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Frequently Asked Questions for Affiliates

  • What is the West Des Moines Community Schools (“WDMCS”) Foundation?

    The Foundation began in 1988 as an independent, non-profit organization that works closely with the school district administration, staff, and community to provide resources to students. It strives to encourage student participation, creative teaching, and community-school partnerships by making donated funds available for all 13 schools in the district.

  • Is the WDMCS Foundation part of West Des Moines Community Schools?

    No. Due to state laws, the Foundation is a separate entity established to support the West Des Moines Community Schools. While the WDMCS Foundation listens and responds to needs within the district, Iowa law prohibits school employees or officials from being voting members on the WDMCS Foundation Board.

  • What types of organizations are affiliated with the WDMCS Foundation?

    The WDMCS Foundation is currently inviting all non-profit fundraising groups that support the West Des Moines Community Schools to affiliate under the financial protection of the WDMCS Foundation's financial services.

  • What groups are currently WDMCS Foundation affiliates?

    A few of our affiliates include:
    • West Des Moines Community Schools Scholarship Fund
    • Stilwell Parent Advisory Program
    • Valley/Valley Southwoods PTO
    • Valley After Prom
    • Valley Debate
    • Staff Recognition Committee
    • Valley Voices
    • Valley High School Drama Boosters

  • What are the benefits of becoming an affiliate of the WDMCS Foundation?

    The major benefit for an affiliate is the financial protection and oversight that the Foundation will provide. A few of the other benefits include the following:
    • Accounting services
    • Investment services through our established portfolio
    • Financial reporting
    • Tax preparation
    • 501(c)(3) status
    • Organizational management consultation

  • Is there a cost to becoming a Foundation affiliate?

    Yes. The fee covers the expenses of financial services, accounting oversight, licenses, and tax services.

2016 Annual Fundraising Dollars 2016 Annual Fee OR 3%, whichever is less
$0-30,000 $400
$30,001-$60,000 $700
$60,001-100,000 $1000
$100,001+ $1,500
  • How do I become a Foundation affiliate?

    Becoming a Foundation affiliate is simple. The WDMCS Foundation’s treasurer can guide you through the simple process, which includes:
    • Reviewing and signing the WDMCS Foundation affiliate agreement;
    • Establishing a bank account using the WDMCS Foundation’s Tax ID number;
    • Determining two individuals from your group as signors on the bank account. The WDMCS Foundation’s chairperson and treasurer will also be signers on the account; and
    • Submitting at least quarterly financial statements and other acceptable activity reports to the WDMCS Foundation’s treasurer.

  • Do Foundation affiliates keep their own checking/savings accounts and money?

    Yes. You will need to establish a new bank account using the WDMCS Foundation’s Tax ID number. The Foundation’s treasurer can guide you through this process. Your organization will determine two individuals from your group who will be signors on the bank account. WDMCS Foundation’s chairperson and treasurer will also be signers on the account in case individuals within your group are not available to sign.

  • Who handles the IRS compliance issues for the Foundation affiliates?

    The WDMCS Foundation will file the annual Form 990 with the IRS that will incorporate your group’s financial activity to be in compliance with IRS filing requirement.

  • Will the Foundation need access to our bank accounts and financial statements for accounting purposes if our group becomes an affiliate?

    Yes. Due to affiliate use of the Foundation’s Tax ID, banks require the inclusion of Foundation board representatives as signors on your account. Each group will also regularly submit quarterly statements to the WDMCS Foundation’s treasurer. If deemed necessary, the treasurer may request monthly statements. This will allow our treasurer to offer the proper oversight necessary to maintain IRS compliance.

  • What is expected of my organization’s treasurer if my organization becomes a Foundation affiliate?

    We will work closely with your group’s treasurer and offer accounting services so that your hard-earned fundraising dollars are safe. As an affiliate of the WDMCS Foundation, your treasurer will have the support they need to protect themselves against financial mismanagement within your organization. Your treasurer will need to submit your group’s financial statements to the Foundation for oversight; continue to oversee the checking account for your group; and follow IRS compliance rules, such as sending acknowledgement letters to donors over $250.

  • Does my organization keep its own non-profit tax payer ID or does my tax ID become the same as the Foundation’s taxpayer ID?

    No. Your organization will not keep its own non-profit tax payer ID. As an affiliate, you will use the WDMCS Foundation’s non-profit tax payer ID.

  • Do WDMCS Foundation affiliates keep their own identities (i.e. do affiliates keep their own articles and by-laws)?

    Your group may maintain its own by-laws, articles and advisory committee dedicated to your specific fund. As a Foundation affiliate, however, you are not required to keep your legal entity in place. Because Foundation affiliates are not considered separate legal entities, separate articles and by-laws are not necessary. Your organization can decide whether to maintain your own by-laws and articles based on its specific needs.

  • Are WDMCS Foundation affiliates ever required to pool their money?

    No. All of your hard-earned fundraising dollars belong to your group.

  • Is my organization still required to apply and pay for a gambling license for our raffles and other fundraisers or does the WDMCS Foundation’s annual gambling license cover us?

    No. Your organization is not required to apply and pay for a separate gambling license. The WDMCS Foundation will provide use of its gambling license in the State of Iowa and will file all necessary compliance reports (sales tax and annual gambling report) to the State of Iowa. Your group will provide and operate the fundraising activity for each gambling activity performed.

  • Is my organization required to continue paying the school district for our own liability insurance or does the WDMCS Foundation’s insurance cover affiliates?

    Yes. Your organization is required to continue to pay the school district for its own liability insurance. West Des Moines Community Schools collects information and payment from each non-profit organization and oversees each group’s liability insurance. The Foundation also pays for Foundation liability insurance to the district, just the same as every other non-profit within the district.

  • How does the WDMCS Foundation support West Des Moines Community Schools?

    In partnership with dedicated groups and individuals who wish to support our students, we have helped provide accounting services and financial management to projects such as:
    • West Des Moines Community Schools Scholarship Fund
    • Tiger Pride Supplies
    • Staff Recognition Committee
    • Valley/Valley Southwoods PTO
    • Valley Debate
    • Valley High School’s Entrepreneurship Class
    • Valley Drama Boosters
    • Valley Stadium Brick Project
    • Valley Voices
    • Valley After Prom
    • Memorial Funds
    • Endowment Funds
    • Elementary Project-Based Learning Initiatives

  • Does the WDMCS Foundation compete with organizations for fundraising?

    The WDMCS Foundation will make all efforts to NOT compete with affiliates and other school organizations that raise funds within the community. The Foundation respects the fundraisers organized by affiliates and believes that the hard-earned dollars should remain in the accounts of the affiliates.

  • Does the WDMCS Foundation raise money for particular causes?

    The Foundation will raise and distribute funds for three main causes:
    • Teacher Grants
    • WDMCS Foundation Endowment Fund
    • Student Human Services

  • How are funds distributed?

    Each affiliate group will continue distributing their funds as they have before becoming an affiliate. The Foundation funds will be available for funding projects for WDMCS teachers that are outside the scope of affiliates. The WDMCS Foundation has formed a grant review committee to review requests for funds raised by the WDMCS Foundation. When a teacher requires funding that cannot be met through an affiliate, they may fill out a Foundation grant application. The grant review committee will review the applications using established and unbiased criteria. The grants will then be sent to the WDMCS Foundation Board for a vote. Approved grant funds will then be delivered to the teacher.

  • How has the WDMCS Foundation benefited the community?

    The WDMCS Foundation partners with school administration, teachers, alumni, affiliates, and businesses. This partnership contributes to building strong successful programs within the schools, helping strengthen our schools and benefiting the entire community. We support schools within our community to ensure that the West Des Moines Community Schools continue to be educational leaders and help all students in our district.