It takes all of us. Every gift makes a difference.
Gifts to the Annual Fund provide 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 providing 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.
The RCDS Annual Fund has grown from $841,000 in 1993-94 to $3.85 million in 2018-19. During this 25-year period, the annual giving program has raised over $60 million for the School, including over $9 million for the RCDS Endowment Fund through the very successful Senior Gift program.
According to National Association of Independent School (NAIS) statistics, RCDS participation levels in annual giving far exceed national averages for independent day schools. For 19 consecutive years, 95 percent or more of current RCDS parents have supported annual giving, compared to just 66 percent nationally. In addition, RCDS alumni participation of 25 percent is more than 15 percentage points higher than the national average for independent day school alumni.
Like most independent day schools, RCDS remains tuition-driven as 83 percent of income is derived 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 $2 million, or 6 percent, of the operating budget's income. The RCDS Endowment continues to grow through capital and senior gift campaigns. The School also is debt-free.
Rye Country Day, like other educational institutions, is labor intensive and thus spends the major portion of its budget on salaries and benefits. The Board of Trustees is committed to attracting, supporting, and retaining 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 16% of the student body with $5.9 million in need-based aid. This financial aid program is funded through restricted endowment funds, the operating budget, the RCDS Parents Association, and several other annual giving donations designated for financial aid.
Annual Giving supports all areas of the school, including academics, arts, athletics, drama, technology, financial aid, and faculty and staff salaries and benefits. Annual gifts are solicited and given every year to support these programs.
Capital Campaign giving generally includes larger pledges that help leave a legacy for future generations. Most Campaign gifts are 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.