FAQ about the Annual Fund
What is an Annual Fund?
Donations are raised for the Annual Fund on a yearly basis to support the general operations of a non-profit organization. Nearly every private school, from elementary schools to the most exclusive universities, organizes an Annual Fund drive.
Support raised through the Annual Fund is instrumental to any non-profit organization’s development efforts. For AIS, the Annual Fund provides a reliable source of income that is necessary to maintain steady growth, a balanced budget, and help with forecasting as we plan for the future.
As an independent school, AIS does not receive money from local, state or federal taxes. AIS relies on wise stewardship, tuition income, extracurricular activities, and contributions to the Annual Fund and other fundraising efforts in order to meet operating expenses.
What is Annual Fund money used for?
All of the money raised through our Annual Fund helps defray current-year operating expenses and supports the people and programs that make AIS so remarkable. Among many items, these investments include enhancing our innovative and challenging curricular program, improving our media and technology resources, recruiting new teachers who are passionate about our school and providing professional development for our current dedicated faculty.
The Annual Fund provides “unrestricted” funding, which simply means the school is able to use it where it is needed most in order to provide our children with the best possible learning environment.
Why don’t you just raise tuition?
At AIS, we value both cultural and socio-economic diversity and strive to keep the one-of-a-kind education we offer affordable to as many families as possible.
Additionally, every gift to the Annual Fund is fully tax deductible, whereas tuition is not. The actual cost of your donation is reduced by your tax savings. For example, if you are in the 33% tax bracket, the actual cost of a $1000 donation is only $670 ($1000 less the $330 tax savings). You are rewarded for making a charitable donation to the Annual Fund, not only by having the chance to show your dedication to the school, but also by getting a tax break!
Gifts to the Annual Fund may also qualify for a matching gift from your employer, which would allow you to double or even triple your support. A gift of $100 becomes a gift of $200! Tuition is not eligible for such matching gifts. If you are not sure if your employer matches gifts, please check with your HR department or contact the AIS Director of Development for assistance with the process.
Why is 100% participation so important?
In addition to the generous donations from the AIS community, support from other funders such as foundations, corporations, and other individuals is critical if we want to continue to grow and improve the school for our children. One hundred percent participation to the Annual Fund from our Board of Directors, staff, and parents shows that we have a solid base of support from our community.
Whether or not an organization has 100 percent financial participation from its community is almost always a serious consideration by foundations before awarding grant support. By donating to the Annual Fund, your dollars help us raise more dollars. Your gift of $1000 might effectively turn into a gift of $1200 or $1500. It is a win-win for everyone. You save money through tax deduction, and we raise more money from outside sources!
Increasing participation is the most important goal of the Annual Fund drive – we need to reach 100 percent participation in the Annual Fund from our entire AIS community in order to be considered for foundation funding to be used for our math and science programs, art and music, professional development for our teachers, and much more.
With our strategy for the future in place and a renewed commitment to actively seeking out and securing grants, being able to show complete support from our community will be a major factor in any grant maker’s decision whether to award us funding. Financial support from foundations and corporations will allow us to expand and enhance our school in incredible ways.
What amount should I give to the Annual Fund?
It is our hope that AIS will be among your family’s top philanthropic priorities. An average gift of $250 from each family would help us reach our goal, however we recognize and understand that this may be beyond the abilities of some families, and some families may be able to give much more.
Above all, please know that EVERY gift to the Annual Fund is needed and greatly appreciated. 100 percent participation is most important to us, making each gift meaningful, no matter the amount. We hope that every family will give at the level they feel most comfortable. Whether it is a gift of $10 or $10,000, each gift represents your steadfast commitment to the success of our school, and we are truly grateful for your contribution.