Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Annual Fund?
Friends Academy depends upon Annual Giving to help close the gap between tuition revenues and operating expenses. Tuition only covers about 85% of the cost of a Friends Academy education. Put another way, each student receives about $5,000 tuition discount per year. Every independent school, college and university has this gap. Each fall, each of our constituents, parents, alumni, faculty and staff receives the Annual Fund appeal. Gifts to the Annual Fund are unrestricted and are used to meet current needs. These differ from capital gifts which are used to build or renovate facilities or to build the endowment.
Where does the Annual Fund go and who decides how it is used?
Annual Fund gifts help pay financial aid, faculty salaries, and co-curricular activities.
Will I be asked to contribute to the Annual Fund?
Yes! All members of the community are asked to contribute to the Annual Fund as their means allow. Annual Giving is the major fundraiser for Friends Academy and we ask that everyone participate. When you receive a mailing or a phone call we ask that you please give generously.
How much should I give?
You are the only one that can decide what your gift should be. Last year gifts ranged from $10 up to $100,000. There are leadership gift clubs at all levels. Many give more modest gifts. The key is supporting through participation as your means allow.
Gifts of $50,000 and above
Gifts of $25,000-$49,999
Circle of Friends
Gifts of $15,000-$24,999
Gifts of $10,000-$14,999
Gideon Frost Society
Gifts of $5,000-$9,999
Red and Black Association
Gifts of $1,000-$4,999
Young Alumni Leaders
Gifts of $100 or more by Alumni within 10 years of Graduation
Are gifts tax deductible?
Yes, if you itemize. Each gift will receive a thank you letter from the Development Office which serves as a receipt for tax purposes. How do matching gifts work?
Many companies match gifts to non-profit organizations. You could double or even triple your gift to Friends by filling out a simple form from your company's human resources office. It's that easy! Use the box below to look up your employer's matching gift policies, or check with your company’s human resources or corporate giving department and make sure to send the company’s matching gifts form in with your donation.
Can I make a gift of stock or another asset like real estate?
Gifts of appreciated securities and other assets may offer tax advantages to the donor. Capital gains taxes on appreciation may be avoided if an asset is donated. Yet, the donor gets credited for the market value of the asset that is given.
More details may be available from your financial advisor. You can also contact the Development Office for details on how to make a transfer.We already pay tuition, and lots of it, what do we get when we donate?
Gifts support the people and programs that make FA unique. Dedicated teachers, small class sizes, academics and co-curricular activities. Financial Aid makes diversity possible and benefits all students.Why does Friends need the money? Look at the beautiful campus and gorgeous facilities.
It is easy to overestimate how affluent FA is. One should not assume that the school is rich, the teachers are well paid, and the financial needs are few. The reality is that tuition doesn’t cover the cost of a Friends Academy education and the Annual Fund helps bridge that gap. In addition, our teachers are paid much less than they can make in a public school, or even other top independent schools. Friends is seeking to narrow that gap to attract and retain the highest caliber faculty. Without donations to the Annual Fund the school would operate at a deficit of approximately $1 million per year.Can't the school be run more efficiently? Why don't we cut our costs? Don't we have too many administrators?
Those making donations to Friends Academy can be assured their funds are being used wisely. Friends runs a very lean and efficient organization. In a benchmark study of similar schools, FA had among the lowest administrative costs as a % of operating expense and plant expense as % of operating expense.*
Academically, efficiency is not the goal. High quality education is labor intensive. It requires personal attention. Increasing classroom size and reducing staff is counter to the goal of providing the best education possible.
* Benchmark comparison study Friends Academy Finance DepartmentCan I help volunteer with the development office to help fundraising efforts?
Yes! Friends has instituted a volunteer program for those that are able to contribute time during the school year. Please contact the Development Office at 516.629.4859 for more details on how to participate.