Annual Giving FAQ
Wildwood’s unique community is a dynamic blend of challenging programs and diverse people. We rely on that community—current parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and friends—every year through Annual Giving to help ensure our ability to offer an exceptional education to all our students. Contributions to Annual Giving touch every aspect of the school, from flexible tuition to professional development, technology to the arts, athletics, musical programs, and college counseling.
On an annual basis, your tax-deductible gift helps us apply financial resources to the areas of greatest need. Your participation ensures the school’s solid financial future and inspires outside financial institutions with the confidence to invest in Wildwood. Below are common questions and answers about Annual Giving. For more information, please contact Director of Annual Giving Danielle Lesner at email@example.com or (310) 806-4525.
What is Annual Giving?
Annual Giving is Wildwood’s top annual fundraising priority. Each year, all members of our community (parents, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, grandparents, and friends) are asked to make a tax-deductible gift to Wildwood. The 8 to 10 percent or more of our budget revenues raised through Annual Giving ensures our school has all the necessary resources (faculty, facilities, flexible tuition, technology, and program support) to provide each child with an exceptional Wildwood education.
Do all independent schools fundraise?
Yes, all independent schools fundraise. Tuition is the "price tag" for an independent school education, but it is not the true cost.
Why is Annual Giving so important? What does it fund?
Tuition covers about 90 percent of the school’s annual budget; Annual Giving support pays for the essentials needed for excellence.
Annual Giving impacts every part of our community—faculty and staff recruitment and retention, academic programming, technology, athletics, visual and performing arts and music, the unique socioeconomic diversity of our community, and more.
Why doesn’t Wildwood simply raise tuition to cover the true cost of a Wildwood education?
Wildwood endeavors to maintain tuition rates that are comparable with peer schools and kept at a level that makes an independent school education possible for a wide scope of families with varying economic circumstances.
Keeping tuition rates moderated, without compromising the quality of our educational program, is an important core value of Wildwood.
Why am I asked to increase my gift each year?
Each year, it costs more to run the school, particularly to attract and retain Wildwood’s outstanding faculty and staff. Annual Giving revenues represent a set percentage of the budget, so they must increase, as well.
How much am I expected to give?
Our request is that you make Wildwood your primary philanthropic priority. We ask that you contribute at a level that is personally meaningful and that makes sense for your family, keeping in mind the number of children you have at Wildwood. Gifts range from $20 to $50,000. Every gift is greatly valued and deeply appreciated.
Is my gift tax-deductible?
Annual Giving donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our Tax ID Number is 95-2921998.
Why is the school asking for pledges to be received by Dec. 31?
The school’s budget (and tuition) for the upcoming year is set in January. Receiving Annual Giving pledges by Dec. 31 allows us to predict next year’s totals with confidence and set the budget accordingly.
If I make a pledge by Dec. 31, may I pay later?
Absolutely. You have until May 1 to make your pledge payment.
May I make pledge payments over time to maximize my family’s gift?
Yes. Please contact Director of Annual Giving Danielle Lesner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 806-4525 to arrange a personalized payment schedule.
Why is 100 percent participation so important?
It is a vote of confidence in our school, our faculty, and our educational mission.
100 percent participation is evidence that everyone in our community shares in the effort. This supports our philosophy that we must all work together to provide our children and the future generations of graduates with the best possible education.
High Annual Giving participation is a benchmark used by foundations and outside funders when deciding which of the many worthwhile schools will receive their financial support.
Who is asked to contribute to Annual Giving?
All members of our extended community are asked to participate each year. Wildwood enjoys 100 percent participation from faculty and staff and the Board of Trustees. Historically, participation by current parents reaches 94 to 98 percent, which is significantly above the national average for K-12 independent schools. As a relatively young school, a growing number of our alumni, parents of alumni, and grandparents contribute to Annual Giving each year.