LPS Staff Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Foundation do?
The Foundation for LPS is all in for kids. In our 30+ years of service to LPS, numerous community leaders and talented volunteers have committed to building the resources needed to help support the Lincoln school district. As an independent 501(c)3 organization, we are devoted to raising philanthropic funds for things tax dollars cannot provide. We provide access to educational opportunities for all students, regardless of their background. We help donors make a difference by connecting them with schools' areas of greatest need.
Who can I contact from the Foundation team to help answer my questions?
Please browse this page to see if your questions are on this FAQ. Otherwise, please reference this list and visit our staff page to connect.
- Gary - Fund a Need & Stu Elliott Student Assistance Fund
- Cassidy - Scholarships, Awards, and Grants
- Lindsay - Spark Summer Learning
- Alicia - Fund Activity
- Jordan - Student Emergency Fund
- Angelina - General questions
Does my school have a fund?
Yes, your school has a Fund for Excellence managed by your school's principal. Each fund depends on gifts from donors, so balances vary between schools.
Can I donate to a specific school?
Yes, you can do so through our main donation page. Please enter the school's name in the field that asks for a specific fund, and we will ensure it gets designated to that school's Fund for Excellence. The school's principal manages this fund.
How do I access my school's Fund for Excellence?
Contact your building principal. Each school's fund is managed by its principal and is spent at their discretion.
What do I do if someone wants to give to my school?
You can encourage a donor to give to your school's Fund for Excellence Fund or contribute to Fund a Need campaigns from your school awaiting funding. If the donor wants to make a more significant donation, we encourage you to connect them with Gary Reber (email@example.com) here at the Foundation to discuss details.
What is Fund a Need?
Fund a Need is the Foundation's crowdfunding platform, a unique way to connect our generous community directly to teachers and students in need. Teachers can submit proposals for needs that tax dollars do not cover. These are then posted on Fund a Need so donors can give to the areas of greatest need in our schools or areas of specific interest.
If I set up a Fund a Need; how do I access my funds?
Please wait until you receive an email from the Foundation with instructions on how to proceed with requesting funds. Fund a Need gifts can only be spent once a campaign is complete.
Can I set up an Amazon wishlist?
Unfortunately not, but we encourage you to use our Fund a Need website, a crowdfunding platform.
I am a fund administrator; how do I access my funds?
- Reports are sent quarterly to all fund administrators with fund balances so you know how much you must spend.
- Use our online Request for Fund forms [link] (have your receipt/invoice ready to attach).
- The most common methods of reimbursement are:
- Reimburse an LPS account (sales tax does not apply)
- Pay a vendor directly (sales tax may apply)
- Reimburse an individual (sales tax may apply)
Where can students apply for scholarships?
We open our scholarship application on the first Monday of December. The Foundation uses Community Force, an online scholarship platform that allows students to apply for over 100 scholarships with just one application. Check with your school counselor or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What scholarships does the Foundation offer?
The Foundation offers an extensive array of scholarships suited to several focus areas. Please read the Scholarship Handbook for specific scholarships and their requirements.
How do I help a student whose family struggles to pay for basic needs (rent, food, gas, etc.)?
The Foundation's Student Emergency Fund can provide up to $200 in support per family per school year – until the fund is depleted.
Families do not apply. An LPS staff person, often a social worker or someone in the main office at your school, applies on behalf of the family. Please work with them to fill out a request.
How do I help a student who can't afford to (e.g., participate in show choir, finish a research project, participate in a club/competition, repair a broken instrument, etc.)?
The Foundation has the Stu Elliott Student Assistance Fund that helps students with financial needs fully participate in their LPS experience.
Students do not apply, but LPS staff can apply to this fund on behalf of a student in need.
Does the Foundation have fees on gifts?
Yes, we have a small, one-time administrative fee on all gifts.
Can I apply for a grant from the Foundation?
While the Foundation is not a typical grant-making foundation, we have several grants for schools, teachers, and students. For available grants and deadlines, click here.
I want to nominate a peer for an educator award - where do I start?
You can start on our website. Here, you'll find a list of awards that recognize outstanding educators. Each award has detailed information and a link to nominate an educator that fits the eligibility criteria. Nominations will be accepted during February.