School Account FAQs

questions about donations and incoming funds

Does the Alliance retain a percentage of donations?

Beginning March 1, 2017, the Alliance will retain 6% of every donation to cover necessary expenses. Donors giving online will have the option to cover this administrative fee so that the sponsored group receives 100% of the gift.

What type of funds can be accepted in a school account?

We accept a variety of contributions in support of your organization, such as:

  • Annual campaigns, phonathons, direct mail and event contributions;
  • Events payments and registrations;
  • Trip deposits (not tax-deductible).

We do not accept:

  • Raffle ticket sales or other gambling proceeds;
  • Tuition payments for Pay-for-K;
  • Contributions intended for the direct benefit of a specific individual.
What are ASB funds? 

Funds that are raised with significant involvement of students or school staff or that are raised as part of a school sponsored event are classified as ASB funds and per Washington State regulations, these funds must be held at the School District. For example, money raised at a student-run car wash would be considered ASB funds. Funds raised at a student concert would also be considered ASB, as would funds raised at any event where the donor might reasonably feel that the event was an ‘official’ school event.

If you are not sure if your fundraising event would be considered ASB activity, please contact us or your school principal.

Can ASB funds be deposited?  

ASB funds may be deposited with the Alliance, but they must be forwarded to an ASB account at the District in a timely fashion. They cannot be used to make payments directly from your Alliance account.

How do we deposit donations into our School Account?

Donations to your school account can be submitted in a number of ways.

Contributions from your donors can be sent directly to the Alliance by check or via our secure website.

  •  Check: Donors can mail donations by check directly to the Alliance. Make the check payable to ‘The Alliance for Education’ and designate your account name/number on the check or in a note accompanying the donation.
  • Via Our Secure Web Site: Donors may visit the donation page of our secure website to submit a donation to your school via credit card. The site provides a field for the donor to direct their funds to your particular school account.

As an account advisor, you may prefer to solicit donations and have donors forward their donations to you or another individual coordinating your fundraising efforts. Donations may then be submitted in a group along with a Deposit Transmittal Form for your account. Donations with a Deposit Transmittal Form may to be mailed or delivered to our office by hand.

What information needs to be collected from the donor for credit card donations? 

We need the donor’s name and address for every donation. For credit card donations we also need the Visa or Mastercard account number, the expiration date of the card and the three digit code from the back of the card.

Can the Alliance help us access the giving power of pledges and recurring gifts?

Installment or regular monthly donations paid by credit card can be a convenient way for your donors to provide on-going support to your group.   These payment options can increase total giving.  A larger gift might seem more realistic for a donor if they can pay later or make a number of installment payments over time.   

Recurring gifts provide your donors the option to support you with an ongoing monthly donation.  They can set it and forget it knowing that they are providing your group with long-term sustaining support.  

The Alliance provides your group with all the back-end support to track gifts, remind your donors and process payments.   Please contact jim@alliance4ed.org to see how you can utilize these fundraising strategies.

Does the Alliance send thank-you notes and tax receipts to donors? How quickly are they sent? 

Yes, the Alliance sends a thank you letter to each donor acknowledging his or her gift and noting tax-deductible status for the donors tax reporting purposes. Letters are sent quickly, typically within 3 days of receipt of the donation.

What is tax deductible for the donor?

There are many ways of raising money, but not all qualify as a tax-deductible gift from the donor. A general rule of thumb is to ask the question, “Did the donor receive any goods or services in return for his gift?” If the answer is yes, then the gift may not be tax-deductible.

In order to record, acknowledge, and receipt a gift correctly, the Alliance must know the specifics regarding that gift. Account Advisors are responsible for providing information necessary to determine tax-deductibility. Before your organization conducts any type of fundraising other than soliciting simple contributions, please consult with our staff regarding different types of gifts and what we need to know about your fundraising campaign activities.

The activities listed below are just some of the things that require additional information:

  • Auctions 
  • Ticket Sales 
  • Item Sales 
  • Commemorative Bricks and Tiles 
  • In-Kind Gifts 
  • Student activity/trip deposits 
How can donors make a donation of stock?

To ensure the proper credit to your account, send a completed stock transfer form to the Alliance for Education. Stock transfer transactions are anonymous (no donor is identified) when they reach our broker, so this form is the only way we can identify the contribution. Please contact jim@alliance4ed.org to request a form.

How can donors make life-income gifts?

Life-income gifts such as annuities, charitable trusts and bequests, may require legal documents executed by all parties. The Alliance for Education must be consulted as early as possible on how to proceed. Please contact jim@alliance4ed.org for more information.

How does the Alliance help collect outstanding pledges from donors? 

The Alliance will mail monthly pledge reminders to donors at all pledge levels with outstanding gifts.

 

questions about purchases and use of donated funds

What can account funds be used for?
  • Classroom supplies
  • Fundraising supplies and expenses
  • Food/Beverages for meetings, events, etc
  • Professional development and training
  • Consulting or contractor services in compliance with Washington law.
  • Direct payments to School Self-Help or other accounts at the District – salaries for teachers, aides, counselors, etc and any other school related expense. 
What cannot be purchased with account funds?
  • Direct payments to teachers or District employees. Funds may be forwarded to the District for staff time, but may not be paid directly.
  • Direct payment of employee compensation, wages or salaries of any kind.
  • Reimbursement to third parties for payment of employee compensation, wages or salaries of any kind.
  • Reimbursement to third parties for payment to individuals for professional services. Individuals may be paid for services, but they must be paid directly. 
What is Use Tax? And how does this affect account purchases? 

Goods or certain services used in Washington State are subject to either sales or use tax unless specifically exempted. The tax applies regardless of where, or from whom, the property is purchased.

What does this mean for you? When you purchase items online or from out-of-state, even though the vendor may not charge sales tax, tax must be paid to Washington State. For School Accounts, The Alliance for Education reports and pays this tax for all applicable purchases. We calculate the tax (currently 9.5%), record the charge to your account, and forward the sales tax to the state on a quarterly basis. When these charges occur, you will see them coded as “Use Tax” on your activity reports.

We want to make sure that you are aware of this requirement and have full information when choosing between in and out-of-state vendors.

In-state vendors must itemize sales tax on any receipt or invoice, otherwise the state requires payment of Use Tax. Please retain and forward original itemized receipts for any reimbursements as documentation and proof of tax payment.

If you’d like more information on Use Tax requirements in Washington State, please refer to the Washington Department of Revenue website.

Why do I need original receipts for reimbursement?

If we have your original receipts, your reimbursement is exempt from IRS reporting requirements. 

Reimbursements with documentation other than an original receipt (such as a receipt copy) may be made, but they are subject to IRS reporting requirements. If they total more than $600 in the calendar year they must be reported on a 1099 form as miscellaneous income. We will request a W-9 form for reimbursements without original receipts that exceed $200 so that we have the information on file that we may need for year-end reporting.