It takes all of us. Every gift makes a difference.
Support of the Annual Fund provides current and future RCDS students with the opportunity to pursue their passions and achieve excellence.
As an independent school, we rely on gifts from our community to help bridge the gap between the cost of an RCDS education and tuition. Annual Giving also allows us to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, offer financial aid to deserving students, and fund programs in the arts, athletics, community service, and sustainability, to name a few.
Growth of Annual Giving
The RCDS Annual Fund has grown from $841,000 in 1993-94 to over $4 million in 2014-15. During this 22-year period, the annual giving program has raised over $56 million for the School, including over $9 million for the RCDS Endowment Fund through the very successful Senior Gift program.
Continuing Strong Participation
According to National Association of Independent School (NAIS) statistics, RCDS participation levels in annual giving far exceed national averages for independent day schools. For 14 consecutive years, 95 percent or more of current RCDS parents have supported annual giving, compared to just 62 percent nationally. In addition, RCDS alumni participation of 24 percent is more than 10 percentage points higher than the national average for independent day school alumni.
Like most independent day schools, RCDS remains “tuition-driven” as 88.1 percent of income derives from tuition. The School annually draws 4 percent of a rolling twenty quarter average from the RCDS Endowment Fund. This year, the endowment will provide $1,567,900 or 4.3 percent of the operating budget’s income. The RCDS Endowment Fund has recovered extremely well from the 2009 fiscal crisis, and significant funds have been added to the endowment through the Building on Excellence capital campaign and subsequent senior gift campaigns. The School also is debt-free, having retired its tax-exempt debt in 2010.
Continuous strong enrollment, generous annual giving support, and careful fiscal management have allowed the School to strengthen its financial position even further. Unrestricted annual giving covered a $1.9 million gap in the 2014-15 operating budget. In addition, parents in the Class of 2014 contributed a record $1.1 million to the Senior Gift, most of which went to the Class of 2014 Endowment Fund.Rye Country Day, like other educational institutions, is labor intensive and thus spends the major portion of its budget (68 percent) on salaries and benefits. As noted in the recently published strategic plan, Bold Vision 2020, the Board of Trustees is committed to attracting, supporting, and retaining an outstanding faculty and staff; therefore, competitive salaries and benefits are critical expenditures.
In addition, the Board continues to be committed to supporting the School’s various diversity initiatives, including socio-economic diversity, through the RCDS financial aid program, which supports 141 students with $4,483,500 in need-based scholarships. This financial aid program is funded through restricted endowment funds, the operating budget, the RCDS Parents Association, the Past Parents Scholarship Fund, and several other annual giving donations specifically for financial aid.
Annual Giving helps to cover the costs of educating students that exceed tuition. It also supports all areas of the school, including academics, arts, athletics, drama, technology, faculty and staff salaries and benefits, as well as financial aid. Annual gifts are solicited and given every year to support these programs.
Gifts to the Capital Campaign are generally larger pledges that help leave a legacy for future generations. Most gifts are usually made over a three- to five-year period and normally fund bricks and mortar projects, endowment, and significant program enhancements.We kindly ask that you maintain your level of support for Annual Giving while also contributing to the Advancing a Tradition of Excellence Capital Campaign.