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% of Taft graduates 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 Taft students are grateful for, and that the Taft community 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."