ANNUAL FUND DRIVE
REMAINS SHORT OF GOAL
With the fiscal year drawing to a close on June 30, there are only three weeks remaining for people to support Saints Peter and Paul School with a tax-deductible gift to the Annual Fund Drive.
When the School Board constructs the annual operational budget, they receive income from three sources: parish subsidy ($539,918), endowment earnings, ($557,915) and fundraising ($220,000). They then look at expenses such as salaries, benefits, textbooks, utilities, technology, etc. The shortfall between the income and expenses is made up from tuition.
The two Leadership Boards which sponsor fundraisers to augment the school budget are the Home & School Association and Advancement Board. The Home and School made a $100,000 commitment which was expected to come from the two activities they have responsibility for - the Auction and Fun Fair.
The Advancement Board this year was asked to pledge $115,000, an amount which they anticipated being split evenly between proceeds from the Golf Outing and Annual Fund Drive.
Here is what the scorecard looks like today.
The $109,000 net profit from the Auction allowed the Home & School to make good on its commitment and the success of the Golf Outing has lived up to its part of the bargain by meeting its goal of $60,000. This left only the Annual Fund Drive to complete the loop by raising a similar amount.
Unfortunately, this year's Annual Fund appeal has not yet resonated with the majority of our 251 families and has only resulted in tax-deductible gifts of $39,450 from 22% of our parent population, or $15,550 short of the goal.
"We are grateful for the school families who have supported major fundraising efforts or smaller appeals like out of uniform days, split the pot at basketball games, and the Queen of Hearts raffle" observed Mike Bracken, the outgoing Advancement Board President. He went on to add, "But our School Board cannot balance its budget without the $55,000 in annual fund drive gifts from school families."
What Mike did not say is that falling short of the goal leaves both the Board and school in uncharted territory.
"It's not the Advancement Board's role to determine what steps to take should the results not improve dramatically as this month unfolds," said Advancement Director Frank Glowaty. However, he went on to point out, "One of the advantages of the Annual Fund Drive (and all fundraisers) is that it generates school revenue by way of tax-deductible gifts."
Fundraising has been a challenge for our school in recent years and school leaders are perplexed at not being able to articulate the reasons for the decline in giving. For example, there are 48 school families who made an Annual Fund Drive gift last year but have yet to do so in 2018-19.
Speculation for the lethargy has centered on everything from donor fatigue, to the overall value of our endowments, a lack of enthusiasm for projects being funded by the drive, a smaller base of school families,
new tax laws which could impact some charitable giving, ineffective communication, and the lack of opportunities to meet with people face-to-face and explain the needs of the school.
"We know there is a correlation between tuition rates and enrollment," offered school principal Karen Meskill, "which is why fundraising is so critical to our school's success," she conclud