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Every year, our Annual Fund helps to close the gap between tuition revenues and annual operating expenses. It ensures that we are able to offer the best possible educational opportunity to every GMS student. The Annual Fund contributes nearly 10 percent of the yearly budget.
The Annual Fund involves every segment of the school community, including parents, board members, faculty, alumnae, grandparents, and other friends of GMS. In addition to providing essential revenue for the operating budget, a broadly supported Annual Fund also demonstrates to other donors from whom we seek funding that those closest to GMS go above and beyond in their support of the school. Every gift, no matter the size, is important.
The 2014-2015 Annual Fund is underway!
Annual Fund FAQs
Q: As a parent, I already pay tuition. Why do I need to donate money as well?
A: GMS girls benefit from having talented teachers, small classes, curricular resources, and outstanding elective and intersession offerings. While the tuition that you pay gives your daughter access to an exceptional education, it does not cover the complete cost of her GMS experience.
This year, tuition revenue covers approximately 90% of the school’s total operating budget. To bridge the shortfall, GMS – like other private schools – turns to parents, alumnae families and other friends of the school. The gap per student is $2,500.
Q: Why not just raise tuition?
A: GMS is committed to attracting a diverse community of capable students from a variety of backgrounds. This necessitates containing tuition costs and making substantial financial aid awards to those who have demonstrated financial need. Furthermore, if the tuition increased to cover the actual cost of all programs, many of our current families could no longer afford to send their children to GMS. This could mean a drop in our enrollment, resulting in a cutback of our programs and steeper tuition increases in order to fund all operations.
Importantly, donations to the school are tax-deductible whereas tuition is not.
Q: When do I need to make my donation?
A: Pledge Day is December 3, 2014. Parents who donate by December 3rd receive a gift certificate to the GMS Book Fair. Pledge payments must be made by May 31, 2015.
Q: If I pledge now, does that mean you count my family in your 100% participation goal?
A: Yes. If you’d rather pledge now and pay later, we encourage you to do so! Simply let us know your intended gift amount and the date by which you plan to pay your pledge in full. There is a place to share this information on the remit card you were sent in the mail.
Q: What forms of payment does GMS accept?
A: Gifts can be made via cash, check, or credit card. GMS is also equipped to accept gifts of appreciated stock. If you wish to set up a series of payments to make your annual fund gift, visit our online giving portal.
Q: How are donors recognized?
A: Gifts received are recognized in the GMS Annual Report. Donors are listed by affiliation (e.g. Alumna, 6th grade Parent, etc.) and by giving level. A donor’s cumulative giving during the school year determines the giving level. Families giving over $5,000 are honored as Leadership Donors at a special appreciation event in late summer.
Q: I keep hearing that participation is important. If I give $10, does that count?
A: Yes! If you are not in a position to donate the amount you were asked for, we hope you will do what you can to support the Annual Fund. We strive for 100% participation to meet our girls’ needs, and to show donors outside the GMS community that those closest to our school go above and beyond in their support.
Q: How does Financial Aid fit into the fund raising picture?
A: Many private schools simply allocate a portion of tuition revenue to their financial aid program. Typically, this percentage is adjusted each year based on operating expenses of the school. In other words, when operating expenses increase, those schools allocate less money to financial aid.
At GMS, our commitment to financial aid is unwavering. Our financial aid program allows us to fulfill an important part of our mission: providing full scholarships to high-achieving, low-income girls. The financial aid awards are funded through donations of all sizes from various members of the GMS community, including parents, staff, board members, charitable foundations, local organizations and other friends of the school. They are not funded through donations to the Annual Fund.
It is our hope that you will also consider our financial aid program worthy of your financial support. Scholarships make a GMS education accessible to a wider range of girls, creating an enriched, diverse learning community.
Q: Does GMS host special fund raising events?
A: Yes. The events vary year to year depending on the needs of the school. This year, we will host a Scholarship Breakfast fundraiser on March 6, 2015 (tentative date). In May, the Parent Association will collaborate with the Development Office to host a dinner, dance and live auction.
Q: Will I be asked for money at other times throughout the year?
A:There are a few other opportunities to give, and we do hope that you will consider the need for supporting each of them. However, the Annual Fund is the lifeblood of our school, which is why we ask that if you are going to make only one gift all year, please make your donation in support of the Annual Fund.
Q: Who should I contact for more information?
A: You are always welcome to contact the GMS Development Office staff. Debbie Eastburn, Director of Development, can be reached at 650-968-8338, x107 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Jennifer Ayer, Head of School.
If you’re interested in helping with any part of GMS’s Development efforts, or if you have suggestions and ideas to share, we encourage you to reach out and become involved.