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Giving to Lab

Donor FAQs

What is the Lab Innovation Fund?

The Lab Innovation Fund is our new annual giving campaign, which helps strengthen the educational experience for all students. While Charlotte Lab School’s core program is financially sustainable on the public, per-pupil revenue that we receive from the state and county each year, we depend on philanthropic support to fully implement our vision of providing 21st century learning in a small, nurturing environment.

Each year, Charlotte Lab School’s Board and leadership team prepare an annual operating budget and the Lab Innovation Fund helps bridge the funding gap between the public funding available and our ambitious goals. As a charter school, Charlotte Lab School receives a specified amount of public money for each enrolled child; however, we do not receive funds for land, buildings, and renovations or for complimentary lunch, after school, and transportation for students who come from economically disadvantaged households.

How important is my participation?

Very important! We ask that every family make a donation to the annual fund at a level that is personally meaningful. By making a gift to the Lab Innovation Fund, you are demonstrating your commitment to the community.

Does my gift really matter?

Yes! No gift is too small; every dollar raised helps provide an even more robust educational opportunity for our students. Thank you for making a gift at a level that feels right.

How long will the Innovation Fund campaign run?

The campaign will run through May 1, 2017. All unrestricted gifts made after the beginning of this fiscal year and prior to May 1, 2017 will count toward this year’s Lab Innovation Fund.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

As a registered 501c3 organization, your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent provided by law. Donations will be recognized with a charitable gift receipt.

Will my company match my gift?

Many companies will match charitable contributions their employees give to schools thereby increasing the impact of your donation. Here is a partial list of companies with matching gift programs. In most cases, donors must request a match directly from the company and Charlotte Lab School will be notified of the pending match. If your company requires a charitable gift receipt before you can request the match, please contact Susannah Lund, Director of Strategy & Philanthropy.

What other fundraising activities can I expect this year?

It is important that you know what fundraising initiatives you can expect each year. The Innovation Fund will be the only fundraising campaign for operating support this fiscal year, which ends June 30. There may be some student and PTSO-led fundraising efforts during the school year as well.

Are Lab Families expected to provide all of the philanthropic dollars for the school?

No. Individuals (including lab families, board members, faculty, staff, grandparents, and friends of the school) have provided approximately 46% of the philanthropic dollars raised since we opened. We have been very fortunate to receive two major national grants and gifts from several local foundations to help with our planning year, start-up costs, diversity efforts, playground construction, maker lab, and more! See our chart of Funding Sources 2015-2016 for more information.

We also receive corporate support and in-kind donations from many of our lab families, which help off-set operating costs and other expenses. While it is very challenging to raise annual operating support from corporate sponsors and foundations, our staff and volunteer Grants Committee continues to research and apply for grants for both operating expenditures and project/program-specific funds. If you have any ideas for grant opportunities or would like to help, please contact Susannah Lund, Director of Strategy & Philanthropy.

Will I be recognized for my contribution? May I donate anonymously?

You will receive a letter acknowledging your gift, which can be used for tax purposes. Charlotte Lab School is a registered nonprofit organization and donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent provided by law. If you wish for your gift to remain anonymous, please indicate your preference on your gift form or by emailing Susannah Lund.

I want to designate my gift for a specific purpose. Will it count toward the Innovation Fund?

The Innovation Fund raises unrestricted funds, which allows us to direct funds to the school’s highest priorities. Please contact Susannah Lund, Director of Strategy & Philanthropy, to discuss your gift idea.

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