Frequently Asked Questions
The Board of Trustees and the Development Committee are leading the campaign with the support of our interim headmaster and the Advancement Office. Ultimately, additional teams of parents, faculty/staff, alumni parents, alumni and grandparents will be formed to support the campaign.
The campaign will fund three areas of our Strategic Plan:
1.) Facilities, including the construction of the new Middle School, the Upper School addition and the completion of the Satellite Athletic Complex.
2.) Academic excellence through a Master Teacher Endowment to support finding, retaining and developing the finest faculty and educators.
3.) Long-term financial strength through the growth of our general endowment.
The generous response of the St. David’s community to the Inspired Futures Campaign will directly impact the speed with which we can start and complete each project. Each component will be fully funded by philanthropy, so as funds are committed and fulfilled, construction can begin. With the completion of a successful campaign in the 2016-17 school year, our timeline would be to begin the Middle School building in June 2017 with completion in August 2018, and to begin the Upper School addition in June 2018 with completion in August 2019. The Satellite Athletic Complex (minus the practice track facility) is currently under construction through the receipt of a lead gift and is scheduled to be completed in spring 2017.
Debt incurred in previous building efforts is wholly serviced through our general operating budget and is not included in the Inspired Futures Campaign.
The Middle School is the top new construction project and will be completed first.
The safety of our students is our number one priority followed by strategies that offer limited disruption to campus life. Our construction team will work hard to complete as much major construction as possible during the summer months. We will proactively and strategically plan for parking, noise, and general campus navigation during construction. The Lower School addition allows us additional space to keep all students on campus during the construction of the new Middle School and Upper School buildings.
One of the hallmarks of St. David’s is our intimate learning community. School leaders are completely committed to preserving this environment. Our current enrollment is about 650 students, and while the new spaces may allow for some limited growth in our school community, there are no plans for a major change to the size and character of St. David’s School.
St. David’s has a general endowment of $2.8 million. We hope to grow that endowment to $5 million through the Inspired Futures Campaign and ultimately to a healthy size for a school like ours. Best practice of independent schools suggests an endowment that is 2.5 times the operating budget or in our case, $12 million x 2.5=$30 million. Gifts to the endowment will include both outright and deferred gifts irrevocably assigned through estate planning.
The Master Teacher Endowment will be restricted to supporting current faculty members in their professional development and innovative classroom projects and to the recruitment of outstanding additional faculty members as needed. The general endowment supports our annual operating budget, helping to keep tuition affordable.
Most families are fulfilling their commitments over 5 years. Specific fulfillment schedules can be drafted on an individual basis as needed. Please contact the Advancement Office for more information.
Absolutely! We recognize that St. David’s is a very special place in the lives of our families. We are honored to join with our families in celebration of their loved ones through an investment to the Inspired Futures Campaign.
Yes! All gifts to the campaign are fully tax-deductible. We encourage individual donors to consult their personal tax advisors with specific questions. Please click here for a full menu of ways to give.
No! Every gift makes a difference in the lives of our students and the future of our school. It is our hope that each family will consider making St. David’s one of their top three philanthropic priorities during the Inspired Futures Campaign and will give accordingly. We hope that supporters will stretch to make a gift of personal significance.
St. David’s welcomes gifts of cash, appreciated stock, and other non-cash assets. Please contact the Advancement Office for stock transfer instruction or to discuss a non-cash gift.
St. David’s is grateful to families who choose to include the school in their estate plans. Following best practices of other independent schools, St. David’s will include the present values of irrevocable, deferred gifts in its campaign totals.
There are naming opportunities available for individual spaces across our campus. Naming opportunities are meaningful ways to honor a loved one or a special teacher. All gifts of $15,000 or more to the Inspired Futures Campaign will be permanently recognized in the new Middle School building. In addition, all families who support the campaign at any level will be recognized through our annual report. Any family that wishes to remain anonymous can exercise that option.
Contributing to a school’s Capital Campaign is a rewarding experience. It is an opportunity to give back to a school that has nurtured and supported your family while also providing the possibility for future families to benefit from the experience of the St. David’s education. All current St. David’s students benefit from the investments of families who have come before them. An independent school is just that—independent. The National Association of Independent Schools of which St. David’s is a member offers this definition:
By generally agreed upon definition, an independent school is independent in two critical ways:
Independent in governance meaning that the school is organized as not-for-profit and is governed by a self-perpetuating board of directors, as opposed to being “owned” and run by the government (public schools), by a diocese (parochial schools), or by for-profit entities (proprietary schools).
Independent in finance meaning that the school charges tuition and raises money to operate, as opposed to being supported primarily by public monies or religious subsidies.
It is the independence of independent schools that offers them the four essential freedoms that make independent schools strong:
- The freedom to define their own mission (why they exist, whom they serve).
- The freedom to regulate admissions (admitting only those students appropriate to the mission).
- The freedom to define teacher credentials.
- The freedom to teach what the teachers decide is important (free from state curricular and textbook and testing mandates).
Inherent in this definition is financial independence. St. David’s relies upon tuition dollars, revenue generated from the endowment and gifts to the annual fund to operate each year. Special projects like interactive displays in the Lower School, 3-D printers, the Makerbot, and guest lecturers from around the world can only be funded through the generosity of members of the St. David’s family—current and past.
Campaign leaders will invite corporations and foundations who have demonstrated an interest in supporting academic excellence rooted in authentic faith and/or have a connection to St. David’s or one of our families to support the campaign. In fact, connections to national foundations have been uncovered. If you have a connection to a local or national business or foundation that you believe might be interested to support St. David’s, please let a member of the Cabinet know.
The reality of independent schools is that current and former families (parents, grandparents, and alumni) are the primary supporters of both annual and special campaigns. No one care more deeply about the mission of the school than the families who have experienced it.
Absolutely! If your company matches gifts to educational institutions, then your gift (or a portion of your gift) can be matched. Simply forward the matching gift form to the Advancement Office with your payment and they will take care of the rest. Matching gifts are a wonderful benefit for our school.
Every independent school has a gap between what tuition covers and the true cost of educating each student. At St. David’s, the gap is approximately 6% (94% of operating expenses are covered by tuition revenue) or $1,400 per student.
St. David is committed to affordable tuition, recognizing the investment families make when they choose an independent school education for their student. The annual fund allows current families, alumni, alumni families, grandparents, local businesses and foundations to join together in support of academic excellence rooted in authentic faith; thereby strengthening the kingdom for all.
Yes! The Annual Fund is a key component of covering the gap between tuition and the cost of educating each student. You can expect the opportunity to support the annual fund each fall, and we thank you in advance for your faithful generosity.
Fantastic! We would love to have you. One of the best way you can help is by committing to pray daily for the discernment of God’s will for our School. There are many other ways to be involved, simply contact Frank Pierce, Director of Advancement at 919.782.3331. Thanks!
Yes, please! Support from friends and family will be crucial to our success. Please let us know if you’d like us to mail information to your friends and family by contacting, Frank Pierce, Director of Advancement at 919.782.3331.
Updates will be available through this website dedicated to Inspired Futures. It will include campaign progress, noteworthy events as well as photos of the construction along the way.