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St. Lawrence Central considers use of foundation for contributions

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BRASHER FALLS - The St. Lawrence Central School District is considering using the Northern New York Community Foundation in Watertown to handle donations for the school.

Superintendent Stephen M. Putman said they had discussions in the past about setting up their own non-profit foundation at the school.

“I had looked into it a couple of years ago,” he told board of education members this week.

After speaking to the district’s attorney, Mr. Putman said he learned it would be a lengthy and costly process to set up a non-profit foundation.

But he also later learned that, rather than tackling it themselves, they could contract with the Northern New York Community Foundation, who would handle donations directed to the school.

Other schools, including Potsdam, Canton and Edwards-Knox are already working with the foundation, according to Mr. Putman.

The Massena Music Friends, a group that had formed to support the Massena Central School’s music program, recently opted to contract with the foundation rather than go through the paperwork and cost of becoming a non-profit themselves.

Mr. Putman noted that the foundation “allows for planned giving,” such as for people who choose to leave a donation to the school in their wills or estates.

“They can also give money directly to the school,” he pointed out. “(The foundation) would be for possible charitable contributions we could use. I think the foundation gives greater possibilities for someone who might be inclined to make a bigger donation.”

The Northern New York Community Foundation raises, manages and administers an endowment and collection of funds for the benefit of the community. Their executive director is Rande S. Richardson.

“He’d be willing to come and do a presentation to the board,” Mr. Putman said.

Mr. Richardson will be invited to attend December’s board meeting to talk about what they can offer before board members make a decision on whether or not to contract with the organization.

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