Direct Appeal FAQs
Q: What is Direct Appeal?
A: Direct Appeal is the main fundraising event for Mt. Washington PTA (“MWPTA”). We finance many of the valuable educational supports and enrichments at Mt. Washington Elementary that are not fully funded by LAUSD, including an intervention teacher, classroom aides, psychiatric social worker, physical education, and much more. All contributions to Direct Appeal directly benefit our school and are 100% tax deductible. Click to see what we spend the money on for Direct Appeal.
Q: How much do you recommend donating for Direct Appeal?
A: While the MWPTA spent over $600 per student for the 2023/2024 school year, we ask that each family contribute what is reasonable and within their means. Everything we raise during Direct Appeal goes directly towards paying for school services. It is our hope that 100% of our MWE families participate, but we understand that every family's financial situation varies. With this in mind, donations generally start at $20 and can go as high as parents wish. For parents who have the means to contribute more, we ask that you consider the families at Mt. Washington Elementary who are not able to contribute. Prior to the strikes, 15% of our community was considered socioeconomically disadvantaged. Moreover, the Direct Appeal survey indicates that 32.4% of our community is affected by the strikes. Of those affected, 17.4% have lost their income entirely and 43.5% have lost their income between 50-75%. For those of us not affected by the strikes, I ask that we consider those who are and consider bumping up your donation by 10-20%. #MWEtogether
For the families who are looking for an exact amount of how exactly how much to donate, we offer the below sliding scale based on income. To emphasize, the below amounts are just suggestions. Donate what you can. Every dollar is appreciated.
- Less than $50k/year, suggested donation = $120 or $15/month for 8 months
- $50 – 100k/year, suggested donation = $400 or $50/month for 8 months
- $100 – 150k/year, suggested donation = $1,000 or $125/month for 8 months
- $150 – 200k/year, suggested donation = $2,000 or $250/month for 8 months
- More than $200k/year, suggested donation = $4,000 or $500/month for 8 months
- Or, if you’re a new family, and it's within your reach, we would appreciate a donate the equivalent of three month’s preschool tuition.
Q: What is a Matching Program?
A: Many companies set aside annual charitable contribution funds to match their employees' donations to 501(c)(3) organizations dollar for dollar or more. Please check with your HR department to determine whether they will match your contribution. It’s a winning combination: more funds for Mt. Washington Elementary and a tax deduction for your company.
Q: How do I know if my company will match my donation?
A: Ask your HR department or check the Charity Navigator to see if your company's program is listed.
Q: Is my contribution tax deductible?
A: Yes. 100% of your contribution is tax deductible. MWPTA is a 501(c)(3) Organization. MWPTA's Federal Tax ID number is 95-6208664.
Q: The Direct Appeal ask seems like a large amount?
A: Every year, the MWPTA fundraises for resources to support the social emotional and academic needs of all our students. Most of our money goes toward the purchase of positions, such as teacher assistants, psychiatric social worker (PSW), school psychologist, visual & performing arts teachers, etc. The salary for these positions increases every year, hence the need to increase the Direct Appeal ask. The money raised goes directly back into our children's school environment, like dance, P.E., TAs, etc.
Currently, our school has added an extra layer of support, the intervention teacher, for students who have difficulties with reading proficiently and we've seen the positive results in our children's test scores, which Mrs. Gravino discussed extensively at Back to School Night. We've seen the results to see that our money is well spent. If you'd like more details, please feel free to email June at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What is an Intervention Teacher?
A: This specialized teacher provides support and assistance to students who are experiencing difficulties with reading foundational skills. They provide intensive and effective instructional interventions for students who struggle in reading. They also provide daily intensive small group instruction which supplements classroom literacy teaching. This teacher infuses social emotional learning and behavior supports into reading instruction to build growth mindset and self-efficacy in struggling readers.
Q: What services does the Psychiatric Social Worker provide?
A: The school-based Psychiatric Social Worker (PSW) is responsible for educating and supporting mental wellness, promoting a positive school climate, and social-emotional development for the general population. Services may include linkage/referrals to community agencies and resources.
We also have a district paid school psychologist, but she is responsible solely for conducting testing and assessments to determine eligibility for special ed services. The psychologist may also provide counseling to SPED students, if services are offered through the IEP.
Q: What if I want to contribute, but don't have all the funds right now?
A: We have a recurring payment plans available online here that takes the amount of your donation and applies it evenly over 8 months.
Q: Is it better to make a one-time or monthly donation?
A: Whichever choice is right for you and helps maximize your donation.
Q: Can I donate with a check?
A. Yes absolutely! We take donations in all forms. For checks, please mail the check (payable to “Mt. Washington PTA”) to: MWPTA, 3981 San Rafael Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Q: Does MWPTA accept donations from non-Mt. Washington Elementary members?
A: Absolutely. We accept donations from relatives, friends, anyone who might want to contribute.
Q: Why do we have fundraisers if we have Direct Appeal?
A: Fundraising is essential to provide the high quality of education that is offered to all students at Mt. Washington Elementary. Because we are not a Title I school, we often lack the funding to provide some essential educational support systems. As such, fundraisers are held throughout the year to help bridge the budget gap between what we raise from Direct Appeal and what is needed to fund all of our programs. These events are generally fun for the kids and a great way for the parents to connect with our Mt. Washington community.
Q: I'm unable to financially contribute - is there another way I can help?
A: Absolutely! We understand that everyone's financial situation is different and vary year to year or even month to month. We also love getting help from our students' families through volunteering.
Q: Why do we fundraise now for the following year?
A: The school's deadline to submit their budget to LAUSD is just after the new year, which means we need to determine what educational supports and programs we can fund typically by February. In making that determination, MWPTA's budget committee works with the principal and take into account: (1) the funds raised during the Direct Appeal Campaign, (2) input from parents through the Needs Assessment survey, (3) data from our children's test scores.
Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about Direct Appeal?
A: We hope these explanations help you understand what Direct Appeal is and why we hold this critical fundraiser year after year. But if you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to email June Yang at email@example.com.