FAQ

The DFSF works with the Dobbs Ferry schools and the Dobbs Ferry community to achieve these important goals:

1. To be a partner in the development of an exceptional system of public education by promoting excellence in all aspects of education.

2. To provide students with the resources and opportunities needed to realize his and her full potential.

What types of programs does the DFSF fund?

We fund a wide array of programs, initiatives and equipment ranging from technology to the arts to reading, writing and arithmetic to staff development to academic scholarships to building better schools. The programs may target a specific class or grade or an entire school. A list of the initiatives we have funded over our 20-year history can be found under "Grants" on this site.

How is the money raised?

We hold an annual fundraising Gala, which generates our largest source of funding. In 2017 we had our most successful Gala to date, raising over $70,000 for our schools! Individual donors, matching gifts, and public and private grants are another source of funding. To encourage our Dobbs Ferry neighbors to donate to our cause, we undertake an annual letter campaign each Fall. This has gone from strength to strength in recent years and now contributes enough to sustain our annual teacher grants each year. Corporate Matching funds are a major contributor to the appeal’s success.

How is the money spent? What is the grant process?

Each year, the District (via teachers and departments) submits grant proposals to the DFSF Board. Grants can be large or small, can be classroom, grade, subject or even school-specific. The Grants Committee appoints Grant Managers to work with teachers and advocate for the grants during the review process, and a vote is taken by board members to support the grants. In addition, we consult with district administration about how we can support strategic initiatives. In recent years we have proudly supported FLES, literacy efforts in grades 5-8, and IB MYP professional development among others.

How many board members are there, and what do they do?

As of Fall 2017, there are 21 board members. Board membership entails four broad responsibilities: to undertake committee work in support of the DFSF mission, to make a financial contribution to the organization, to attend and participate in Board meetings and to assist with annual fundraising activities. A list of board members is available under the About Us tab on this site.

How does the DFSF differ from the PTSA?

The PTSA and the DFSF are two separate organizations with a similar vision: to enrich the lives of the children in Dobbs Ferry. They go about this in fundamentally different ways. The PTSA functions within the school, acting as a liaison between the schools and the community of parents and families, and has as its main goal advocacy for every child in the district. While the PTSA raises money through various events, this is not its core purpose. Monies raised by the PTSA support specific grade-wide initiatives in all three schools. The DFSF exists to provide financial resources to enable the district to provide opportunities to students that are not possible using district budget funds alone. The DFSF operates ‘from the outside in’, working together with the principals and superintendent as well as businesses, professionals and other resources to raise money and explore/implement innovative initiatives for our District.

Can I join both the DFSF and the PTSA?

Absolutely! Many of our members belong to both organizations, and often hold Executive positions in both. The current PTSA President is a former DFSF Board member and Gala Chair, and one of the current DFSF Co-Presidents is a former PTSA Executive Committee member! The two organizations are currently working together like never before on some common initiatives.

Is it possible to volunteer my time without becoming a Board member?

Yes, we have many volunteers who help out with specific initiatives such as the Gala, or Grants, without committing to full membership. A great way to find out more is by coming to one of our upcoming board meetings. Dates are included on the Calendar tab. You can also contact our Membership Chairs Heather Lustig (hlustig@dfsfoundation.org) and Monica Shulman (mshulman@dfsfoundation.org) who will be glad to help you find a way to help that fits your interests!

Who can I contact about volunteering?

Please contact our Membership Chairs:

Heather Lustig (hlustig@dfsfoundation.org) and Monica Shulman (mshulman@dfsfoundation.org)

Your generous gift can be enhanced if you have access to a Matching Gift Program. Please consider submitting an application; it can make a significant difference!

The Dobbs Ferry Schools Foundation, Inc. was incorporated in the State of New York in 1994 and is a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service. Donations and contributions made to the DFSF (EIN #13-3757973) are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.