Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we have an Annual Giving Campaign?
Like all independent schools - and even most public schools in this area - we rely on the results of fundraising efforts to supplement operational expenses. In fact, most private schools have a specific monetary ‘ask’ each year. Currently, Ventana relies on fundraising to fill a $1850 per student gap in its operational expenses. Ventana focuses its efforts each year on an Annual Giving Campaign in order to ensure that our amazing teachers and administrative team have the resources they need to continually improve our innovative Reggio preschool and elementary programming.
We already paid Tuition, so why do we need to donate to the Annual Giving Campaign?
Most independent schools rely on a combination of tuition and fundraising to cover yearly operating expenses. The average breakdown among independent schools is 80 - 90% from tuition and 10 - 20% from fundraising and other revenue sources such as extended care and summer camps. This allocation allows schools to meet the varying needs of their families while maintaining financial stability. At Ventana, fundraising is critical to covering 9% of operational expenses. Tuition was raised last year to align our financial capabilities with other successful independent schools and to ensure that Ventana continues to grow in a fiscally responsible manner. However, the Annual Giving Campaign is still vital to the school’s ability to bridge the gap between tuition revenue and operational costs. The goal this year is 100% participation by our families, and any sized gift is a vital part of our efforts.
What are the benefits of giving?
Your child is the most important reason to contribute to Annual Giving. Your gift to the campaign benefits our students by providing them with a nurturing place to discover, learn, and thrive. Much as our children learn what we value by where we spend our volunteer time, so do they learn what we value by where we spend our charitable giving.
In addition, Annual Giving Campaign donations allow us to:
- Better provide competitive salaries for our extraordinary teaching staff, especially given the rapidly-increasing cost of living in our area
- Fund new and exciting learning opportunities and projects in our classrooms
- Keep our buildings and grounds safe and aesthetically pleasing for all members of our community
- Continue offering our innovative Reggio program by ensuring our educators receive training consistent with the goals of the school
- Offer financial aid and staff tuition discounts
How are Annual Giving Campaign funds allocated?
The funds will be added directly to the Ventana School account, overseen by the Board of Trustees, and disbursed as deemed necessary by our Leadership Team. Funds will most likely be used to support operational expenses.
What is an operational expense?
Operational expenses are those monies needed to keep our school running. They are typically related to salaries and benefits for teachers and staff, facilities fees, and classroom supplies, materials, and equipment.
Why not just do a “Fund-a-Need” for targeted needs?
As many of our current families already know, we host a “Fund-a-Need” effort each year during our spring social and auction event. Past Fund-a-Need gifts have helped us procure the climbing rope structure at the upper playground, supplies for the tree house near the lower lawn, iPads and computers for both students and teachers, books for our library, library software, partitions to provide additional classroom space in the Parish Hall, additional musical instruments to enhance our music program, and much more! Fund-a-Need donations are restricted to particular “needs,” and typically target immediate rather than ongoing operational needs related to salaries, rent, materials and supplies, or other essentials.
Can my company match my donation, to benefit our students even more? How does that work?
Yes, Ventana is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (via Christ Episcopal Church), eligible to receive matching funds from employers. This is a fantastic way to double (or triple, if available to both parents) your impact on our school. Please check to see whether your employer matches donations! See your company’s HR department for specific details, or contact a member of the Annual Giving committee for assistance.
We hope that the above FAQ was helpful to you, and we welcome any additional questions you might have. Please contact us at any time at email@example.com. Or, feel free to reach out to any of the Annual Giving Campaign committee members: Catriona Cairns, Evita Twerdahl, Jeremy Anderson, Anne Uyei
Remember: Donations to Ventana are fully tax deductible! Please check with your employer to see if matching donations are available to double or even triple your gift to our school!