Frequently Asked Questions
What is the relationship between FoSOTA and Asawa SOTA?
The Friends of School of the Arts Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors, dedicated to supporting quality arts and academic learning for all students attending Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, San Francisco’s only public arts high school. FoSOTA and SOTA are linked in a formal partnership, with the roles of each organization delineated in a Memorandum of Understanding. Under the terms of this partnership, FoSOTA is able to relieve the school and the PTSA of significant administrative burdens related to fundraising, budget management, check processing, and the Artists-in-Residence program. All parties have access to FoSOTA’s financial reports, and may review these documents at any time.
If Asawa SOTA receives funding from the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), why does it need additional funding from the community?
As a high school specializing in arts education, SOTA has exceptional requirements that greatly exceed the funding allocated to it by the San Francisco Unified School District. District funds cover roughly 75% of SOTA’s annual operating expenses. This money is used to pay teacher salaries, purchase necessary school supplies and equipment, and fund a portion of the Artists-in-Residence program. The remaining 25%—approximately $1 million annually—must be generated through grants, ticket sales, the Annual Fund Campaign, and other fundraising efforts overseen by FoSOTA. These community contributions enable FoSOTA’s art departments to hire additional Artists-in-Residence, arrange master classes, and pay for supplies and performance spaces, creating a truly conservatory-style environment in which these young artists can hone their craft.
How are Asawa SOTA Artists-in-Residence selected?
Each school year, SOTA employs more than 60 professional artists from the community to work with the school’s talented students. Contracts range from one-time master classes to year-long teaching assignments, depending on the needs of each department. Artists-in-Residence, and their compensation, are designated by the department’s director and approved by the school principal. Once artists are selected, FoSOTA processes their background checks, workmen’s compensation, liability insurance, and monthly payments.
How do I get involved?
FoSOTA benefits tremendously from the enthusiasm of donors and volunteers, and there are many different ways to contribute! The most important element of each year’s fundraising is the Annual Fund Campaign. Our goal is 100% parent participation, at any donation amount.
Supporters also can help out by volunteering to organize a fundraiser, soliciting sponsorships, assisting with ticket sales and concessions at events, making in-kind gifts of performance space or specialized equipment, or participating in one of our many partner programs.
Is my gift tax-deductible?
FoSOTA is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Most gifts are 100 percent deductible as a charitable contribution under Federal and State income tax laws. Please consult your tax advisor to determine whether your donation is tax deductible in whole or in part. When you donate $15 or more to FoSOTA, you will receive a confirmation letter which will serve as your receipt. You can also print the confirmation page that appears on your computer screen after you’ve completed your online contribution. You should always keep a hard copy of your receipt for your tax records.
I don’t have a child at Asawa SOTA. Can I still participate?
Absolutely! Individuals and community partners are encouraged to show their support by attending performances, volunteering at shows, supporting fundraisers, purchasing season tickets, and/or making financial contributions.
How can I update my contact information to continue receiving FoSOTA communications?
If you move homes, update your email address, or change your name, send an email with the new information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “Update Contact Information” in the subject of your email.
Where is the FoSOTA office located?
The FoSOTA office is located on the school campus at 555 Portola Drive in San Francisco, in Room A325 (located on the first floor).