2018-19 Annual Fund Results and Awards
Taft’s Annual Fund closed out the 2018-19 fiscal-year with record-setting gift totals from both its alumni and current parent constituencies. Grandparents, former parents, faculty, and friends also gave generously, bringing the total raised between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, to $4,810,512. All donations directly support Taft’s mission to educate the whole student.
"We’re quite fortunate as a school to have a broad network of generous donors who believe in and support the important work we do at Taft,” says Annual Fund Director Kelsey Kerr. “This year, alumni strengthened their commitment by giving at record levels, with 43% supporting their alma mater with a total of $2,291,955. We are extremely grateful for every gift made at every level—and know that the impact of those gifts will be felt in every corner of our campus.”
Annual Fund dollars make up close to ten percent of the school's operating budget: they pay for books in the library; soccer balls, hockey pucks, and baseball bats; teachers’ innovative programs and salaries; 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. All are educational components that students are grateful for, and the Taft community is proud to support.
"Our current parents are consistently supportive of the work we do, which directly benefits their children in every aspect of their lives at Taft,” notes Parents' Fund Director Amy Gorman. “Their generosity this year, however, reached to new heights. We received gifts from 91% of our current parents, totaling a record $2,057,855. Their gifts represented nearly 43% of total giving this year, which is quite extraordinary. I know I speak for the entire school community when I say we are deeply grateful and humbled by our current parents’ generosity.”
The Annual Fund relies on the year-round efforts of a committed team of volunteers, which includes members of the Parents' Committee, Class Agents, and students. They engage with the community through traditional phone calls, mailings, and texts, but also through fun and creative initiatives like the Young Alumni Taft-Hotchkiss Participation Challenge in November, and Taft's May 1 Day of Giving.
“We’re grateful to all of our volunteers and donors for their dedication to Taft," says Kerr. "Special thanks to Dylan Simonds '89, Annual Fund Chair; Sara and Bob Savage, Parents' Fund Chairs; Jean and Stuart Serenbetz, Former Parents' Fund Chairs; and Joanie Dayton, Grandparents' Fund Chair. Their combined leadership allows us to continue making a significant difference in the lives of our students and faculty."
- What is the Parents' Fund?
- What is the Annual Fund?
- Why do we need the Annual Fund?
- Why is the Parents' Fund Important?
The Parents' Fund is part of Taft’s Annual Fund. It is a fundraising initiative driven and supported by the parents of current Taft students. Parents’ Fund Director Amy Gorman coordinates the effort, with help from the Parents' Committee, a group of approximately 50 volunteer families. The Parents' Fund at Taft is one of the leading campaigns of its kind in the country, and has long been recognized as the standard-bearer for parent giving among our nation's independent secondary boarding schools. Ninety-two percent of Taft parents gave to the Parents' Fund last year, representing 38% of total Annual Fund 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, 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 teacher's 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 a price tag of nearly 50 million dollars each year. 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. Taft's current students are the most direct and immediate beneficiaries of all Annual Fund gifts.
Parent support at Taft not only enhances the lives of each student in a direct and immediate way, but it is also one of the school's most impressive credentials. Last year, 92% of Taft parents joined in raising $1,853,099. The ringing endorsement of its parent body has become Taft's special trademark and is a critical factor in enabling the school to compete on every level with the most highly endowed schools in the nation.
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
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.