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 A. Kerr P’07
Director of the Annual Fund
- What is the Annual Fund?
- Why do we need the Annual Fund?
- What is endowment income?
- What is a matching gift?
- What is capital giving?
- What is the difference between annual giving and capital and/or endowed giving?
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.
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 68 percent of what it costs to educate each Taft student. The Annual Fund helps bridge that gap.
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.
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.
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.
Questions? Call the Alumni Office at 860.945.7900.
In the spirit of fiscal and environmental stewardship, we no longer print 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.
Rhino Club: $250 for young alumni through 10th reunion
1890 Society: $1,890—$4,999
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