RSSAA - Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor

Annual Giving

The annual fund appeal is the cornerstone of the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor development program.

Each year, parents, teachers, trustees, staff, friends, grandparents, and neighbors impact the lives of our students by contributing to the Annual Fund.

Annual Fund contributions are essential to the day to day operations of the school, and are tax-deductible for the donor. These funds help fill the gap in the operating budget — of about $1,000 per student that is not covered by tuition and other fees. They help to pay for everything that facilitates the teaching in the classrooms, like instructional materials and equipment, facilities and utilities, and faculty and staff salaries.

As we continue our work with the wonderful children and young people here at RSSAA, we feel a renewed appreciation for everything that makes this school so vibrant and successful. The ongoing commitment and involvement of numerous people in many roles all contribute to the vitality of our school. Each year we build upon prior efforts as we continue to grow and nurture our children and the school.

Please join with us in ensuring that the Annual Fund Appeal continues to be secure bedrock upon which to build the future of the Waldorf School by making your pledge or contribution today.

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Annual Fund Appeal Q & A

What is the Annual Fund Appeal?

The Annual Fund Appeal is a direct appeal to trustees, parents, grandparents, alumni parents, alumni, faculty, staff and friends for financial contributions in support of the school’s operating budget.

What are the major components of the school’s operating budget?

About 56% of our operating budget is used to fund salaries and benefits for teachers and staff, and about 23% is used for tuition assistance and other discounts. The balance supports programs, utilities, facilities and equipment, maintenance, and insurance.

Why is the Annual Fund necessary?

Tuition and other fees cover about 93% of the annual operating expenses of the school, and the purpose of the Annual Fund is to help bridge this gap. Income from the Holiday Bazaar, Spring Fundraiser, School Store and SCRIP also go toward annual operating expenses. We raise about $200,000 per year from these four initiatives.

Why not raise tuition?

No independent school could charge the full cost of educating its students without pricing itself out of the market. That’s why every independent school has an Annual Fund Appeal. In addition, tuition is a non-tax-deductible contracted contribution to the school, while gifts to the Annual Fund are fully tax-deductible.

What makes RSSAA an independent school?

We design our own program and curriculum, operate without financial support from federal or state government agencies, and are self-governed by our Board of Trustees and our College of Teachers. Unlike public schools, which are funded by tax dollars, independent schools rely solely upon tuition revenues and philanthropic gifts to meet their operating and capital expenses.

Are there other fundraising activities besides the Annual Fund at RSSAA?

Yes. In addition to asking everyone in the school to participate in the Annual Fund, we have several events and ongoing projects each year that strive to raise significant funds, such as the Spring Fundraiser, the Holiday Bazaar, the School Store and the scrip program. Each of these helps to raise funds for the operating budget. We are also seeking contributions for the renovation of 3 classrooms for the lower school, audience chairs for the High School, tuition assistance and to build our endowment.

Who supports the Annual Fund?

Every segment of the school community supports the Annual Fund. Last year, we had more than 200 contributions from trustees, parents, grandparents & special friends, alumni parents, faculty & staff, businesses and foundations, all of whom helped us to achieve and surpass our goal of $40,000 including a matching gift of $5,000.

Do corporations and foundations support the Annual Fund?

Corporations typically contribute to independent schools by offering matching gifts to their employees’ contributions. Several families in our school are able to double their personal contributions through their employer’s matching gift programs – you may want to check with your employer to see if such a program is in place where you work. Foundations generally give to Annual Fund appeals when there is a direct personal connection to the school. Usually they are much more interested in specific projects that are within their funding guidelines and advance their specific areas of interest.

Why is participation important?

The school’s financial strength is dependent upon the participation of all members of its constituency. Your participation generates enthusiasm and encourages others to join you in supporting the school, and it is a key indicator to foundation and corporate donors that we have consistent support from those we serve, both past and present. Recently, in a grant notification letter from the Waldorf Schools Fund, President Gloria Kemp wrote: “It is indeed a pleasure to support an initiative at schools where the enormous success of the Annual Fund Appeal speaks of the high degree of commitment and support coming from the school community.”

How much should I give?

You are the only one who knows how much you are able to give, and we ask only that you give to the best of your ability. As a simple rule of thumb, our Annual Fund gifts need to average approximately $180 (or $15 per month through online giving) for each child enrolled to meet our goal. Some parents truly cannot afford to give that much, yet others in the community are more than happy to make up the difference. If you feel you are of average means within the community then please give accordingly. If you are able to give more, please do so.

Can I donate stock to the Annual Fund?

Yes. This is a great way to make a gift to the school. Giving appreciates securities provides you with a tax deduction for the appreciated value of the stock without incurring capital gains tax. Our Development Staff (734-335-4141 x 32) would be very pleased to provide you with details on how to make stock gifts.

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