FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ANNUAL FUND
Have questions about the Annual Fund? RA/LP's Manager of the Annual Fund and Alumni Engagement has answers!
What is the Annual Fund?
The Annual Fund is a yearly fund created by unrestricted, voluntary donations. At RA/LP, the Annual Fund makes up approximately 5% of the school’s operating budget. It provides resources to the programs on your family’s campus beyond what is possible through tuition alone.
Why does Ridgefield Academy/Landmark Preschool have an Annual Fund?
As an independent school [501(c)(3) non profit organization], the school does not receive funding from the state or federal government. Independent schools typically have these three main revenue streams: tuition, charitable contributions, and ancillary programs, such as facility rentals and summer camp. This model is common among independent schools (from RA/LP to Harvard). Keeping tuition as low as possible allows for mission-appropriate children from families of varying socioeconomic backgrounds to access an RA/LP experience.
The outstanding work that the teachers do with our children inspires me to give today. The attention to the individual kid, the love of teaching and inspiration they give is remarkable. Thank you! - Current Parent
How does strong Annual Fund participation impact the school?
A strong Annual Fund serves many purposes. Supporting the Annual Fund is one of the most vital ways to express “I believe in the mission and I believe that the school is delivering upon its mission.” High participation serves as a vote of confidence and helps to attract new families and expert teachers. Overall, it’s one of the many ways that working together as a community serves the students’ experiences.
Who makes gifts to the Annual Fund?
Trustees, faculty/staff, current parents, grandparents, parents of alumni, alumni, and friends of the school contribute to the Annual Fund. Independent schools invite their community members to engage through philanthropy as a way to show support of the mission. How is the Annual Fund goal calculated each year? The Annual Fund goal is determined by reviewing the school’s revenue needs, and analyzing philanthropic trends from previous years. The school utilizes the Annual Fund to enhance the student experience, each campus facility, and teacher compensation and professional development.
We give because of RA/LP's commitment to the community and teachers directly benefit each students' experience. We are fortunate to be part of this special community. - Current RA Parent
How can I make an Annual Fund gift? There are many vehicles through which people can make a donation. More traditional vehicles include checks, credit cards, and gifts of stock. Three rapidly growing ways to give include donor-advised funds, corporate matching gifts, and monthly recurring donations. Ridgefield Academy/Landmark Preschool accepts all these payment methods.
Can I decide what my gift does or how far it goes?
When you make a gift to the Annual Fund, you are demonstrating that you trust the school to use those funds in a manner that is mission aligned and impactful. Donations contribute to a predictable stream of needs. In the case of unexpected needs (for example, a pandemic), the unrestricted nature of the fund enables the school to pivot and address the highest priority: keeping the school open and functioning at the highest quality for students. If you have a particular interest at the school, you are welcome to make your gift in honor of that interest, department or person. Recognition of your honor gift will be listed in the school’s annual Gratitude Report.
Our gift is in gratitude for preparing our daughter for high school and the world. -Parent of alumna
How does the Annual Fund directly benefit Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool students?
Some examples of how the Annual Fund directly impacts the students include:
- Subscriptions to educational programs, such as Scratch Jr., BrainPOP, and Google Education Enterprise accounts licensing Professional development for faculty and staff
- Technology, such as Chromebooks, iPads, Parallel remote learning technology, and classroom phones
- Facility maintenance and improvements, such as building a new bathroom in the kindergarten classrooms
- Tuition Assistance for mission-appropriate families
- Classrooms supplies, such as books, art supplies, sensory learning materials
- Salaries and health benefits for faculty and staff
Have more questions about the Annual Fund? Please contact Krista Jacobsen.