What is the mission of the foundation?

  • Our primary mission is to provide supplemental funding for programs and initiatives to enhance the quality of education for students in Darien Public School District 61.

Who does the Foundation serve?

  • While the educational foundation is a separate organization from Darien Public School District 61, our sole mission is to support the District 61 schools. Darien School District 61 serves three grade-level center schools in the city of Darien and portions of Downers Grove, Willowbrook and Westmont: Mark Delay School (K-2), Lace School (3-5) and Eisenhower Junior High School (6-8).

Why was the Foundation established?

  • The formation of Darien District 61 Educational Foundation grew from a recognized need for supplemental funds and a growing awareness of the usefulness of foundations. They provide private support of public education by acquiring and distributing financial resources for programs and projects that enhance educational programs within the district.

Why do we have to raise private dollars for programs in Darien District 61?

  • Property tax revenue has not kept pace with increases in costs. Private dollars do not replace traditional funding sources for the public schools. They supplement tax dollars. Throughout the U.S., foundation support of public education has increased because school district budgets have limited means to fund new innovative programs or purchase ancillary materials and equipment. Private resources play an important role in supporting activities over and above what the annual budgets can provide.

How is the Foundation different from other school-related groups (PTAs, PTOs and booster clubs)?

  • Such groups are valuable; however, they have restricted purposes within the schools. The foundation provides supplemental funds that are available to any of the schools within the district. The foundation will use different fundraising approaches, seeking support from those interested in the broader application of public education, those who desire to focus support on programs that can be utilized district-wide. The foundation will not replace any of the District 61 parent groups or duplicate any event. In some cases, projects may be collaborative.

If I give money to the educational foundation, who decides where the money will go?

  • The board of directors will determine how funds are awarded and allocated. Through a grant application process, a committee comprising board members and community volunteers will make recommendations to the entire board.

How will the foundation raise the funds?

  • The foundation’s board members will solicit contributions through personal requests with potential donors, as well as foundation and corporate grants. In addition, a variety of methods may be used to support the foundation, including direct mail; event sponsorship; annual campaigns; special events; employee giving; endowments; memorials/named funds; employer matching; and planned gifts.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

  • Yes. The Darien District 61 Educational Foundation is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt charity under Internal Revenue Code section 501 (c)(3). We will mail each donor a receipt for any contribution made.

How do I make a charitable donation?

  • Send checks payable to Darien District 61 Educational Foundation. Mail to: 7414 Cass Ave., Darien, IL 60561.