School Support Organization Information
Thank you for your interest in providing support for our schools and students.
Any organization that solicits or raises money, materials, property, securities, services, or other things of value to benefit a Knox County school, a school team, club, class, or activity must comply with the Tennessee state law governing School Support Organizations (SSO) as well as the policies of Knox County Schools. A link to the applicable section of Tennessee state law, Knox County Schools policies, and other helpful information can be found on the right hand side of this page under the “SSO Quick Links” heading.
In general, the steps to becoming, and operating as, an SSO are—
- Written Agreement with the Board of Education: A prospective SSO must provide to the Board (or the Board’s Designee), documentary proof of the organization’s current not-for-profit legal status, the organization’s charter and bylaws, a statement explaining the organization’s goals and objectives, and contact information for the organization’s officers. If the documentary evidence is acceptable to the Board, a standard written agreement among three parties—the Director of Schools acting on behalf of the Board, the prospective SSO organization, and the principal of the school that the organization intends to support—will be entered into. (A copy of the standard agreement can be found on the right hand side of this page under the “SSO Quick Links” heading.) Once the agreement is entered into, the organization will be placed on the district’s listing of approved SSO’s, which is kept on the school district’s website.
- IRS Status: If the SSO is an eligible Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) organization, the SSO must provide the Board a copy of its IRS Determination Letter. The IRC 501(c)(3) qualified SSO must also comply with the Tennessee Charitable Solicitations Act and the Tennessee Nonprofit Gaming Act.
- Tax Return: All businesses must file, with the IRS, a tax return based on the business's filing status. Typically, for SSOs, this is a 990-N; however, the business could be a 1020 or other form as metnioned on the IRS website.
- Fundraising: All SSO fundraising activities must be consistent with the goals and mission of Knox County Schools and must be approved by the school principal and the Director of Schools or the Director’s designee in writing 30 days in advance of the fundraising activity.
- Annual Verification of Continued Existence: Before the first business day of August each year, an SSO must provide to the Board documentary proof of the organization’s continuing existence, any changes to the organization’s goals and objectives, officers, or bylaws, and a statement of cash receipts and disbursements for the organization’s last fiscal year. Failure to provide the information required for annual verification of continued existence will result in the SSO being removed from the listing of approved SSO’s.
More detailed information can be found under the “SSO Quick Links” heading on the right hand side of this page. Questions regarding SSO organization and operations should be addressed to the Supervisor of Internal School Funds, whose contact information is at the top of the right hand side of this page.