Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Spaulding Education Fund?
The Spaulding Education Fund (SEF) is a volunteer organization whose mission is to help assure academic excellence in the Manchester/Essex public schools. Spaulding funds resources and programs that advance and enrich learning – programs which support the curriculum but are not in the district budget. SEF is a nonprofit, 501(C) 3 organization, and has no endowment.
Who is on the Steering Committee?
The Steering Committee is made up of a number of volunteers, and is managed by two co-chairs. There is also a treasurer, and secretary within the committee.
How does SEF raise funds to support excellence in Manchester Essex public schools?
Annual Appeal - Contributions to the annual fund are made in response to a direct solicitation mailed to all residents of Manchester and Essex. The Annual Appeal typically goes out in the fall.
Special Events - A group of volunteers also organize social events each year for parents and students that generate additional income. Past events included “Lobsters for Learning” and the “MadHatter’s Dance”. New this year is “A Night of Stars” – a talent show for the young and the young at heart! Go to our “Events” page to get more information.
Annual Phon-a-thon – the Phon-a-thon is a follow-up to the annual appeal mailing. All parents of Manchester/Essex school children, as well as all prior donors, are contacted by phone and asked if they would like to make a donation to SEF to support our schools.
What kind of grants are funded?
The Spaulding Education Fund’s mission is to fund excellence in the Manchester-Essex Regional Schools. The intent is to fund innovative programs within the Manchester-Essex Regional Schools, in support of teachers in their pursuit of academic excellence. Grants will fund projects that impact a wide population of students as well as programs that target smaller groups. Projects that reach or affect the broad student population are imperative, while programs that demonstrate the ability to make a significant difference in the lives of smaller groups of students with unique interests or talents are also of importance.
How are technology-oriented grants funded?
The Spaulding Education Fund supports and encourages the use of technology among teachers to further district goals, enhance the educational experience for students, and better prepare them for life in the 21st century.
Expenditures for this program must be made for items of significant lasting value. These items include:
- Software/Software Licenses
- Peripheral Devices
- Minor infrastructure improvements
What kind of project will not be considered for funding?
The Spaulding Education Fund will not approve projects that are funded by the school budget such as basic supplies, or the development and continuation of programs that are within the current curriculum. Grant requests to fund sports-related initiatives that are not directly tied to the school's curriculum will also not be considered. If the proposed project has other potential sources of funding, such as outside grants, state funding or the PTO, that information should be disclosed and will be considered. Grants involving technology will be forwarded to the district technology committee for review.
How many grants are awarded and how much is awarded?
Historically, SEF funds approximately 15-20 grants annually. Grant applications come from Essex Elementary School, Manchester Memorial School and the Middle and High School. SEF funds approximately $60K-$75K in grants annually. Grants have ranged from $500 up to $35,000.
Who can apply for grants?
Teachers, administrators, students and parents may apply for grants. There are two grant cycles, in the fall and the spring. Please see “Forms” for exact dates. Please note that applications can be submitted at anytime, when special circumstances apply.
Who reviews and approves grants?
Grants must be approved by the principal or department head, the superintendent or curriculum director, and the Spaulding Education Fund Steering Committee. The district Technology Committee will also review grants that are technology oriented.
Does the Spaulding Education Fund have an endowment? Are you a nonprofit organization?
The Spaulding Education Fund is a 501(C) (3) non-profit organization. Our federal tax ID number is 22-3031985. SEF has no endowment, and relies solely on money raised every year to fund grants.
Does SEF accept earmarked funds?
Unrestricted funds allow the committee to work with the administration to identify the areas of greatest need and to direct grant money to those areas, in accordance with system-wide goals. If a donor has a particular area of interest or concern that he or she would like to see addressed, it is recommended that the donor contact the SEF co-chairs (Alison Daley or Rachel Fitzgibbon) directly about his/her intentions before earmarking funds.
How can I help?
In addition to financial support, volunteers can help with fundraising events. Interested parents can also volunteer to serve on the Steering Committee when there is a vacancy.
If you would like to make a donation, you may do so electronically, please click here.
Or, you may send your donation, payable to:
The Spaulding Education Fund
PO Box 192
Manchester, MA 01944
Who can I contact if I have questions about SEF?
Co-Chair Alison DaleyCo-Chair Henri Bichet