Tue, March 31

CVSD Educational Foundation to start raising funds

The idea for an educational foundation to support the Camp Verde School District has been tossed around for at least the last three years.

The district board and the school’s administration have spent a considerable amount of time exploring how best to implement a charitable foundation, whose job it would be to create a permanent endowment to help support the school’s activities and programs.

An endowment is an established fund of cash, securities or other assets that provide income for the maintenance of a non-profit organization.

The Camp Verde Educational Foundation (CVEF) actually got up and running last spring, but it was actually a group of students who generated the first financial contribution to get the fund started.

Former Camp Verde School Board Member John Bassous had been working with a group of fifth grade students in an entrepreneurship program.

The students started their class with $5 each and spent the semester developing ways to invest the money and make it grow in value. Many grew their $5 investments to over $100.

When the class was completed the 22 students voted as a group to donate their original $5 investments to the recently formed Foundation.

That $110 was the seed to what many hope will become an endowment fund, which will remain intact in perpetuity, with the interest and income used to help the students of the Camp Verde School District.

The Foundation is set up to invest the funds in the endowment, returning the interest accrued each year to programs in the school district.

“I have seen lost opportunities in other districts,” District Superintendent Ron Maughan said. “I can’t emphasize too much how much the board is to be credited for putting their support behind this long-range vision in exploring alternate funding.”

The CVEF Board has spent the last few months working out the details of how best to structure the organization.

“We originally looked at becoming a corporation, but eventually choose to become an IRS 170(c)(1) tax deductible nonprofit foundation,” Maughan said.

“Then a local financial advisor, Tom Taylor, suggested we join the Yavapai Community Foundation,” he said.

The Yavapai County Community Foundation (YCCF) is a nonprofit foundation that invests the funds of a number of community organizations.

The advantage to joining the YCCF is having an organization that is familiar with the administrative aspects and the mandatory reporting work that are required of charitable foundations.

“It will also make us a member of a larger investment pool, which we hope translates into a better return on our investment,” Maughan said.

The YCCF is also a member of an even larger statewide investment foundation.

The object of setting up the CVEF in the first place is to provide the district with an instrument in which to oversee all current and future endowments to the district.

“If someone is considering leaving an endowment to the district they need to have confidence that the money will be handled properly," Maughan said. “The Foundation will have a life of its own, regardless of changes in the administration or the board.”

“This way an individual’s gift will continue giving,” he said.

There is one small obstacle the foundation is facing. It needs to come up with an initial investment of $25,000 before they will be able to become a member of the YCCF.

With about $1,200 in the bank they have a way s to go.

In an effort to start raising the $25,000, the foundation board is holding its first fund raising celebrity dinner on March 5, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Camp Verde Multi-Use Complex.

The board is planning a stellar evening of fun, entertainment, fine dining and a silent auction.

Tickets to the event are $35 of which $25 is tax deductible. The foundation is also selling corporate tables, which seat eight people, for $280.

Attendees will have a choice of prime rib, chicken cordon bleu or vegetarian lasagna served by local celebrities recruited for the occasion.

Mid-Life Crisis, a smooth jazz combo, will provide the evening’s entertainment.

Anyone interested in getting a worthwhile organization off the ground should call the district office at 928-567-8000 for tickets.

They can also contact anyone of the foundation board members: Kathy Palmer, Monte Morris, John Bassous, Margie Beach, Bob Sembric, Ron Maughan or Bob Weir.

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