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Annual Fundraising for Private Schools

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Annual Fundraising for Private Schools

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Eggs from The Fay School's Chicken CoopPhilanthropy is a fundamental element of the Fay equation. Our Annual Fund drives the spirit of innovation on campus with future-focused projects and new opportunities for students each year. The Fay School thrives because of the generosity of our supporters since our founding 30 years ago. Our fundraising philosophy is as powerful as it is simple: shared respect, institutional transparency, and an expressed need based on a sincere desire to help support teaching and learning. The Fay School’s vision to develop the next generation of socially and emotionally intelligent leaders are benchmarks that donors in education are funding. Current research shows that donors give to organizations whose mission and vision they find affinity with. Trends in Education Philanthropy: Benchmarking 2018-19 reports that:

Education funders have ramped up support for strategies embracing the whole learner while moving away from the academic areas of focus that characterized the prior decade of education reform. A growing body of research on the impact of social and emotional intelligence and family and community supports on learners’ academic and life success has fueled funder interest in advancing strategies that support learners’ holistic development. Respondents cited social and emotional learning as the factor or trend they think has the greatest potential for a positive impact on education over the next five years.

What does the Annual Fund do for an elementary school?

To fully realize our mission, The Fay School relies on fundraising – support and generous giving are essential to any nonprofit’s ongoing success. The Annual Fund is a program of giving that enables a school to make up the difference between what it collects in tuition and fees and what it spends each year on educating students. These unrestricted funds support a wide variety of needs. In a typical year, The Fay School’s Annual Fund allows Fay to enhance professional development, add new technology upgrades, support new programs, update curricula, and more. Our remarkable hybrid learning advancements and online strategies have been largely successful due to our community's sacrificial giving. Our commitment to a lifelong love of learning through an active partnership among educators, parents, and students is made evident through the Annual Fund –our donors’ giving is how Fay grows.

What is an Annual Fund’s fundraising goal?

Fay First Graders having Music OutdoorsAt Fay, we strive to include every member of the school family with this unique chance to participate and support our students and teachers. Whether it is a small donation or a legacy gift, every donation is a vote of confidence in The Fay School – our core values and mission. It is also evidence that we are united in a common purpose towards advancing the very best in education for each child. The foundations, corporations, friends, and family who support our work look to our giving percentages as an indicator of programmatic health before awarding funds. We have much to be proud of as The Fay School has a long-standing tradition of community support, which allows us to reach our fundraising goals. The Board of Trustees, Annual Fund Committee, and Faculty and Staff regularly give at 100%, and 95% of our families have contributed in some fashion during the last three years. Recently, Lisa and Robert Hearn, our 2020-2021 Annual Fund Chairs, had this to say of our current efforts:

Giving to the Annual Fund has always been a priority for us, and even more so this year, as the school faces unprecedented challenges resulting from the pandemic. The Fay School has not slowed in its mission of educating and developing the next generation of leaders. It has gone to great lengths to continue to provide a safe, positive, and nurturing learning environment for all students – and these measures have come at a significant cost. It is our cohesive community and active partnership among educators, parents, and students that will see The Fay School continue to thrive through the most challenging times and beyond.

How is the Annual Fund campaign structured at The Fay School?

The Annual Fund is a 5-week campaign that serves as a building block for all other fundraisers throughout the year. It allows schools to build a base of donors that is instrumental in promoting and advancing the mission. A large component of the campaign is the Annual Fund Committee. Generally composed of current parents, board members, or other engaged constituents, the committee acts as ambassadors to the current parents. It utilizes peer-to-peer fundraising, which uses existing supporters' networks to promote the message and need. Each committee member is assigned a group of parents with similarly aged students to steward and navigate through the campaign. Leveraging these peer-to-peer relationships, especially at an elementary school, is a proven strategy for higher engagement.

How has the Annual Fund helped The Fay School innovate?Fay Students Taking Care of the Fay Hens!

The entire school community benefits from the Annual Fund. From Professional Development for teachers, updating curricula, technology updates, and even launching the Fay Farms and getting chickens. All students, parents, and faculty are all positively impacted by the Annual Fund. As we look to Fay's future, the impact of our supporters’ philanthropy will reverberate through the next thirty years. By the outpouring of resources, our community consistently dedicates to the Annual Fund, the extraordinary opportunity of a Fay education is a legacy that will be celebrated for generations of leaders to come.

About Monica Berckley: Monica joined the Fay Leadership Team in June of 2020 as the Director of Advancement. When not at Fay, Monica enjoys spending time with her husband, Jay, and their three beautiful daughters, Madeleine, Lydia, and Tallulah.