Since its inception in 1980, the Corte Madera Larkspur Schools Foundation (SPARK) has played an important role in financially supporting programs that are at risk of being cut or scaled back in the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District. In an ongoing effort to share as much information as possible, here are the most recent financial data available from the 2013-2014 school year (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014):




Revenue Sources 2013-2014

Last year,  the Foundation raised just shy of its fundraising goal of $1.25M with a total gross revenue of  $1.214M. Our commitment to the District was $1M. Due to the generosity of our families, Biz partners, and other community members, we were able to meet our commitment and have a surplus of $23K that has been rolled over into the 2014-15 spend plan.

SPARK’s largest source of revenue was generated from the Annual Giving Campaign, which made up 75% ($886K) and marked the 5th straight year in a row of hitting a new fundraising record for the Foundation. Thanks to  generous local and family business supporters, SPARK Biz maintained its 6% share ($69K) of gross revenue from the previous fiscal year. In 2013-2014, SPARK’s three fundraising events — Golf Tournament 5% ($55K);  Spring Spotlight (formerly known as the Fashion Show) 4% ($49K); and Online Auction 8% ($100K) — combined raised 17% ($204K) of the gross revenue. eScrip contributions contributed 2% ($28K), which is down from 2012-2013. Revenues for Golf, Annual Giving, and Spring Spotlight experienced an increase from 2012-2013. The Foundation did not hold an auction event this year and, instead, launched an Online Auction.

Note: For the purposes of this outline, numbers were rounded to the nearest thousand and percentage.

District Support 2013-2014

Revenue from the Foundation makes up nearly 7% of the overall District operating budget. In 2013-2014, with its $1.02M gift to the District, SPARK helped fund salaries and benefits for 12 teachers to support MAST programs:

  • 3 Music specialists
  • 3 Art specialists — including a new Digital Arts program at Hall
  • 2 Science specialists
  • 4 Technology specialists

SPARK also funded materials and supplies that included:  digital art equipment at Hall, science materials at Hall and Neil Cummins, technology equipment District-wide, Library books at The Cove, and  5th-grade Outdoor Science Program at Hall. In addition, some funds were granted to each school site to support teacher stipends for MAST-related, after-school programs and new-teacher mini-grants to help them set up their classrooms.  The breakdown for MAST was: $247K for Music;  $298K for Art;  $180K for Science (including $30K for Outdoor Education); $264K for Technology (which includes equipment for the District); $11K for Stipends; $5K for Library; and $16K for the library set up at the Cove School.


Operating Expenses

As a non-profit foundation, SPARK strives to keep its SG&A and fundraising costs to a minimum. Overhead expenses totaled $78K, which include bank charges, postage, office supplies, database software, and 2 part-time staff (an Operations Director and Bookkeeper). This accounts for 6% of gross revenues.

Fundraising expenses totaled $93K, which included all costs associated with event production (catering, venue rental, decor as well as directory printing, and marketing assets). This is a decrease of nearly $70K from the previous year because there was no auction event. This accounts for 8% of gross revenues. Of the $1,214,000 raised in 2013-2014, just over $1,000,000 went directly to the District to pay for programs, teacher salaries, and materials at the three schools.

For financial information on previous year 2012-2013, click here.