most have current Methacton students and/or graduates in their families. Several are themselves Methacton grads. The Board also includes a current school board member and a current township supervisor.
Additionally, the Foundation is eligible for Pennsylvania tax credits via their designation as an Educational Improvement Tax Credit Organization (EITC). The EITC program is a part of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development which accepts contributions from local businesses to support innovative educational programs in public schools, as well as scholarships for kids attending accredited K-12 private schools or qualified and approved pre-K programs. Businesses can receive PA tax credits for their contributions under this program, the percentage varying according to the length of the gift.

And, the Foundation is also an approved United Way donor designate. If your workplace has a campaign underway, just enter United Way entity code 48856 when you complete your donor selections.
One of the Foundation’s largest funding sources is their annual alumni homecoming golf outing. Slated for October 24 this year at Linfield National Golf Club, 66 Church Road in Linfield, PA (near Limerick), the Foundation is looking for both sponsors and golfers. As a Methacton grad and the parent of two more recent Methacton alumni, I know it’s a unique opportunity to reconnect and spend time with former classmates to support a cause that allows future generations to enjoy the same quality educational opportunities we had.

The golf outing is not the only upcoming fundraiser. Perhaps you might be interested in the 3rd annual Warrior Cross Country 5K and Fun Run/Walk (and pancake breakfast!) coming up November 2, or the holiday house tour on December 7. Other fundraisers are scheduled for 2015. 

For more information on this charity, grant criteria, and more details for each fundraiser, please visit the Foundation’s website at or submit questions to

And while we’re on the subject, several other worthy community charities that would very much appreciate donations include the Lower Providence Community Center Ambulance (in the process of constructing their new facility at the Township complex) and the Lower Providence Fire Department.

Photo credits: Methacton School District