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Frequent Questions


What is the San Marino Schools Foundation?
The San Marino Schools Foundation (SMSF) is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1980 to help provide financial support to the San Marino Unified School District (SMUSD). Tax ID # 95-3507283

What does the Foundation do?
The San Marino Schools Foundation exists solely to raise funds for San Marino public schools. The Foundation is responsible for funding 20 teaching positions in the SMUSD budget each year, which saves courses from being eliminated, and ensures smaller class sizes across all San Marino public schools. The Foundation Trustees are volunteers from the community, dedicated to raising funds required each year to maintain exceptional academics in all four San Marino schools. Throughout the past 43 years, the Foundation has raised over 62 million for the District. SMSF does this by raising funds from all throughout the San Marino and greater San Gabriel Valley communities, building partnerships with corporate and local businesses, and promoting the importance of exceptional public education. These funds help support academic excellence, as well as, the overall well-being of SMUSD students. SMSF funds help pay for full time teaching positions at each of the four school sites.

Is SMSF connected to the school district?
SMSF is a completely separate organization from SMUSD.

Who is Team SMSF?
SMSF is governed by our Board of Trustees, comprised of about 20-30 members, most being current parents of SMUSD students. Trustees represent all four school sites and bring a broad range of expertise including fundraising, volunteering, law, finance, nonprofit management, languages, and so much more. Board meetings are open to the public every month, and we encourage your attendance. Please visit our Team SMSF page for dates and time of our monthly Board meetings.

Who benefits from SMSF?
Students, parents, teachers, and staff of SMUSD, as well as, the greater San Marino community all benefit from the strong San Marino Schools.

Why do public schools need private donations?
Our school district is among one of the lowest-funded districts in the state of California.

Why should I donate?
The schools, teachers and all of our children depend on the Foundation for $2 million each year. The Foundation relies almost entirely on the commitment of parents to raise the money required each year to fund 20 teaching positions at the four schools. The Foundation needs all parents that value the high quality of education that our kids deserve to join our winning team and support the mission. Together, we can ensure our schools continue to provide a great education and academic excellence for our children. 

We strive for 100% donor participation, so any amount helps the cause and is appreciated.
So please donate to the Foundation to support all our students, and please also support the PTA and other groups that provide enrichment for our San Marino students. Pulling together will ensure our kids get the best education and student experiences that San Marino schools can provide.

The suggested donation is $2500 per child but every donation, regardless of the amount, is greatly appreciated and will impact our students.

How Can I Donate to the Foundation?
You can:

  • Send a check directly to the Foundation offices located at 1665 West Drive
  • Make an online donation here
  • Make a stock donation of any amount
  • Designate your United Way gift to SMSF
  • Ask your employer about matching gift opportunities

Who contributes to SMSF?
Gifts of any size come from individual SMUSD families, San Marino community members, corporate contribution programs, foundations, and local businesses. 

Why does the district need me to donate, don't my property and parcel taxes cover the cost of education?
The schools need your support. The main sources of SMUSD funding are State and Federal sources. SMUSD property taxes do not generate enough for our four schools and the School District receives state subsidies and other sources to make up for the difference. 
The Foundation's annual grant and other miscellaneous sources cover 4% or $2M of the total revenues of the SMUSD. This donation pays for 20 teaching positions, 5 at each of the four schools. 

How is donating to PTA different from donating to The Foundation?

  • The Schools Foundation, PTAs and Boosters are the three main groups of community volunteers that fundraise in support of San Marino schools and students.
  • The PTAs plan and organize many wonderful enrichment activities and events, at each school, throughout the school year, and the Boosters support the sports, arts and competition teams at the high school.
  • The San Marino Schools Foundation objective is to fund Academics and the Classroom. All three organizations are important to our students, but the Foundation fundraising applies to all students in the school district.

Why should I give to SMSF if I've already given to PTA or Boosters?
San Marino Schools boast a variety of necessary fundraising organizations, making it challenging for parents to know where to allocate their donations. While it's natural for parents to focus on their child's specific activities as they grow up, it's important to remember that the programs supported by the Foundation benefit ALL students in the District. It's crucial for everyone to share the responsibility of supporting the Foundation, as it's the only organization that funds certificated teaching salaries within the District.

YES, please donate to the Foundation, your PTA and Boosters! We are all in this together.

Who can I call with questions about school funding, and how my donations are used?
Kathryn Oliveros, Foundation Manager: - (626) 299-7014

Ambassador Business Partners

  • Chinese School of San Marino
    Chinese School of San Marino
  • California American Water
    California American Water
  • WHH Foundation
    WHH Foundation
  • Tina Siu