Capital Giving

Deerfield’s endowment began in 1939, with a bequest from Jennie Maria Arms Sheldon, whose gifts included the George Albert Arms Science Building, given in memory of her father. Over the years, such gifts of generosity and vision have helped the endowment grow to its current value of over $500 million, providing a crucial portion of the school’s operating budget each year, and ensuring the best possible experience for Deerfield students of the future.

Facilities Gifts

Over the years, gifts to build, renovate, and restore facilities have helped Deerfield keep pace with the changing needs of students and faculty. Capital projects for facilities include the renovation of The Hess Center for the Arts in 2014, the Boyden Library in 2016, the Athletics Complex in 2018 and the Health and Wellness Center in 2019.

Endowment Gifts

mem_restoration 46The school invests gifts that are designated to endowment with the income directed toward the purpose the donor selects. Only the income from the principal is spent, ensuring that the gift continues in perpetuity, helping to safeguard Deerfield’s finances through changing economic times. There are a number of endowment opportunities available.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Endowment differ from Annual Giving?

The earnings on endowed funds are used in perpetuity to support the academy’s programs and goals. Because the principal of the fund is never spent, it can generate greater earnings over time. Income from endowed funds provides thirty-two percent of the operating budget of the school. Annual giving income, by contrast, is spent the same year it is given and is used entirely in support of the operating budget of the school.

Why create an Endowed Fund at Deerfield?

Every donor has specific personal reasons for creating an endowed fund at Deerfield. Whether it is to afford others the Deerfield experience, or to honor someone, an endowed fund allows that person to remain part of Deerfield forever.

What are the kinds of Endowed Funds I can set up?

Donors may set up a restricted endowed fund in which they designate endowment income for a certain purpose. Donors may also opt to create an unrestricted endowed fund, which leaves the spending of income at the discretion of the school. This is most beneficial, because it allows the Head of School and the Board of Trustees the flexibility to direct the income to the area of greatest need at Deerfield.

What kind of stewardship do Endowed Funds receive?

The Trustees of Deerfield Academy actively manage over 400 endowed funds, protecting the desires of donors and ensuring healthy growth of these assets. Deerfield’s investment policy creates a growing stream of revenue, while protecting and producing funds for reinvestment. Donors receive yearly updates in the ‘Summary of Endowed Funds’ section of the Deerfield Annual Report, and in appropriate individual reports as well.

How are Endowed Funds Established?

Endowed funds can be established with outright gifts of cash or stock, through pledges to complete funding over several years, or through planned gifts (with a direct bequest, a charitable gift annuity, or a pooled income fund). Families can also join resources to create an endowed fund, allowing their gifts to have a greater impact and creating unique multi-generational ties to the school. Various naming opportunities and gift levels for establishing an endowed fund are illustrated here, with suggested options that may appeal to you. These are provided as a general guide towards further thought and discussion specific to your individual wishes and resources.

We honor your trust in us and protect the intent of every gift. For gifting purposes and official documents, Deerfield should be referred to as “Trustees of Deerfield Academy.”

For more information, please contact Rachel Moore, Director of Development, at 413-774-1872 or