Why Giving to the Annual Fund Is Important

By Marc Johnson ’74 P’08,’11,’14, Greenwich, CT and Scott Vallar ’78 P’12,’14, Bedford, NY

Parent support at Deerfield last year continued to put up impressive numbers, thank you! Deerfield consistently ranks at the top in average gift per family when compared to the other boarding schools in our peer group, and last year was no exception. While most families give $100 or less, Deerfield is fortunate to have families that give $100,000 or more. One area that we do need to improve on as a community is overall parent participation, as this number has been sliding in recent years, from more than 80% to 68% last year. DA is now in the middle of the pack in this important category. Improving the current parent participation rate is a focus of annual giving this year, and current parents will hear more about this as the school year develops.

It costs approximately $78,000 to educate a student at Deerfield, well in excess of the annual tuition of cost of $47,500. This “gap” of $30,500 is, in part, covered by annual giving from parents and alumni, with the balance provided by Deerfield’s endowment. In 2012 Deerfield raised $5.63 million in annual giving, which equates to $8,950 per student, or approximately 30% of the funding gap. Deerfield relies heavily on these Annual Fund contributions, as the annual yield from DA’s endowment is not large enough to fill the entire funding gap of $30,500 per student. As such, Annual Fund contributions represent the margin of excellence that guarantees an unparalleled education for Deerfield’s 630 students and keeps Deerfield at the very pinnacle of secondary school education.

It is also important to note that Deerfield would not be the school that it is today without a solid history of parent support. Through the years, parent giving has been instrumental in creating a school with rock-solid financial stability, along with a diverse, uniquely talented faculty and student body. This has enabled Deerfield to retain the community focus established by Frank Boyden over one hundred years ago, accentuated by sit-down meals and close faculty/student relationships in the classroom, on the playing fields and in the dorms. By preserving the past, and preparing for the future, Deerfield remains a school in first-rate condition. Parent giving continues to play an important role in DA’s development and is worthy of our ongoing strong commitment.

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