Support
Annual Fund

Annual Fund FAQs

Why your support is so valuable

New Canaan Country School is a nationally recognized independent school for children in pre-K through Grade 9. Founded in 1916, Country School is a place where children are respected, challenged and empowered. It is also a place where childhood is preserved.

For 102 years, Country School has enjoyed a tradition of academic excellence, with each family playing an active role in the school community. When parents give time in the classroom, volunteer for the Parents’ Association and generously support the Annual Fund, their participation helps Country School fulfill its mission to “inspire students to be lifelong learners with the courage and confidence to make a positive contribution to the world.”

As we begin a new school year, we would like to take this opportunity to answer some frequently asked questions about charitable giving and the vital role our families play in ensuring the continued excellence of our school.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

List of 15 frequently asked questions.

  • WHAT MAKES A SCHOOL “INDEPENDENT”?

    Independent schools do not receive public funding and therefore rely on tuition, income from endowment and voluntary contributions from parents, alumni, grandparents, faculty and friends to support operating expenses. A Board of Trustees is responsible for the financial oversight of the school. Some of the vehicles through which gifts are made to independent schools like ours include an annual fund, endowment giving, capital fundraising initiatives, corporate matching gift programs, an annual auction or benefit and planned giving.

  •  WHAT IS THE ANNUAL FUND?

    The Annual Fund is the only ongoing, annual fundraising activity that touches every member of the New Canaan Country School community. Every Country School family is asked to participate in either the Annual Fund or the Ninth Grade Endowment.
     
    Annual Fund contributions go directly into the operating budget to meet the everyday expenses of running the school. Tuition alone does not cover the full cost of a Country School education. The Annual Fund “bridges the gap” between tuition payments and income from endowment – and the actual cost of educating each student. Each year, Annual Fund fundraising begins on July 1 and closes on June 30.
     
    When you give to the Annual Fund, you give directly to the people, the programs and the place!  And, unlike tuition, gifts to the Annual Fund are fully tax-deductible. 

  • WHY ISN’T TUITION ALONE SUFFICIENT TO PAY OPERATING EXPENSES?

    If tuition were increased to cover the full cost of faculty and programs at Country School, cherished but expensive programs would be reduced, and many current families would not be able to afford a Country School education. The Annual Fund allows us to maintain a socioeconomically diverse student body, a world-class faculty, small class sizes and exceptional programs in all facets of school life, from academics to the arts and athletics.
     
    The Board of Trustees is committed to maximizing student resources and programs while keeping tuition as affordable as possible. Increasing income to the school through tax-deductible gifts to the Annual Fund is one way to accomplish this goal. 

  • HOW ARE GIFTS TO THE ANNUAL FUND USED?

    The Annual Fund provides resources for the operating budget, which supports everything from the latest technology and hardware, to the best teaching tools and classroom equipment, athletic and arts programs, safety and security for the campus, maintenance and upkeep, financial assistance, as well as faculty salaries and compensation.

  • HOW MUCH SHOULD I GIVE TO THE ANNUAL FUND?

    The amount of the donation is at the discretion of the donor. We ask all members of the school community to contribute to the Annual Fund at a level that is appropriate for them. While you are a parent here, we ask that you consider putting the Annual Fund at the top of your giving list and hope that every parent will be as generous as possible. In the past, donations have ranged from $10 to more than $100,000. Every gift helps close the gap between tuition and the cost of a Country School education, and all gifts are fully tax-deductible.

  • CAN GIFTS BE DESIGNATED FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE?

    Yes. Although the Annual Fund seeks unrestricted gifts, please let us know if there is a project that you would like to fund that is consistent with the programmatic needs of the school.

  • WHAT IS THE NINTH GRADE ENDOWMENT?

    The Ninth Grade Endowment Fund was established in 1996 as a vehicle for ninth grade families to honor and thank their Country School teachers. Families who have a child in ninth grade are asked to give to the Ninth Grade Endowment in lieu of the Annual Fund. Income generated from the Ninth Grade Endowment Fund is used to support faculty enrichment programs. Parents who make gifts to the Ninth Grade Endowment are also listed in the Annual Report with their other children’s classes.

  • WHAT IS THE ENDOWMENT?

    New Canaan Country School’s Endowment works like a savings account and generates interest income, thereby securing the school’s long-term financial future. The principal of an endowment gift is preserved in perpetuity; only the interest income or earnings may be used. Endowment gifts are often designated for a specific purpose and can benefit any area of school life.

  • HOW CAN I MAKE A GIFT?

    Gifts may be made to New Canaan Country School in the form of cash or check, credit card (MasterCard, Visa, AmEx or Discover), or marketable securities. If you choose to give appreciated stock, please contact the Advancement Office for the necessary information. You may make a gift online at www.countryschool.net/giving. 

  • CAN I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MY COMPANY’S MATCHING GIFT PROGRAM?

    If your employer matches donations made to educational institutions, your gift can be increased at no additional cost to you. Please check our matching gift database (click here). The donor receives credit for both the original gift and the amount of the match.


  • ARE THERE OTHER ANNUAL FUNDRAISING INITIATIVES?

    Every second year, the Parents’ Association hosts a benefit auction. Generally held during even-numbered years, proceeds from the auction typically support financial aid. The next auction is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2018.

  • WHAT ABOUT CAPITAL CAMPAIGN INITIATIVES?

    Independent schools rely on capital campaigns to fund projects such as the purchase of land, the construction of new facilities and renovations of existing space. At critical points in the growth and development of a school, the Board votes to initiate a capital campaign, and members of the community are asked to support the effort.
     
    The capital campaign to fund aspects of Country School’s long-range Master Plan is currently in the early phase which means trustees and a small percentage of the members of the school community are being asked to make a gift at this time. Capital campaigns are typically conducted over a five-year period. During that time, every member of the Country School community will be asked to participate. The campaign planning goal estimated at $25 million addresses the initial phase of the campus master plan ($20 million) and the endowment component ($5 million).

  • WHAT IS PLANNED GIVING?

    Planned Giving is a way to realize the personal satisfaction of making a gift to help Country School while securing the financial needs of family or loved ones. Planned gifts are often deferred and might include establishing a trust or annuity, giving stock, real estate or life insurance, or naming the school as a beneficiary in your will or pension plan.
     
    The Welles Society, named after Country School’s first headmaster, recognizes and honors those who have made special provisions to support the school in their estate plans.

  • WHAT IS HORIZONS?

    Horizons at NCCS helps underserved K-12 students from lower Fairfield County improve their educational outcomes by providing academic instruction and enrichment opportunities on the Country School campus during the summer months and on weekends during the academic year.

  • DO GIFTS TO HORIZONS SUPPORT COUNTRY SCHOOL AS WELL?

    No. Although Horizons was founded by and is a program of Country School, Horizons’ fundraising is totally separate from it. Supporting Country School directly supports your child’s education; contributing to Horizons is analogous to supporting other not-for-profits that fund underserved students in Fairfield County.

For more information, contact:

Terry M. Gumz, Director of Advancement
New Canaan Country School
635 Frogtown Road, 635 Frogtown Road
New Canaan, CT 06840
Phone: 203-801-5633
Email: tgumz@countryschool.net