Frequently Asked Questions
2021-2022 School Year

Do you have questions about The Giving Campaign? We have answers! Below are some of the most frequent questions asked about the campaign. If your question is not answered below, or if you want to learn more, contact your school site representative or the PEF Office at info@piedmontedfoundation.org or by phone at 510-653-1816.

What is the Giving Campaign?

The Giving Campaign is the largest annual fundraising drive in support of the Piedmont Unified School District. Our community’s deeply held collective belief in public education unifies Piedmont and our generous community spirit helps to make our schools extraordinary. We rally around the notion that a well-educated population will enable the greater good and that we have a civic duty to sustain and support our local schools.

Why do we need a Giving Campaign?

California has severely underfunded education for over 40 years. PUSD receives about $11,000 per student per year from state funds, which is well below the national per-pupil funding average. At the same time, California is the state with the highest GDP and the third highest cost of living. Across the state, local communities have stepped up to make up the difference through local funding.

How do we make up the difference?

PUSD spends an average of about $19,000 per student per year. Of that, $11,354 comes from the government, including $354 in federal funds. Piedmont’s voter-approved parcel taxes contribute $5,506. The remaining $2,140? That’s up to us. We ask each family to consider that we need to raise $2,140 per student to meet the needs of our students and schools.

PUSD has a $46 million budget. How do they spend those funds?

The majority of the PUSD Budget is spent on teacher and student support staff salaries and benefits. The passage of Measures G & H (parcel taxes) made it possible for PUSD to increase salaries into the top 25% of teacher compensation in the greater bay area, ensuring we are able to attract and retain high-quality teachers at our schools. Piedmont also keeps its student/staff ratio low. We hire more teachers so we can keep class sizes smaller, and we ensure each student gets individualized attention with paraprofessionals and classroom aides. You can view PUSD’s detailed budget information on their website.

If we didn’t have local funding, what would be at stake?

The funds PUSD receives from government sources basically (and barely) cover the programs and services our schools are required to provide by law. Everything else — what truly sets PUSD apart — comes from parcel taxes and community contributions.

Who decides how Giving Campaign funds are spent?

Each year, PEF, PUSD, Parents’ Clubs, support groups, and community members meet to determine how to fill the gap between federal, state, and local education funding and the true cost of educating our students. Each year, the process starts anew. The Grants Committee has about 40 members. We invite the president and treasurer of each Parents Club and Support Group, a few members of the PEF board, the capital campaign co-chairs, and a few members of the non-parent community. Non-voting members include the PEF ED, Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, PUSD CFO, and a school board member. The general public is welcome to attend The committee reviews how the past year’s funds were used and determines the needs for the coming school year. The committee establishes line-item priorities and implements an algorithm for the distribution of funds spent in each area by number of students in each school and/or number of staff in a position.

What are Giving Campaign funds spent on?

Funds raised through the Giving Campaign, plus the funds raised through other PEF initiatives, less expenses, are granted to PUSD each year. With the grant, PEF provides PUSD with a line item detail of how funds are to be spent, as summarized below.

2021-2022 Funding Line Item PEF Grant Amount
Instruction Elementary Instruction $558,789
ELA & Social Science Instruction $256,722
Electives Instruction $221,639
Math Instruction $179,227
Science Instruction $163,493
PE & SPED Teachers $131,244
World Language Instruction $110,780
History Instruction $106,510
MHS Instruction $42,012
Social Psychology Instruction $840
Total PEF Contribution $1,771,257
Student Support Paraprofessionals/Instructional Aides $198,181
College & Career Center $57,730
Curriculum & Instruction Development $50,000
Reading Intervention $40,749
Math Intervention $26,123
Classroom Support $24,570
Professional Development $18,428
MHS Community Building $3,750
Total PEF Contribution $419,530
Health & Wellness MTSS Specialist $90,000
Academic Counseling $86,621
Health Clerks $83,000
Wellness Center $50,000
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion $45,000
Elementary Counseling $18,140
Differentiation Specialist $18,000
Athletics $13,525
Total PEF Contribution $404,287
Art, Library & Teacher Librarians $52,721
Technology Instructional Technology $47,261
Art & Music Instruction $42,949
Library Aides $11,995
Total PEF Contribution $154,926
Total PEF Grant to PUSD for 2021-2022 $2,750,000

What are the options for making a donation?

We try to make it as easy as possible for each family to make their financial contribution in the way that is best for them. In addition to one-time checks, payable to Piedmont Education Foundation at 401 Highland Ave, PEF offers:

  • Monthly/bimonthly/weekly/quarterly check payments – add us to your bill pay!
    • We love checks. They’re easy to process, and we don’t need to pay credit card fees on them!
  • Payroll contributions – Sign up through your company where offered
  • Gifts of stock – let us know it’s coming! Give us a call at 653-1816 or email lisa@piedmontedfoundation.org
  • Donor Advised Funds – our tax ID is 94-6426176
  • Credit card payments – online at PiedmontEdFoundation.org/Donate
    • You can also use our online portal to set up monthly credit card deductions
    • If you would like to set deductions with more (or less) frequency, give us a call!
    • Please note that your gift does not automatically renew each year. You will need to enter or provide us with your credit card information each year.
  • Does your company offer charitable gift matching? Please consider designating PEF for your match!

We deeply appreciate donations of any amount and are happy to work with you to ensure giving is as convenient for you as possible. We regret that we are unable to accept unsolicited donations of physical items or property during the Giving Campaign. Learn more about our Gift Acceptance Policy

Do you have good-quality designer clothing to donate? Would you like to purchase some gently used clothing? Please visit our wonderful partner, Dress Best for Less.

Is the annual Giving Campaign unique to Piedmont?

Most public (and private) school districts in California run an annual campaign to supplement their school funding. In the Bay Area, there are 35 education foundations that share PEF’s mission of providing sustained financial support to their schools. Annual campaigns and asks can range from $300 to $5,500 per student and vary from district to district based on need, programmatic offerings, and number of students. Private schools also have annual campaigns where families are asked to make contributions over and above tuition. The Giving Campaign in Piedmont and similar school districts is a key component to the creation and maintenance of strong programming.

Why does the Giving Campaign per-student ask go up each year?

California underfunds its schools. For the most part, California school funding remains flat from one year to the next, with an occasional cost of living adjustment. At the same time, California is actually billing public school districts increasingly higher amounts to pay down the state’s retirement plan debt. This bill cancels out the benefits of COLA adjustments and one-time grants. Meanwhile, the actual cost of doing business continues to rise. Each year costs rise in a variety of areas; teacher and staff step and column increases, liability insurance, benefits costs, maintenance, and so on. Until California makes better decisions in terms of public school funding, the Giving Campaign ask will continue to increase.

How does the Giving Campaign fit in with all the other Piedmont fundraisers?

Every fundraiser has its place. When you join your parents’ club, you are supporting school-specific activities and student events. Contributing to support groups helps with program-specific advocacy, like arts and athletics. The Giving Campaign — and all PEF fundraisers, including Spring Fling, Scrip, and  — provide a significant portion of PUSD’s annual budget funding strong classroom instruction, small class sizes, arts, music and libraries, student support and wellness initiatives.

How do I get a lawn sign?

Everyone who makes a donation by November 1 gets a lawn sign! Our Giving Campaign elves love covering Piedmont in a sea of Giving Campaign signs. And, we’ll come pick them up for you in December. 

Don’t want a lawn sign? Let us know by including a note with your gift.

Want to help distribute and pick up lawn signs? Let us know! Email Andrea@PiedmontEdFoundation.org

What is PEF?

Piedmont Education Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to provide sustained financial support to Piedmont schools through fundraising and community engagement. Our biggest project each year is the Giving Campaign. We also produce the Piedmont Student Directory, run PiedmontStore.org and PiedmontPortal.org, manage Spring Fling, assist Parents Clubs and Support Groups, and put on various fundraisers and community activities, like the Harvest Festival Carnival and Scarecrow Auction, throughout the year. PEF has a 22-member volunteer board of directors and a four-person staff. We are located at 401 Highland Ave., right above the police station and can be reached at info@piedmontedfoundation.org or 510.653.1816.

How can I learn more about PEF’s operations?

Please visit our website at PiedmontEdFoundation.org, or give us a call or stop by if you have questions. Our current year budget is below, and detailed information on our financials is linked here: https://www.piedmontedfoundation.org/about/our-mission-and-financials/

PEF spends approximately 6.5% of annual revenue on administration and fundraising.