Yes! The Murch Home and School Association/PTA is a 501(c)(3) organization, and your donation to the SOS Campaign is fully tax deductible. Please consult your tax specialist for more information.
What is most important to us is having as many families participate as possible. Therefore, if the suggested amount is simply too much, then please give whatever fits your budget. We want everyone to feel a part of the Murch community and to donate to SOS in recognition and support of the needs of the school and the hard work of Murch staff.
Our HSA reviews current financial projections and calculates a per child contribution that would allow us to fully fund the annual budget. We also look at what other schools in our area ask their families to donate. At Murch, an average donation of $500 per child would allow us to meet our financial goals, but it is simply a suggestion.
We mean it when we say that we'd prefer to have increased family participation at any amount. So, please donate what you can. Contributions at any amount help us get closer to our goal.
Over half of the money raised by the HSA is spent on direct educational supports. This includes after school programming, resources directly selected by staff, field trips, teacher training, and other direct resources to support our students and teachers. Another 18% is budgeted for enrichment activities and community building. This year that includes the Talent Show, 5th grade promotion, Movie Night, the Fall Fair, teacher appreciation events, and the Greenscene garden spaces. The HSA spends 15% of its budget on fundraising (largely expenses related to the annual auction event), and 16% of its budget on operations and other expenses such as custodial supplies, professional development for teachers and staff, insurance, school supplies, and audit fees. If you are curious to see the full breakdown of expenses and income, click HERE to view the full budget on the Murch website.
The HSA raises nearly all of its funds through two primary fundraisers: the SOS Campaign and the Spring Auction. Other activities throughout the year (such as the Fall Fair, the Talent Show, and the Book Fair) are primarily are designed as community events and are largely revenue-neutral for the HSA. The SOS Campaign is the most cost effective way for the school to raise money, as it doesn't require the overhead costs and volunteer hours required of other fundraising events. That means that your entire donation to the SOS Campaign is tax deductible and goes directly to educational supports at the school.
Yes! The money raised in the SOS Campaign this school year is spent during this school year on various educational platforms that directly impact your child's education including new technologies and online learning licenses, experiential field trips, after school programming, schoolwide presentations, and teaching resources for your child’s current classroom. The budget also funds several things that specifically benefit 5th graders, such as the Peer Mediator program, the 5th grade memory book and creative writing magazine. The HSA is now also covering the cost of the 5th grade promotion ceremony (historically covered by parents and 5th grade fundraising efforts).
The HSA budgets to spend annually approximately the same amount as it earns. Upon the guidance of our financial advisors, the HSA always holds 6 months worth of operating costs in our reserve fund, as the timing of our fundraising income does not always match our expenses. These reserves are the minimum suggested reserve levels for financial stability recommended by many non-profit financial professionals.
If the HSA is fortunate enough to raise more than we have budgeted this year, then the members — your family, other Murch families, and staff — determine how that money is spent through the annual budget process. In addition to our budget, the HSA board also approves off-budget spending for unexpected educational needs at Murch each year. If we exceed our goals, more money will be available to help the school with unforeseen needs. DCPS school budgets are constantly shifting based on changing priorities and enrollment, and in the current political and economic environment, Murch could easily see reduced funding next year. Additional money raised now could go to help offset any DCPS budget cuts to Murch in the spring.
If your company matches charitable donations, that is a great way to maximize your contribution to Murch. Your company’s personnel office is the best place to ask for information on how to apply for a matching donation.