Annual Fund

Annual Fund

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Rising to the Challenge: 2020-21 Annual Fund Results and Awards

JULY 22, 2021

Taft's Annual Fund is an ongoing fundraising effort managed by the school's Alumni and Development team and realized through the dedication of legions of volunteers and donors. What does that mean? Annual Fund dollars help close the gap between what tuition covers and the true cost of educating a Taft student. During the Annual Fund year running July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, more than 600 volunteers, donors from 38 countries, 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and alumni, parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, family, and friends came together to raise $5,760,737 in support of the school's operating budget. From infrastructure upgrades, laboratory materials and teacher salaries, to library books, art supplies, and athletic equipment, the Annual Fund gifts impact the experience of every Taft student, each and every day. And for that we are grateful. 

With guidance and support from the Alumni and Development team, passionate and dedicated volunteers led Taft's 20-21 Annual Fund efforts. Fund Co-Chairs Dylan Simonds '89 and Tamara Sinclair '05, Parents' Fund Chairs Neile and Chad Messer '90, Grandparents' Fund Chair Joanie Dayton, and Former Parents' Fund Chairs Jean and Stuart Serenbetz rallied their respective constituents in support of Taft's mission. For the 29th consecutive year, at least 90% of current Taft parents made gifts to the school. This year, those gifts totaled $2,614,651, representing 45% of total giving. Alumni gifts, coming from 37% of Taft alumni, added $2,462,380 to the Fund's bottom line. With Taft's operating budget wholly dependent on tuition and philanthropic investment, Annual Fund participation is vital to our school. It is clear that the combined leadership of our volunteers and generosity of our donors continue to make a significant difference in the lives of Taft's students and faculty.

Thank you to all of our volunteers and donors who, during an exceptionally difficult and unusual time continued to "show their love" on Taft's Day of Giving; to the Classes of 2007-20 who reshaped our Young Alumni Challenge this year; to all of the parents who rose to the meet this year's Participation Challenge; and to everyone who gifted our community with their time, talent, or monetary donation large or small during the Annual Fund year. Your dedication and generosity help keep our community strong. 

Questions? Call the Alumni Office at 860.945.7900


Tamara Sinclair '05 Named Alumni Annual Fund Co-Chair

As the Taft community looks toward the future, it also looks to those in leadership roles to advance the School in every way while building on a 130-year tradition of excellence. That forward-thinking brings new ideas and initiatives that incorporate what Taft does best with timely, creative, and meaningful responses to the ever-changing needs and demands of the global community. It is in that vein that we announce a new leadership structure for the alumni arm of the Taft School Annual Fund. In the past, the Annual Fund has been led by an alumnae/us chair. Effective November 1, 2020, the Fund will be led by co-chairs, one who identifies as male and one identifying as female. Please join us in congratulating Tamara Sinclair ’05, who will join long-serving Fund leader Dylan Simonds ’89 in establishing the shared leadership roles.

“Taft has always been my first home away from home and since my final days as a student, these brick buildings have beckoned me back,” says Tamara, Owner of Choice Boarding Educational Consultants. “My first homecoming came when I joined the admission team traveling to further Taft's global connections and working with students to channel the lessons learned from my own transformational mentors here. Now I find that I am home again—this time with the opportunity to help Taft respond to its new call to action, and rise to the financial challenge that real institutional change demands.”

After graduating from Taft, Tamara earned a degree in the biological basis of behavior from The University of Pennsylvania. Following graduation, she moved to Tokyo, Japan, where she worked with elementary and junior high school students. Time teaching adults in Thailand followed, then a return to Taft as the Director of Multicultural Recruitment. In that position, Tamara traveled with the Ten Schools Admission Organization (TSAO), building valuable professional and personal knowledge and relationships along the way. All of which served her well in founding her current business, Choice Boarding Education Consultants.

“Tamara’s deep connection to Taft and her dedication to helping lead the School toward the future bring great energy, fresh ideas, and optimism to our community,” notes Annual Fund Director Kelsey Kerr P’07. “Dylan Simonds has done so much for the School and the Annual Fund through the years. He is thrilled to welcome Tamara to our team.”

As Alumni Annual Fund Co-Chairs, Tamara and Dylan will work closely with the Alumni and Development Office—as well as Class Agents—to steward Taft’s Annual fund by building strong relationships with fellow alumni and increasing philanthropic revenue and participation. During their voluntary terms, they will also serve as Ex-Officio Trustees, participate in all Trustee meetings, and sit on the Board’s Development Committee. New appointees will adhere to three-year term limits. Given his history in the position, Dylan will serve for the remainder of the fiscal year in the post.

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 sent to alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of the school. Questions? Call the Alumni Office at 860.945.7900.    

Leadership Giving Societies

Rhino Society:
1st-5th Reunion: $250+
6th-10th Reunion: $500+
1890 Society: $1,890—$4,999
Red & Blue Society: $5,000—$9,999
Non ut Sibi Society: $10,000—$24,999
Head of School Society: $25,000—$49,999
Winifred T. Taft Society: $50,000—$99,999
Horace D. Taft Society: $100,000 and above

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