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 75% of our operating budget is used to fund salaries and benefits for teachers and staff and about 13% is used for tuition assistance. The balance supports programs, utilities, facilities and equipment, maintenance, and insurance.

Why is the Annual Fund necessary?

Tuition and other fees cover about 96% 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 $160,000 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 funds, such as the Capital Campaign, the School Store, Scrip and special fundraising events. Each of these helps to raise funds for the operating budget or designated campaigns.

Who supports the Annual Fund?

Every segment of the school community supports the Annual Fund. We’ve have more than 240 contributions from board members, parents, grandparents & special friends, alumni parents, faculty & staff, businesses and foundations, all of whom helped us to raise over $85,000.

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. One hundred percent of RSSAA’s Board of Trustees give to the Annual Fund, and we count on every RSSAA family to do the same. What matters most is your participation. Each gift, no matter the size, makes an impact, and when every family gives we reach our budget and the entire community benefits.

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.