Frederica Academy, like all National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), only charges about 70-80% of what it actually costs to operate the school. The Annual Fund helps cover the gap. Last year, the gap was more than 26%. Fundraising covered 92% of that gap in the operating budget.
Tuition revenue basically covers salaries and benefits for faculty and staff each year. A school’s Annual Fund is a primary source of revenue for covering the 20-25% gap. Since independent schools do not receive government funding, all curricular and extra-curricular programs are funded through fundraising.
For example, the FA Annual Fund pays for our premier college counseling program, our athletic offerings, our growing Arts opportunities, our security team, and so many other positive differentiators that make FA so important to our community. It supports everything great about Frederica and helps ensure a balanced budget if we reach our $400,000 fundraising goal—which is a line item in the operating budget.
We must go above and beyond our goal. Frederica Academy needs to exceed its goal for this year’s Annual Fund in order to fund aspirational projects and initiatives as well as to help offset any unanticipated costs like the damage to our campus caused by recent hurricanes. Last year, we were able to fund learning differentiation training for all of our teachers, add critical security enhancements, complete a summer campus beautification project, and offer many other new and enhanced student experiences because we exceeded our fundraising goals.
This year’s Annual Fund will play a critical role in helping fund priority projects identified by the new Head of School. Scott Hutchinson has worked closely with the school’s Leadership Team and Board to identify priority needs and opportunities that will require incremental funding. A successful Annual Fund will help accelerate these investments and opportunities.
The Annual Fund helps make tuition more affordable for more families and offers parents a tax-deductible benefit for at least part of their investment in their child’s education. Ultimately, more students at FA creates a more culturally-rich learning environment and benefits all students.
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 transformational gifts from foundations and other large donors.