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

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 who know each child, library and instructional resources, STEM initiatives, enriching arts and athletics programs. The total cost of your child’s education is financed by both your tuition and The Annual Fund.

Each year, about 5–10% of the operating budget comes from The Annual Fund 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:

Student Financial Aid
Teacher Professional Development
Outdoor Education

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

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 November 31, though payments are accepted until June 30.

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 three 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 level that is meaningful for them.

Your participation encourages others to give and sends a message to our community that Powhatan School does make a difference. Your gift counts!

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, and effective fundraising initiatives. And unlike tuition, contributions to The Annual Fund are tax-deductible and allow each family to give at a meaningful level to which they are able.

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: 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. Additional optional fundraisers include supporting Powhatan Parent Association initiatives, the library, and the eighth grade class gift to the school.

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.

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: 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.