What type of organization is the RE-1 Valley Foundation?

The Foundation is recognized as a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service and Colorado Secretary of State. While the Foundation shares a name with the school district, its 501(c)(3) status means that it is completely separate entity in terms of governance and account administration. A board of directors oversees strategic goals, while an executive director implements these goals and finds appropriate funding avenues to achieve them. The board of directors is composed of several different community members from varying backgrounds.

As a recognized nonprofit, the organization must follow certain guidelines, including:

  • A minimum of 65% of expenses must be on activities directly related to our nonprofit mission (Colorado Secretary of State recommendation)

  • A minimum of 33% of our five-year revenue must come from public contribution (as opposed to investment income)

Our organization demonstrates compliance with these guidelines with annual government filings, including its Charitable Organization Report (Colorado Secretary of State) and Form 990 tax return (IRS).

Why establish a 501(c)(3)?

Public school foundations often times serve as a catalyst for change in education at a local level. In communities that prioritize education, Foundations serve as the framework for giving. Here are some advantages of school foundations:

  • The primary focus of the Foundation is fund raising, handling, and distribution. Schools often don't have the time or manpower to commit to strategic funding.

  • Contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations are tax deductible. Larger strategic gifts can have additional tax advantages for donors, depending on the type of asset donated.

  • The Foundation is meant to be a permanent fixture that creates financial opportunities for all schools in the district. Booster clubs and parent organizations often focus on resources needed at a smaller level.

  • Restricted Donations:  Restricted donations are funds that must be used how the donor instructs. Foundations are equipped to handle both large and small, short term and long term restricted donations. Foundations are legally obligated to ensure that funds reach their designated purpose (as long as that purpose falls within 501(c)(3) guidelines). Our 501(c)(3) designation means that we commit to an additional degree of oversight.

    • Short Term: Short term restricted donations usually fall under special fundraising initiatives conducted by the Foundation or groups who have partnered with the Foundation. Our structure allows us to manage smaller donations and pledges earmarked for larger fundraising goals. When the time comes to disburse funds, the Foundation works with all interested parties to collect pledges, ensure funds are being used appropriately, and maintain appropriate reporting documentation.


    • Long Term: Long term restricted donations are larger donations meant to serve a specific interest in the district for a defined amount of time. These gifts often offer special tax advantages for the donor depending on the type of asset donated.  The donor helps define criteria for the funds and they are often invested to help the donation achieve its maximum impact. These donations often times take the form of scholarship funds or long term grant funds for specific curriculum areas or programs.


*When the RE-1 Foundation receives restricted donations that must be held for a period of time (fundraising and long term), they are  held in completely separate accounts and are not intermingled with regular funds.

How are Foundation activities funded?

Foundation programs are funded by public contributions and investment funds.


Operations & Programs Fund
Annual programs and administrative expenses are funded in part by investment income from the Foundation operations & programs fund. With careful financial guidance and continued public support of our programs, this fund ensures the Foundation’s longevity for years to come.


Public Contributions

The Foundation’s public 501(c)(3) status stipulates that a minimum of 33% of its five-year revenue come from public contribution (rather than the investment income on its long term funds). Because the majority of our administrative expenses can be funded by investment income, public contributions go entirely toward what the donor specifies. However, we always appreciate contributions earmarked for our overhead.


Scholarship Funds
The Foundation holds six separate scholarship funds. These funds have separate accounting and are used exclusively for scholarship awards.

  • Curtis Long Memorial Scholarship

  • Rotarian Marcia Luce Memorial Scholarship (Sterling Rotary Club)

  • George & Lillian Louderback Scholarship

  • DeBord Art Scholarship

  • Jill Hershberger Memorial

  • Sterling Miracle Players