cohasset education foundation




Frequently Asked Questions


Who is the Cohasset Education Foundation?

The Cohasset Education Foundation (CEF) was founded in 1992 and reinvigorated in 2006.  The Cohasset Education Foundation is an independent, non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, financed completely through private funds, that works in close coordination with teachers and school administrators. 

Since November of 2007, the CEF has raised over $1.7 million in donations to support and improve our public schools.  Contributions can be made to the Project Fund, which supports approved grant proposals, or to the Endowment Fund, a principal-preserved permanent fund which supports the long-term health of our schools.  Undesignated gifts are divided equally between the two funds.

The CEF helps to provide the incremental resources for programs and materials that are not covered by the Cohasset School District’s operating budget, but our strategic focus is to expand the breadth and depth of the types of projects we support.  Going forward, the CEF would like to continue to partner with the School District and the Town of Cohasset in funding large scale projects, as we recently did with the wireless grant made in September 2011.


Who is on the CEF Board of Directors?

The CEF is made up of seventeen volunteers and residents of Cohasset who are passionate about public education.  Members serve three-year renewable terms.  Below is a list of the Board members for the 2016-2017 school year:

Cindy Matheison, President

Allison Doherty

Katie Norton

Jen Ognibene, Vice President

Tom Hense

John Steinmetz

David Dwyer, Treasurer

Lisa Fulton

John Starvish

Carrie Thomas, Secretary

Jen Thomas

Caitlin Appleton

Annie Ketchen

Bill Tierney

Chauncy Hayes Cunning

Jamey Kupsc

Liz Woodard



What is the CEF’s Mission and Operating Principles?

The mission of the CEF is to work in partnership with our schools and the community at large to promote excellence in Cohasset’s public education. 

The CEF recently went through a vigorous strategic planning process focusing on goals for the next five years and clarifying the operating principles and mission statement of the organization.  The result is a new set of operating principles for the CEF:

Collaborate: Collaborate with school administrators, teachers and relevant town boards to identify and fund strategic investments in the Cohasset schools.

Support : Support our teachers and schools by providing them with the incremental resources that they need to enable innovation and ensure student success.

Celebrate: Celebrate the achievements of our students, teachers and schools.  Innovation and success deserve to be recognized and encouraged.


How does the CEF raise money?

Each year, the fundraising starts anew.  There are many ways to give – chose one opportunity, chose multiple opportunities, but please participate in promoting excellence in Cohasset public schools.

Annual Appeal

 A letter is mailed to all Cohasset residents in November each year.  This is the easiest way to give – just send in your donation in the enclosed envelope.  If you prefer, visit the website and click on the Donations tab.  You will find a Donate Now button which will allow you to donate via credit card.

Spelling Bee

 This fun filled fundraising event is open to all 2nd to 5th graders.  The Spelling Bee is held each year in February.

Spring Fundraiser

 Each year the CEF holds a premier event for parents.  This casual and fun night out is as much a community builder as it is a fundraiser.  Visit the website in January for more details on this year’s fundraising event.

Other Events

 The CEF is always thinking up new fun fundraising events.  Stay tuned for latest the CEF event updates by signing up for the quarterly e-newsletter.   To sign up for our e-newsletter, please visit our website at and click on “Join Our Email List”.



How much has the CEF raised in donations? How much is awarded?

Since 2007, the CEF has raised over $1.7 million in donations to promote excellence in the Cohasset public schools.  The mission of the CEF is to collaborate with the school system and look for strategic opportunities where it can invest Project Funds raised on an annual basis in the school system. 

Grant applications are submitted by teachers and administrators, reviewed by the CEF's Grants Committee, and approved by the CEF Board.  From 2007-2017, the CEF awarded ninety-nine grants which impact the education of every Cohasset student every week.  The CEF has invested nearly $1,000,000 directly in the schools and has also built a principal-preserved endowment to ensure the long-term health of the Cohasset school district.


What kind of donations can you make to the CEF?

The CEF welcomes donations large and samll.  Although donor participation has been noteworthy, we continue to work hard to communicate our mission to the community and hope that our donor base continues to grow year to year.  


What types of grants does the CEF fund?

Our strategic focus is to expand the types of projects we support as the opportunities become available.  Based on findings from long-range strategic plan, we will aim to support initiatives across grade levels and subjects in several key areas including:

  • 21st Century Classroom
  • Expanding Core Curriculum
  • After-School Enrichment
  • College Preparatory / Other

For a full listing of the grants that the CEF has awarded, clink on the link to see more detail about Awarded Grants.



How are grants approved? Who reviews grant applications?

The grants process begins with a short pre-grant application questionnaire which acts a screening tool for the applicant, school administrators and the CEF.  This questionnaire is completed and submitted to the Principal.  If approved, the grant applicant moves to completing a full grant application. 

Grant applications are forwarded to the superintendent for review.  The CEF Grants Committee reviews the applications and presents its recommendations to the CEF Board of Directors for a final vote.  Awards are announced end of December and end of May each year.

If you have questions regarding the process or are interested in submitting a grant, please contact the Grants Committee Chair

Grants Committee Chair
Caitlin Appleton,



How can I help?

In addition to financial support, volunteering is a great way to give back to the schools.  Many opportunities exist throughout the school year to help with the various fundraisers.   If you would like to volunteer at a CEF event, please contact the CEF at


Who can I call if I have questions about the CEF?

For questions and additional information about the CEF, please contact us at

Or if you prefer, you can also contact any of the CEF Board members. 



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