Unlike public schools, private institutions require tuitions to be paid which can be equivalent to that of a college or university. Some may even exceed six figures depending on the quality of education. Though many of these schools may generate revenue through annual funding programs, they still need financial assistance from time to time.
Most private schools’ tuitions do not fully cover the entire cost of educating a student. This financial gap can sometimes be so great that if a certain schools were to never receive donations, they may actually be forced to close. Because they are technically classified as nonprofit organizations, private schools rely on donations from the surrounding community and members of their academy.
Almost every private school has an annual fund. This is comprised of donations from parents, alumni, board members, and charitable individuals willing to give to a better cause. These support a majority of expenses at any given school, which is essential given that tuition only covers roughly 60-80% of the total cost of education.
Of the expenses that these donations go toward, all are equally important. Beside just salaries for teachers and faculty members, private schools must pay for building maintenance, school supplies, cafeteria food, and much more. Many institutions also offer financial aid for families who may not be able to afford their annual tuition prices, and these grants are almost entirely funded by donations. In order to raise these funds, private schools will often run capital campaigns.
These campaigns vary in terms of how long they run, depending on the end goal and how much money a specific school needs to hit their target. They are typically designed around the needs of the community. For example, many campaigns will be geared toward more programs for students, campus improvements, or a higher financial aid budget to allow more students to attend.
‘Gift in Kind’ is another strategy private schools implement which asks for a specific gift or service rather than a monetary donation. This a great program for parents of children enrolled in art classes needing supplies like paint brushes, canvases, or colored pencils. Music and theatre classes require a significant amount of supplies as well rather than just instruments and costumes. Donors can purchase entire theatre sets, sports equipment, clothing, or even just everyday school supplies.
While public schools are absolutely institutions that need charitable assistance, private schools are as well despite the stigma that they are already well funded. If your child, neighbor, or relative is at all involved in their local private school, consider making donation to help not only them, but the students and faculty members as well.