Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: We are already paying tuition. Why do you need us to make a donation, too?
- Q: Do other schools ask parents to give on top of tuition?
- Q: Why doesn’t the school just raise tuition to cover all of its expenses and not ask for gifts every year?
- Q: How much should I give?
- Q: How does financial aid fit into the fundraising picture?
- Q: How much of a difference can my gift really make?
- Q: What is the Endowment?
- Q: I am new to an independent school. What does St. Anne’s expect of me?
A: Tuition gives your students access to more than you are paying for. Great schools are built around great teachers and your gift makes it possible for St. Anne’s to recruit and retain the very best teachers. Your gift allows us to maintain small classes. For students this means individualized attention in a nurturing environment. For alumni, this means academic credentials from a school with a fantastic reputation and a solid academic foundation that serves as a launching pad for life.
A: While tuition levels vary, all independent schools supplement operating expenses with charitable gifts. Only about 76% of the cost of a St. Anne’s education is covered by tuition dollars each year. The remaining 24% comes from the Annual Fund, the school’s endowment and other charitable sources. To help lessen the burden, we ask the entire community – parents, alumni, grandparents, faculty, and friends to share the expense.
A: Philanthropic giving allows us to keep tuition as low as possible so that a St. Anne’s education continues to be available to more families. Raising tuition to cover the total cost would make it prohibitively expensive for many current families, especially those with more than one child at the school. Philanthropic giving has the advantage of providing tax benefits that are not available for tuition dollars. A for-profit business model, whose mission is to make money, is not an appropriate model for a school, whose mission is to provide children with a good education.
A: Gifts to the Annual Fund range from $5 to $25,000, and even more. The Gap between tuition and the actual cost to educate a student this year is $2,640. This means we must raise that much per student to fill the gap between expenses and revenue from tuition. Whatever a donor can contribute toward this gap is helpful to the school – even if it isn’t anywhere close to the full amount of the gap. No gift is too small and every gift is appreciated. While St. Anne’s relies on gifts of all sizes, leadership gifts are particularly critical to the school’s financial stability. We have defined gifts at or above the Founders’ Circle -- a gift of $2,002 in honor of the year of our founding 2002 -- as leadership gifts and these donors are celebrated and recognized at a special reception.
A: St. Anne’s was founded in 2002 to be an Episcopal School that would welcome students and families from all backgrounds. Charitable gifts allow us to embrace our Episcopal identity and ensure the rich diversity of our student body – which enhances the educational experience for everyone. Roughly 1/3 of our students receive financial aid. Funds are provided by earnings from our endowment fund and the generous support of donors. Your gifts make the school affordable to a wider range of students, bringing your child the many benefits of social and economic diversity.
A: Every gift makes a tremendous difference! While you may not think your gift will make a difference, consider the following: Last year we received $83,000 from private foundations. When these organizations are determining whether or not to give to St. Anne’s Episcopal School, they ask us first, “How many of your parents and alumni families give?” Before they choose to support us, they want to be sure we work to support ourselves. And, a high level of participation among our parents indicates a high level of satisfaction and support from within our walls.
A: Endowed gifts go toward the school’s equivalent of a savings account. The principal of this fund remains intact as the school spends a small percentage of the interest income. The St. Anne’s Endowment Fund was built on a generous gift from St. Andrew’s School to start the school. Earnings from the endowment are used each year to
- Help fund Financial Aid
- Ensure that the endowment lasts forever by reinvesting funds; and
- Maintain the school’s long-term financial stability.
A: In addition to tuition payments, we hope that you will contribute to your maximum comfort level. Your contribution, along with those of all our donors, will directly enhance your child’s education. Participation is crucial. One of the strengths of St. Anne’s Episcopal School is our sense of community. A high participation rate clearly enforces that strength, by illustrating your commitment to the school and encourages others to do the same.
Lisa F. Slinkard, CFRE
Director of Development
Phone 302.378.3179, ext. 347