Frederica Academy, like other National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), only charges about 80% of what it actually costs to operate the school.
A school’s Annual Fund is the primary source of revenue for covering the 20% gap. The Annual Fund pays for our wonderful teachers, our premier college counseling program, our athletic offerings, our Arts opportunities, our security team, and so many other positive differentiators which make FA so important to our community. It supports everything great about Frederica, and it helps ensure a balanced budget if we reach our fundraising goal.
We must seek to go above and beyond our goal. Frederica Academy needs to exceed its goal for the Annual Fund in order to fund aspirational projects and initiatives. In past years, we were able to fund Orton-Gillingham training for all of our Lower School teachers, launch a new Robotics program, host a campus author visit, and make security enhancement improvements to our campus because we exceeded our fundraising goals. These are only a few examples of funded investments. Stretch giving plays a pivotal role in helping meet and exceed our Annual Fund goal.
The "bake sale" mentality of raising money does not work for an independent school. Dollar amounts are large; budget categories are broad; and, within budgets, priorities are set. Tuition basically covers salaries and benefits; however, there are many other items an annual fund supports for operating expenses which are not fully known at the time the operating budget is set. Costs of operating a school cannot be covered by doing fundraising project-by-project or item-by-item. A donation to the Annual Fund helps to pay for classroom supplies, instructional activities and everything that supports teachersand their classrooms. Benefield Society gifts serve a greater good in this regard. They are an affirmation to our teachers. They inspire and challenge our faculty to seek new and better ways to optimize learning in their classrooms.
The Annual Fund helps make tuition more affordable for more families. It offers parents a tax deductible benefit for at least part of their investment in their child’s education.
Although we also need donor support for Apogee and Derby Day, the Annual Fund is the school’s signature fundraising program. It serves as a barometer for stakeholder confidence which helps inspire mega gifts from foundations and other large donors. In 2016-2017, we received a $100,000 challenge gift for the Annual Fund, in part, because a donor was so impressed with our Annual Fund parent participation rate (87%) the prior year.