Frequently Asked Questions by Donors
Where do you get your money?
The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles relies heavily on the generosity of individual donors who give to the Foundation in response to special appeals or events. In addition, we receive funds in response to grant requests to corporations and foundations.
How are decisions made about the budget?
The Board of Directors reviews and approves the budget each year and approves the salary of the Executive Director.
Does your local Epilepsy Foundation get any money from the state or federal government?
We do not receive federal or state funds to deliver our programs and services. Through the Lanterman Act, the state of California has established Regional Centers to serve individuals with developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. Thus, the Regional Centers get most of the available state funding to help individuals with epilepsy. However, we often find that only those with severe forms of epilepsy and/or with dual diagnosis are accepted as Regional Center clients. Many individuals with a sole diagnosis of epilepsy fall through the cracks and do not get services from the Regional Center and look to us for help.
Where does my money go? How much of my money goes to programs and services?
Our Epilepsy Foundation is fortunate because we benefit from the Garnier Trust Fund which was established many years ago by the generosity of Mrs. Audette Garnier. The interest our Foundation gets from this Fund each year is about 10-15 percent of our budget. This basically covers our administrative costs and part of our fundraising costs. Thus, each year, at least 90% of your donation went to support programs and services offered by the Foundation.
What is your relationship with the national Epilepsy Foundation in Landover, Maryland?
The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which chooses to affiliate with the national Epilepsy Foundation in Maryland. Working with the national provides a strong, unified voice on behalf of people with epilepsy. As an affiliate, we are on the “front lines” of providing programs and services to families affected by epilepsy at the local level.
Do you pay dues to the national Epilepsy Foundation in Landover, Maryland?
As a reflection of our participation in this shared mission, each year our affiliate pays three percent of our income (up to $25,000) a year to the national organization. This enables us to qualify for travel-training grants to attend the annual Leadership Conference and Public Policy Institute in Washington DC. The dues also result in a slightly reduced rate when we purchase epilepsy brochures and materials. In addition, as an affiliate, we can apply for grants funded by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) through the national office. Our affiliate may be awarded one small grant every 2-3 years.
What if I want to support something specific? May I establish a special fund in my name or in honor of someone else?
The Board of Director welcomes designated gifts for activities that are already part of our programs and services and that help fulfill our mission.
If you wish to support an existing program through a restricted gift which requires special reporting, please talk to the Executive Director so that your generous wishes and expectations can be discussed and considered more carefully.
If you wish to give a restricted gift for a new program, please talk to the Executive Director. Together with you, the Executive Director and a member of the Board will discuss the proposed program and come to an understanding of whether and how the Foundation can meaningfully fulfill your wishes to establish a new program.
How can I get more involved with the Foundation?
In addition to your faithful giving, there are other ways that you can get more involved with the Foundation. We invite you to be part of our special fundraising events as a committee member, a volunteer for the day, or as a participant. We also invite you to attend our camps and conferences and meet people served by your gift. We would welcome the opportunity of meeting with you to find out more about your interests and how you would like to be involved with us.
The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to be a wise steward of your gifts to ensure … not another moment lost to seizures.