Frequently “UNasked” Questions: Why independent schools need both tuition and donations.

Q. What Is Capital Giving And Why Should I Contribute, Especially If My Child Is Close To Graduation?

A: Capital giving are gifts to fund transformative building, programmatic and endowment needs the school cannot pay for out of tuition funds. In most independent schools, capital campaigns are conducted once or twice a decade. The last capital initiative that Powhatan School carried out, Next Level Campaign, was conducted in 2003.

Since 1948, generations of Powhatan parents, family members and friends have provided the philanthropic support critical to building and sustaining this institution. Children today are benefiting from the resources given by parents of yesterday. Ongoing support from parents and friends of the school is imperative to maintaining Powhatan’s position as the premier Pre-K – 8 school in the region.

Q: My family is already paying tuition . . . What does my child get when we make financial contributions to Powhatan School?

A: Your financial contributions to the Annual Fund supports the people and programs that make Powhatan the great school that it is: talented teachers, small classes, library and instructional resources, up-to-date technology, enriching arts and athletics programs. Your child’s education is financed by both your tuition and Annual Fund gift.

Each year, about 5–10% of the operating budget comes from Annual Fund gifts and directly supports every aspect of life at Powhatan School. Charitable gifts are a necessary part of every independent school’s healthy financial profile.

Q: What did my Annual Fund gift support last year?

A: This past fiscal year, your Annual Fund dollars supported:

  • Faculty salaries
  • Financial aid
  • Professional development
  • Academic programs
  • Technology

Ultimately, Powhatan’s Annual Fund helps Powhatan sustain a school environment in which children are truly known and able to realize their personal best.

Q: If independent schools were run more like big business, couldn’t they charge the full cost and avoid having to ask for gifts?

A: Powhatan School School is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit institution. Unlike a for-profit business, which aims to make money, Powhatan School aims to provide our students with the very best education. By nature, high-quality schools are labor-intensive and people-oriented. In order to provide the best programs and competitive compensation to our outstanding faculty and staff, we continually evaluate and assess tuition increases, auxiliary programs like camp, and effective fundraising initiatives. And unlike tuition, contributions the Annual Fund are fully tax-deductible and allow each family to give at a meaningful level to which they are able.

Q: How much should I give to the Annual Fund and how much of a difference can my gift really make?

A: Ideally, current parents identify Powhatan School as one of their top philanthropic priorities and recognize that their contributions make a significant impact. Annual Fund gifts range from $10 to over $20,000. We encourage families to consider giving at the Leadership Gift level of $1,000 or more, if they are able. Leadership gifts ensure that we raise the necessary additional funds for our students above and beyond what tuition covers to support our program, faculty, and facilities.

Our small school has fewer supporters than larger independent schools or universities, and therefore it is even more critical to have a higher percentage of supporters. Your gift, when added to those of hundreds of other supporters, can have a large impact on our School. Your participation encourages others to give and sends a message to our community that Powhatan School does make a difference. Every gift counts!

Q: When should I make my Annual Fund gift or pledge?

A: The earlier we receive your gift, the earlier we can put it to work for all our students. We encourage all families to make their pledges by December 31, though payments are accepted until June 30.

Q: Will I be asked to make additional gifts to Powhatan School?

A: While there are other giving opportunities at Powhatan School, each benefiting the school in various ways, we expect current parents to make a contribution to the Annual Fund. Optional fundraisers include supporting PPA initiatives, the library, and the eighth grade class gift to the school.

Q: Is Powhatan School eligible for Employer Matching Gifts?

A: Yes! Please ask your employer about Matching Gift Programs that support K–12 schools. This is a great way to double and sometimes triple your gift to Powhatan.

Q: Should I give if I receive Financial Aid?

A: Even though many families make financial sacrifices to pay their tuition, it is still important for every member of our community to participate in our Annual Fund at some level.

 Q: How can I help?

A: First, as a parent and ambassador for the School, your positive endorsement of the program to the broader community helps attract and retain mission-appropriate students. Second, encourage others, such as grandparents, who want to support the School and its mission, to contribute to the Annual Fund. Third, the success of our Annual Fund is dependent upon parent volunteers. We invite all parents to join us.

Ways to Give

There are many ways to make gifts to the Powhatan School. Careful planning can make charitable giving a personally satisfying and financially sound decision. As you consider your gift, explore the options below to learn more about the types of gifts included in the range of options available to donors.

Gifts of Cash: The most convenient form of giving, cash gifts may be made in the form of currency, checks, or by credit card. Gifts of cash, as allowed by law, are deductible for donors who itemize deductions.  You may make a secure online gift here or mail your contribution to:

Powhatan School
49 Powhatan Lane
Boyce, VA 22620

Matching Gift:  Many employers generously match an employee’s gift to non-profit institutions, providing another avenue for additional contributions to Powhatan School. If your employer will match a gift, the company’s matching gift form should be submitted with your own cash or pledge gift.

Securities: Gifts of appreciated securities offer advantages to donors. By contributing appreciated securities, which have been held for more than one year, you receive two tax benefits. First, you avoid the capital gains tax on appreciated value. Second, you qualify for an income tax charitable deduction based on the fair market value of your securities on the date that you make the gift. If you are interested in making a gift of appreciated securities, please contact the Development Office at (540) 837-1009.

Online: Give online here

Contact Information

Amy Sluss, Development Director
SlussA@powhatans.org, 540-837-1009 (w)

Cathy Barr, Director of Parent Relations, Campus Events and Publicity
cathy@powhatans.org, 540-837-1009