School endowment foundation welcomes scholarships
The Tonganoxie Unified School District 464 Endowment Foundation, incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 1998, soon will include more than $300,000, said Art Hancock, chairman of the foundation.
About $200,000 of this amount is coming from a local source, he said.
"It's the Florence Riford endowment that the Kiwanis Club managed," Hancock said. "When they disbanded, it was turned over to the foundation to administer."
The purpose of the endowment foundation for the school is two-fold, he said.
"As we receive monetary donations and as the budget grows, we intend to provide mini-grants for teachers and administrators," Hancock said. "If they have a particular project in mind that can't be covered by the school budget, they can submit an application for funding."
The other purpose is to provide an outlet for scholarship providers to have control over who gets a scholarship, and they can claim it as a tax deduction, Hancock said.
"It is not the purpose of the foundation to give scholarships," Hancock said. "We just manage other people's scholarship monies to give them tax advantages."
The group is trying to educate the public about the foundation.
"We've left brochures in local lending institutions," Hancock said. "And I'm more than willing to attend club and organization meetings to explain the details of the foundation."
There is an enormous amount of paperwork that goes along with running the foundation, Hancock said. Almost all of the funds are in certificates of deposit and some of it is in bonds, he added.
The foundation's long-term goal is for it to become self-endowing, Hancock said.
"That's when the interest and dividends will be enough to support everything, where eventually we won't have to touch the principal," Hancock said. "But that's a long way down the road from now."
Other members on the board of the foundation are: Kent Needham, vice chairman; Jim Grinter, treasurer; Kay Soetaert, secretary; and Mike Gibbens, Kent Quarles and Bob Kasper. Richard Erickson, Tonganoxie school superintendent, is an ex-officio member.