The Annual Fund First
2014-2015 Parent Co-chairs
Chris & Christine Sorenson and Anne & Thomas Matese
As you consider giving to The Benjamin School, here are some questions and answers to help guide you...
As a member of the Benjamin community, what is expected of me and how can I help? In order for Benjamin to be "Second to None," as our motto states, we ask for active participation in the life of the school. Participation comes in different forms, but first and foremost we hope all families will offer a financial gift to the Annual Fund according to their ability to give. We also encourage our families to become involved by volunteering time.
What is the Annual Fund? The Annual Fund is our annual giving campaign that runs in conjunction with the school's fiscal year of July 1 - June 30. The Annual Fund provides the additional funds needed to cover the actual cost of operating the school. Tuition alone does not pay for your child's education. The average cost to educate each student at TBS for 2013-2014 was nearly $1,850 greater than our average tuition.
How much am I expected to give? We ask our families to give to the best of their ability and at a level that demonstrates the value placed on an exemplary education. The value of leadership-level gifts, however, cannot be underestimated. Gifts at the leadership level ($3,000 or more) account for over 80% of the support received.
When will I be asked to participate in the Annual Fund campaign, and how will I be asked? In September, you will receive a written request for participation accompanying the Annual Fund brochure and a benefactor response form. The brochure describes in detail how your gift will impact the operating budget. Shortly afterwards, volunteers make follow-up phone calls to those who have not donated or pledged to the Annual Fund to answer questions and encourage participation.
What does the Annual Fund support? Gifts to the Annual Fund are used to support a variety of areas of campus need. In most circumstances, it is at the discretion of the Board of Trustees and the school administration to determine where your gift will have the greatest impact. Restricted annual gifts are not encouraged by the school because they limit the flexibility the administration has to meet operational or programmatic needs. All restricted annual gifts must be preapproved by the Head of School.
Your contribution to the Annual Fund supports all the following areas:
- Recruiting and retaining the best teachers by offering competitive compensation and benefit packages and professional growth opportunities
- A tradition of character and excellence in athletics highlighted in the past two years by 38 seniors signing early commitments to compete in college sports
- A performing and fine arts program that offers students the opportunity to develop their skills and talents in a wide variety of creative endeavors
- A state-of-the-art technology program that is integrated into every facet of our curriculum, with both campuses now offering a full coverage wireless network and high speed infrastructure
- A commitment to dedicate 9.8% of the school's operating budget to financial aid for families whose children meet admission and financial requirements
Why is participation so important? High participation signals institutional strength and school pride. It also means that more individuals are sharing the financial responsibility to support the School. Across the nation, independent school families are making it clear that they understand the need to support schools to the best of their ability. In the 2013-2014 school year, 67% of our parents supported the Annual Fund. This was a record high for TBS, but we know we can do even better if we all come together to support this effort!
What events does BASH include? Building a Scholastic Heritage, or BASH, encompasses an annual gala, variety show and several school project fundraisers.
Why does Benjamin ask for contributions instead of simply increasing the tuition? As is the case with most independent schools, tuition does not cover the total cost of educating each student. Contributions to the Annual Fund make up the difference needed to cover the actual cost of operating the school. Augmenting tuition through charitable gifts helps keep tuition at a competitive rate and provides many important programs and improvements that are essential to our mission. It's also a way for you to receive a deduction on your income tax, to the extent allowed by law.
How can I make a contribution, and is it tax-deductible? Cash is the most common and efficient way to make a gift. Gifts of appreciated securities have beneficial tax implications. Please contact Burnham "Turk" Lewis for more information at 561-472-3480. Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are accepted for gifts, and the Benjamin website can process secure transactions for these donations. (Please be aware that by using a credit card to make your donation, the School incurs a fee of 2.75% - 3.00%.) Gifts can be pledged depending on the timeframe and designation. All Annual Fund gifts to The Benjamin School are tax-deductible based on the school's 501(c)(3) charitable status.
Whom do I contact to make a gift, volunteer, or get more information? To make a gift, volunteer, or get more information, please contact Director of Annual Giving Donna Minard or any member of the Advancement staff by phone at 561-472-3452, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.