Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who does the Education Foundation of Niagara support?

The Education Foundation of Niagara’s mandate is to fundraise for students and schools of the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN). Our SparkFund platform supports approved projects put forth by DSBN schools.

2. How does SparkFund work?

We make it easy to raise funds online for projects and programs for your school! Through the Foundation’s SparkFund platform, you can personalize your school’s fundraising campaign for an approved project, letting you raise the funds needed to make your project soar! Create a project! Set a fundraising goal and share your story!

3. What projects qualify for SparkFund?

Supported projects enhance delivery of the Ontario curriculum in schools. They should be broad and lasting in their impact, allowing schools to support student success. 

Projects that qualify for consideration tend to fall within the broad categories of:     

  • The Arts  
  • Character Education
  • Healthy Active Living
  • Innovative Practices
  • Outdoor Education and Environmental Stewardship
  • Social Justice  
  • Technology
  • Student Financial Need (Poverty Relief)
  • Other

Example:  SparkFund Project, COMPUTERS4CHANGE, Central Public School 

COMPUTERS4CHANGE is seeking to provide the students of Central Public School with greater access to technology. Using a blended learning model in a maker style environment, this initiative supports student learning in both English and French languages. This movement seeks to engage students through the use of chromebooks, tablets, robotics, coding, global citizenship and global collaborative learning opportunities. Our students are already becoming proficient in two languages, COMPUTERS4CHANGE seeks to empower our students further with the most globally sought after language today: coding. This new language will not only inspire them now, but provides them with skills for jobs that do not even exist yet.

4. What types of projects do not qualify for SparkFund?

  • Raising funds for an individual student (see Student Financial Need Fund)
  • Any project that raises funds for another non-profit organization
  • Funds to cover payroll costs for staff

5. How do I apply?

It’s quick and easy!  Complete and submit this application form!  Application deadlines are October 15th and February 15th.

6. How are projects selected?

Projects are evaluated and approved through the Foundation’s SparkFund Review Committee.  Members include DSBN Principals and Education Foundation Board Members. Education Foundation staff provide administrative support to the Committee.
Area Superintendents are informed of approved projects before they are launched.

7. How long does a project stay on the SparkFund platform?

Projects remain on the SparkFund for one year, with the opportunity to reapply for continuation of the project.

8. Do donors receive a charitable tax receipt for their donation?

Yes!  The Foundation is a registered charity and all donors receive a Canadian charitable tax receipt for any donation made to a specific SparkFund project. Charitable tax receipts are automatically generated on the website and emailed to donors.

9. What happens if a project is not fully funded?

If a project is not fully funded, the school will use whatever funds are raised to support their project in a reduced way. If not possible due to unexpected circumstances, funds will be re-allocated to another priority within the same school.

10. When does my school receive funds?

Donations for approved projects are sent directly to your school three times a year (December, March and June)

11. Is there a fee for this program?

Yes, there is a 5% administrative fee to cover on-line payment processing charges and a portion of related administration expenses.  For cash and cheque donations there is a 2% administrative fee.

12. Once my project is approved, how can I help it succeed?

  • Share. Tweet and Facebook to your school’s network and get the word out. Tell supporters why your project matters.
  • Connect.  Images and videos say it best! 
  • Give. Make your own personal gift to put your money where your project is.
  • Promote. Ideally, your School Council will help support the project.
  • Remember the 30% rule.  Good crowdfunding principles recommend that you try to raise at least 30% of your goal before you launch it. Talk to your personal networks – friends, family, businesses – before you start and ask them to help your project get off the ground.
  • Steward. Even once the project is funded, provide updates on its success!
  • Teacher tributes can be directed toward your project.