Annual Fund

Your Generosity Makes a Difference

The Annual Fund is the centerpiece of the school’s fundraising efforts. It represents the second largest source of unrestricted operating funds after tuition.

Providing more than five percent of Community School’s annual operating budget, Annual Fund dollars enable the school to support those programs that make Community School unique—the unrivaled Outdoor Program, the wide variety of creative arts, service learning, and athletic programs, teacher salaries and classroom enrichment, and financial aid to well-qualified students who otherwise would not be able to afford a Community School education.

Each and every gift makes a difference in the school's ability to fulfill its mission and provide an excellent education.

Annual Fund FAQs

Why is the Annual Fund so important?

The Annual Fund is essential to Community School’s continued fiscal health. Every year, the school must raise approximately five percent of its annual operating budget from this fundraiser, which represents the second largest source of unrestricted operating funds after tuition. Annual Fund dollars sustain the excellence of a Community School education and its unique programs and support teacher salaries, classroom enrichment, and financial aid to well-qualified students.

A successful Annual Fund campaign delivers a powerful message that the school community speaks with one voice regarding its commitment to an outstanding Community School education. Strong Annual Fund participation demonstrates this strength of purpose to potential applicants and their families, supporters of the school, prospective employees, and members of the community.

Why doesn’t tuition cover the full cost of school operations?

Revenue from tuition and fees covers only 82 percent of the cost of running our extraordinary school and its outstanding programs. Independent schools raise revenue through annual giving to help cover operating expenses. Instead of increasing tuition to meet the full cost of operations, annual giving allows school constituencies to bridge this gap on a tax-deductible basis.

The Annual Fund is a critical component of Community School’s annual giving. Approximately 80 percent of the school’s unrestricted annual donations come from this campaign. The school’s other fundraisers, including the Auction and Read-A-Thon, also play an important role in raising money and building community, but are not a substitute for the Annual Fund.

How are Annual Fund dollars used?

Annual giving touches every student and helps sustain everything that makes a Community School education extraordinary. Annual Fund dollars support the hiring and retention of outstanding faculty members, provide the resources to enhance academic and extracurricular programs, ECC–12, allow the school to properly maintain its facilities, and enable the school to offer aid to well-qualified students who otherwise would not be able to afford a Community School education.

I currently have a child/children attending Community School. How much should my family give?

That is a personal decision. Achieving 100 percent parent participation is meaningful, so deciding the giving level that is right for your family and participating during the parent-led campaign timetable is most important. Ideally, a family’s giving reflects their commitment to Community School, their desire to support the school’s mission, and their individual circumstances.

When does the Annual Fund take place? How long is the campaign?

The parent-led Annual Fund campaign takes place in the fall for approximately eight weeks. An alumni campaign is conducted in the spring for approximately four weeks. However, Community School gratefully accepts Annual Fund gifts throughout the year and records those gifts in the fiscal year in which they are received. Community School’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

I prefer to make a gift in 2018. Can I make a pledge during the fall campaign and give a gift in 2018?

Yes! Pledges made during the parent-led fall campaign count toward the success of the 2017-18 Annual Fund. Pledges may be fulfilled anytime prior to the school’s June 30, 2018 fiscal year-end.

Annual Fund Giving Levels

Community School Annual Giving Levels

Founders' Circle$50,000+
Benefactors' Circle$25,000+
Leadership Society$15,000+
Honor Society$10,000+
Loyalty Club$5,000+
Scholars' Club$2,500+
Trail Creek Club$1,000+
Blue & White Club$500+
Community Clubup to $499


Recognition level is determined by the total dollar amount received in one fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). The total amount includes gifts from the donor and the donor’s spouse or partner, in addition to matching gifts.

Tribute and Honor Gifts

Community School gratefully accepts donations to the Annual Fund made in honor or memory of an individual, student, or faculty member. We send the honoree—or in the case of a memorial gift, the honoree's family—a notecard indicating that a gift has been made in his or her name. Additionally, unless requested otherwise, we designate tribute and honor gifts clearly in our Annual Report. To discuss additional ways to honor or remember an individual, please contact the Development Office.

One hundred percent participation from faculty, staff, and current families is a key goal of the Annual Fund. Achieving this goal shows a commitment to the growth of our school and to the programs and opportunities these funds provide.

Megan Pepin, Annual Fund Co-Chair

Finance Presentation