Every year the Schools Fund receives and distributes funds to support an array of unique programs through Donor Directed Funds or Fiscal Sponsorships. The Schools Fund is the primary provider of fiscal sponsor services for programs and projects in Berkeley schools. Groups or individuals who have arranged to support or provide a specific activity in the schools and need the funds to be administered by a 501(c)(3), can enter into a fiscal sponsorship agreement with the Schools Fund. The administrative fee charged is 5% of the deposit to the fund.
Donor Directed funds are dedicated for specific or broadly-defined purposes and receive support from multiple or individual sources, businesses or community members. Here are just a few examples of donor dedicated funds:
Bayer Science Enrichment
Bayer is committed to STEM education in Berkeley schools through an annual contribution that supports K-8 science, including the Be A Scientist program in all 7th grade classes, professional and curriculum support for K-5 teachers, and elementary school science fairs. Bayers’ generous support plays a significant role in science education from kindergarten to 8th grade.
BUSD Music Districtwide
Schools Fund donors can elect to contribute to music education, annually supporting a variety of activities and needs across BUSD, including the Music in the Schools program of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. There’s also a specific fund that provides scholarships for private music lessons for middle school students, the Boatwright Weinstein Fund. Students that have skill and interest, and qualify as low-income by the District, are identified by District music teachers to receive private lessons to strengthen their musical education and expand opportunity. Currently 10-15 students a year are awarded private music lessons. Donations can be made to the Boatwright/Weinstein Fund.
Homeless Student Support
3 – 4% of Berkeley public school students are homeless in a given school year. Transient housing affects students’ physical, academic, and social well-being. The Homeless Support Fund provides assistance to help normalize these students’ school experiences.