Annual Fund

Annual Fund

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Because of YOU, Taft students are educated today for tomorrow. Thank you!

With another solid year for the Annual Fund on the books, I am very pleased to announce that we exceeded this year’s budgeted goal with contributions of $4,518,232 from 43% of alumni and 92% of current parents. I know that I speak on behalf of all of Taft in expressing my gratitude to our Annual Fund donors for their generosity and devotion, and for the example they set for the rest of our community to follow.

A highlight of the Annual Fund year was the May 1 Day of Giving, which generated both enthusiasm within each class and a healthy competition between classes from each decade. I would like to congratulate the Classes of ’11, ’04, ’99, ’84, ’75, ’67, ’57, and ’46 for achieving the highest level of Annual Fund participation for their respective decades during that successful one-day campaign. Each winning class was recognized with a seat plaque in Bingham Auditorium. The Class of ’99 deserves special mention for having the highest participation (over 21%!) on the day.

Our alumni raised over $191,851 from 501 alumni in 24 hours—more than double the goal of 240 donors—so my hat’s off to the hundreds of donors and Class Agents who made it all possible.

The Parents’ Fund successfully participated in the May 1 Day of Giving, which resulted in an outstanding $130,661 raised from 88 donors—far surpassing the goal of 50 donors! Congratulations to the parents of the Class of 2019 for having the most donors—also recognized with a seat plaque in Bingham Auditorium.

We owe much of the success of the Annual Fund to the commitment of an incredible team of volunteers, including the Parents’ Committee; Marietta Lee and Jeff Keeler P’16, ’18, Parents’ Fund Chairs; Stuart and Jean Serenbetz P’03, ’06, ’09, Chairs of the Former Parents’ Fund; Joanie Dayton, Chair of the Grandparents’ Fund; and hundreds of Class Agents across more than a half-century of class years. I am grateful and humbled to work with such a wonderful group of talented and dedicated people. I also want to take this opportunity to extend special thanks to the staff of the Alumni and Development Office for keeping the Taft community connected and strong—they work tirelessly and without much fanfare, but their impact is great and deserving of our sincere appreciation.

It takes consistent, deep, and broad support from all corners of our community to build and sustain the Taft we know and love. And while we are fortunate to be able to build upon a strong foundation of past giving, the future wellbeing of Taft has been entrusted to our stewardship. I am truly grateful to all of the donors who have made this year’s Annual Fund a success, and I look forward to working with many of you to reach higher and achieve even more in the year and years to come.

With my warm regards and thanks,

Dylan Simonds '89
Annual Fund Chair

The future of our school is deeply rooted in our past. For more than 125 years, we have built a legacy of achievement, service, community, and excellence. We have done so largely through the extraordinary generosity of our alumni. No matter the size, your gift to the Annual Fund is an investment in our students, our faculty, our campus, and our future. We are grateful for your ongoing support of our school, and for your dedication to preserving our tradition and legacy of excellence.

Kelsey Kerr Pascoe P’07
Director of the Annual Fund

What is the Annual Fund?

The Annual Fund is an ongoing fundraising effort managed by Taft’s Alumni & Development team, and realized through the dedication of legions of volunteers and donors. Taft alumni and parent volunteers work with the Alumni Office to secure gifts from the school constituency, including alumni, current parents, past parents, and grandparents.

Annual Fund dollars are used exclusively to support Taft’s operating budget. That means they pay for books in the library; soccer balls, hockey pucks, and baseball bats; a favorite teachers’ salary; paint brushes, pianos and pottery clay; petri dishes in the chemistry lab, and microscopes for biology; the budget for The Papyrus; the cost of a DJ for a Saturday night dance; and much, much more.

Tax-deductible Annual Fund giving corresponds with Taft’s fiscal year, not the calendar year. That is, the Annual Fund campaign opens on July 1 of each year and ends on June 30 of the following year. Nearly 10% of the school’s total operating budget came from Annual Fund giving last year.

Why do we need the Annual Fund?

Being an independent school means that we are a nonprofit organization, operating without financial support from local or federal taxes. We rely on tuition income, Annual Fund income, and endowment income to support the day-to-day operation of our school—which comes with an annual price tag of nearly 50 million dollars. Our tuition, which aligns closely with that charged by our peer schools, covers only about 64 percent of what it costs to educate each Taft student. The Annual Fund helps bridge that gap.

What is endowment income?

Endowment funds are like savings accounts that generate income from the investment of the principal. For example, a gift to the Lance Odden Scholarship is put in endowment so that the fund grows and spins off more and more income as years pass. The principal is not touched. A gift to the endowment is NOT a gift to the Annual Fund.

What is a matching gift?

Many companies offer matching gift programs to employees and their families, allowing individual gifts to be doubled, and sometimes tripled. A partial listing of companies offering a matching gift program is available here. If you don't see your company's name, please contact them directly. Matching gift forms are available through participating companies' human resource offices, and should be sent to:

The Taft School
Attn: Anna Kasperuk
110 Woodbury Road
Watertown, CT 06795

All matching gifts are credited directly to you.

What is capital giving?

From time to time, our Board of Trustees identifies projects that require large sums of money to complete; capital funding may support those projects. Bingham Auditorium, HDT dormitory, and the Martin Health Center were all recently renovated thanks to capital giving. Capital gifts may also bolster our endowment, providing meaningful support for academic programs, students, faculty and staff.

To learn more about capital gift opportunities, please call Chris Latham, director of development, at 800-959-8238.

What is the difference between annual giving and capital and/or endowed giving?

The Annual Fund helps us live; capital funds help us grow. That is, the Annual Fund is used for annual expenses, while capital and endowed gifts are for building and special projects.

Questions? Call the Alumni Office at 860.945.7900.

Rhinos Rise to the Day of Giving Challenge

Taft alumni and friends came out in force to make our 2017 Day of Giving a success.

Donor Report

In the spirit of fiscal and environmental stewardship, we no longer print and mail the annual donor report. For your privacy, our online report is password protected; the password has been mailed to alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of the school. Questions? Call the Alumni Office at 860.945.7900.

Leadership Giving Societies

Rhino Club: $250 for young alumni through 10th reunion
1890 Society:
Red & Blue Society: $5,000—$9,999
Non ut Sibi Society: $10,000—$24,999
Winifred T. Taft Society: $25,000—$49,999
Horace D. Taft Society: $50,000—$99,999
Headmaster's Circle: $100,000 and above