Everything you ever wanted to know about the Annual Fund* (*but didn’t know who to ask. )
Why should I give money to Gould? What’s in it for me? Alumni giving has been a Gould tradition for 175 years. It is what our alumni do: help keep Gould as strong today as it was back when they were students. Someone did it for you, and whether you are motivated by gratitude, a vision for the future, a sense of responsibility, recognition, or by the chance to “pay it forward”, we want you to understand that your support really matters and that it is directly affecting the lives of our faculty and students.
How does the Annual Fund get used? Unrestricted annual gifts enter the general operating budget and are directed to three areas that are critical to our success as educators: Faculty compensation, financial aid, and college counseling. Specifically, last year’s Annual Fund: • Allowed us to offer our teachers a salary and benefits package that is competitive with our peer schools in New England;
• Helped 100% of our graduates gain acceptance to a four-year institution, with over half of them accepted at their first-choice school;
• Helped 43 of our 69 seniors gain admission to institutions listed as one of either “Newsweek’s 25 New Ivies” or US News & World Report’s “Top 75 Colleges or Universities”;
• Helped us offer $1,725,000 in financial aid to 40% of our students;
• Allowed us to enroll 31 new students who otherwise might not have been able to afford tuition, and provide financial aid to 63 returning students.
Your support really matters and it directly affects the lives of our faculty and students How does the Annual Fund fit into the budget? We count on the Annual Fund to raise 7% of our annual budget.
Schools simply are not improved by the same type of efficiencies that make a business more profitable. Why can’t you run the school in a more business-like way, cut expenses and charge the full cost so you don’t have to ask for donations? Think of it this way: The mission of a business is to make a profit, whereas the mission of a school is to provide a high quality education. Every year our Board of Trustees reviews the budget to make sure that the school is running as efficiently as it can. But schools simply are not improved by the same type of efficiencies that make a business more profitable. To become efficient in that way, we would have to cut staff, programs, supplies, or maintenance…and those changes would negatively affect the quality of the education. The alternative – increasing tuition – would prevent many families from being able to afford Gould.
Gould has a beautiful campus. It sure doesn’t look like it needs money. Nearly every building on Gould’s campus and most of our athletic facilities were built by donations to the school. We’re not a wealthy school…in fact, we have less money in the bank than most schools do. We are, however, lucky enough to have alumni who understand how much we depend on donations, and those loyal alumni have given the gifts that helped us build our buildings, athletic facilities, and faculty housing.
My family already paid for my tuition. Now you’re asking for even more? The bottom line is this: Fundraising is necessary and we do it because we have to. A strong Annual Fund allows Gould to give every student - including you when you were here – thousands of dollars more education than what tuition pays for. But instead of charging what Gould really costs or cutting back on our programs, we use the Annual Fund to make up the difference.
How much you choose to give and when you choose to give is entirely voluntary. Do I have to give every year, and do you expect me to give more each time? How much you choose to give and when you choose to give it is entirely up to you. However, consistent giving is important to the Annual Fund’s success, and we hope that you will be inspired to contribute annually. We also hope that over time your giving will reflect your change in income. But consistency is key and we would rather receive a modest gift from you every year than a single large gift.
Why are you asking me for money when you know I’m still in college or just getting started in my career? As a young Gould alumnus you are in the early stage of your career, you may be repaying college loans or even starting a family. We understand that. However, since Gould could not survive without the Annual Fund, we ask all our alumni, young and old, to contribute. Some alumni believe that we only want large gifts, but that is not true. No gift is too small, so whether it is $5, $50 or $500, we hope you will give an amount that you feel is appropriate.
When should I make my gift or pledge? The earlier we receive your gift or pledge, the earlier we can put it to work for our faculty and students. We encourage alumni to make their pledges by December 31st each year, although payments and gifts may be made until June, the end of our fiscal year.
Financially, this is not a good time for me. We understand. In that case, would you consider making a small “participatory” gift so you can be counted with the rest of your class? It all adds up, and every gift of every size makes a difference. Remember that you can pledge now and take until June (the end of our fiscal year) to pay it, and you have the options of paying all at once or installments with cash, check, stock or credit card.