The Cottage Schools Advancement Office maintains and strengthens connections among the the TCS community: alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends. Through frequent and effective communications, we report to the community on the outstanding work being done at TCS and listen to feedback from our community to assist in identifying the areas with a potential for growth. In order to further The Cottage School mission, the School solicits support through programs like the Key Annual Fund and specific capital campaign projects.
The Office of Advancement focuses its energies on these primary functions:
- Annual Fund; periodic Capital Campaigns; Scholarship Fund, Grant Research and Preparation;
- Marketing and Communications;
- Alumni Relations;
- Public Relations, including press and the maintenance of a consistent visual image of the school on all publications;
- External Communications, including website, brochures, admissions materials, newsletter, press and advertising;
- Liaison with Parent Association volunteers for our special event fundraisers
- Special Events.
Tuition alone does not provide the revenue needed to offer the excellence in education that is The Cottage School tradition. According to the National Association of Independent Schools, tuition and fees cover approximately 80 percent of the actual cost of a students education in an independent day school. The Cottage School relies on and is deeply grateful for the financial support given the Board of Directors, families, friends, and staff. This support makes it possible to offer the very best to TCS students with special learning needs.
The Key Annual Fund
Annual Giving is the single most important source of non-tuition income for The Cottage School. It is a responsibility we all share.
10 percent can make the difference!
The goal of the Key Annual Fund is to build a solid annual giving program that will eventually provide a critical 10 percent of the Schools operating budget, enabling TCS to enhance its programs and keep tuition increases minimal. Gifts to the fund directly and immediately benefit each student and faculty member as well as every program on campus. This represents a major step towards building an annual giving program that is sustainable and contributes a significant level of funds to the operating budget.
In addition to the financial benefits the school receives from a gift to the Key Annual Fund, participation, at any level is the single strongest factor considered by private and corporate foundations in determining whether or not to lend their support to The Cottage School. Many foundations will not consider a request for funding if the organization has not achieved 100 percent participation in their annual fund by Board, staff, and key stakeholders (in a schools case, parents).
The goal for the 2013-14 Key Annual Fund is $130,000 and 100% participation from Parents, Staff, and Board.
Gifts of all sizes really do make a difference because their collective impact is tremendous. The Key Annual Fund campaign kicks off in August each year. Pledges and gifts are solicited from August through May. Pledges must be fulfilled by May 31 to be counted in the total.
The Key Annual Fund differs from other fundraising efforts because it directly supports the The Cottage Schools operating budget. Periodically, independent/private schools will raise funds for large-scale projects such as new construction, technological and campus renovations, or endowments. This type of effort is typically referred to as a capital campaign. Additional funds raised over and above the $130,000 may be set aside for future capital projects.
The Key Annual Fund is the single most critical fundraising program for The Cottage School. All parents are encouraged to support it first before supporting any other fundraising program.
What other fundraising programs will TCS ask parents to support ?
The Cottage School has streamlined its fundraising efforts in order to ensure that our community is not overburdened with requests for donations, and to create a consistent, unified focus for the school. All fundraising activities must be pre-approved by the TCS Advancement Office.
Tracy Ballot, Director of Advancement
Lesley Masisak, Advancement & Communications Coordinator