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School Council FAQ

Why do you charge a 3.5% fee?

As a charity, EducationMatters has to be 100% transparent on the cost of fundraising and must try to recover costs associated with our operations and services. While CBE has not passed on the costs of donation processing previously, this work has taken staff time and resources that could be better spent supporting schools. This transition will create greater efficiencies by reducing duplicated work between EducationMatters and the CBE, and allowing EducationMatters staff to focus on working with the community to provide more educational opportunities for students.

Which donations are eligible for tax receipts?

Anything considered to be an enhancement, and not a core educational responsibility of the government, is eligible for a tax receipt. So while EducationMatters can’t pay for teacher salaries, transportation for daily attendance or building expenses, we can support things like reading books, math manipulatives, extra technology, play equipment, field trips, residencies, basic needs, and much more. As per charitable law, a donation cannot be directed to a specific student – the gift has to benefit a group of students (a whole school, or a specific student demographic such as ‘special needs’, ‘Indigenous’, ‘financial need’, group of students in a club or program, etc) or through an application process, a student award. Charitable receipts for any fee payment are not eligible.

What if we don’t need a tax receipt?

It’s possible to transfer or donate money to EducationMatters without receiving a tax receipt – see the ‘Transferring Funds’ area of our website. Any time you wish to deposit funds into you school’s account you will need to do it either through the website, via EFT, through a cheque made payable to EducationMatters, or with cash. We will only issue a tax receipt for eligible gifts and when we have all the appropriate contact details for a donor – if you need further guidance on whether your donation is receiptable, please contact us for more information .

Can we use EducationMatters to raise funds for teacher appreciation dinners and events?

Generally, no. EducationMatters works on behalf of students, and any funds we collect have to directly benefit them. Buying new books for the school library and adding a dedication to staff members would be eligible, as would certain Professional Development opportunities for school staff, but paying for food during parent/teacher conferences or staff meetings would not be applicable.

Our society has their own CRA number, do we still have to go through you?

If your council/society is set up to issue its own tax receipts and wish to continue to do that then you absolutely can! EducationMatters can help your group avoid the administration (and CRA reporting requirements) if you are interested and we’re happy to take over that function for you. As with other charitable entities, your society/council will still need to  provide a grant to EducationMatters to enable the funds to be deposited into your school account.

How does our Council/Society access funds?

EducationMatters deposits funds directly into your school’s account. When we set up your fundraising page or accept donations via gift-matching entities we always ensure that the donor’s wishes are followed, so, for example, if you run a campaign to buy reading books, your Principal will sign an agreement to only spend that money on those books. We can hold onto funds until a fundraising threshold is hit, disburse funds quarterly, or disburse funds monthly depending on the needs of the school.

Does my school need a separate fundraising page to receive funds?

No! Any donor can use the generic ‘Donate to a CBE School’ form and select your school from a drop-down menu. For most donations this is sufficient – a separate page is useful when you have a larger project or initiative that you’d like to better explain to your community or for when you want funds directed to a specific area.

Does my school need to set up a fund with EducationMatters to accept donations?

No, we can process and disburse donations on behalf of your school without a separate fund being set up. The benefit of establishing a fund is that EducationMatters will provide your Council/Society with a fund statement enumerating how much your fund raised in a given year, as well as exactly how the funds were disbursed. Fund statements are typically shared in late spring/early summer.

What if people want to give cash or cheques?

Cheques should be made payable to EducationMatters and mailed to us at the Education Centre (your school can also send them through inter-office mail). Ideally, cash should be deposited in your Society bank account then either transferred using the online payment form or sent over as a cheque. Keep a spreadsheet of donor names, addresses, contact details, and donation amount and we’ll manually issue tax receipts to them in office.

Do you send the funds to the council or the school?

EducationMatters always deposits funds raised directly into your school’s account. Prior to depositing, we send your Principal a Gift Agreement which outlines exactly what the funds raised should be spent on based on direction from your school society/council.