Thank you for your continued support for the Annual Fund. As of this moment, our current participation rate is 45%. I am appreciative of all of the families who have registered to participate in this year’s campaign. The funds we will receive will be invested directly into facility and instructional improvements across both campuses. Please know that while last week represented our campaign to encourage participation, the Annual Fund Link is always open for families to participate. Also, if you are currently participating or intend to participate during the current school year, please use the link to indicate your intention. Lastly, at the end of this note, I am including the three points that I included in last week’s email about Annual Fund to help explain the purpose and significance of this portion of our budget.
As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve your family,
Eric Bradley, Head of School
GRACE is almost entirely tuition driven when it comes to our operating budget. This is a recommended best practice throughout the independent school community. Our sources of revenue beyond tuition provide a very small amount of our annual income (lunch program, aftercare/before care, summer camps, facility rentals). In each of these cases, we keep the cost to families as low as possible, to the point that we work from a break even budget. Additionally, we do not have an endowment that provides additional supplemental revenue. Overall, this is a very responsible and appropriate approach to school budget management that follows professional best practices. The bottom line is that we are not dependent on donations/development dollars to run our operations each year. This is why we emphasize the point that the Annual Fund enables us to make improvements to programs and facilities without having to impact our general budget.
Our budgetary approach above provides very little “extra” for additional items beyond the annual budget. The additions and progress that we have made through Annual Fund purchases have allowed us to make improvements without impacting the budget. To put into perspective, thanks to the Annual Fund, we have spent approximately $480,000 since the start of 2016 school year on campus improvements without having to touch the general budget! A sample of what has been done — upgraded all of the restrooms on the Lower Campus, new flooring throughout the Lower Campus, new library furniture on both campuses, new furniture and renovations for three Lower Campus classrooms, the creation of the “lounge” for the sixth graders (remember, this also helped get the sixth and fifth graders out of the second floor hallway), document cameras for the Lower Campus classrooms, projectors for both campuses, a tractor for operations, a complete overhaul of the reception areas on both campuses, additional security cameras, installation and implementation of the raptor system, a baby grand piano, stage microphones for the Upper Campus chapel, etc…We hope to make several more improvements over the course of the current year, including a new 14 passenger bus and additional security improvements on both facilities. Again, and it is a point worth emphasizing, these improvements were made without impacting our operating budget.
A common question concerning the Annual Fund is that if the point is to generate money to support initiatives throughout both campuses, why is the participation important? In other words, why do we put a thermometer noting participation and not the amount of money raised? Simply put, because it shows buy-in and support for our programs. We want to grow our school in the future. Hopefully, you have experienced our efforts to improve the experience for our families and to provide excellence in our classrooms. We need to continue to make improvements to our facilities if we want to continue to provide great service to our families and we wish to be a factor in an extremely competitive marketplace. In the near future, we want to add additional science labs to our Upper Campus. We would like to add a few additional classrooms as well. We also need a varsity gymnasium on the Upper Campus. Depending on process, this wish list will cost anywhere from $6 million to $12 million. Our school does not have a history of capital campaigns and many of our families make deep sacrifices simply to afford our tuition. If we want to grow, it is very likely that we will need to gain support from outside entities, through third party donations or grants. The first question that is asked in each of these conversations relates to annual fund support, both with families and staff. If our own community isn’t demonstrating support, then why would a third party? This is why we emphasize participation.
Today’s final Annual Fund video update from Mr. Bradley was filmed on the GRACE athletic field where tonight we will honor the seniors on the team. We may not know where each senior will end up, but we know that we have carefully stewarded the mission to equip them for life and pray that the lessons they have learned at GRACE, inside and outside the classroom, will serve them well in the years ahead. We invite the entire GRACE family to attend tonight’s celebration (p.s. there will be cake)!
Thank you to everyone who has participated in this year’s Annual Fund. Whether you are giving now, or let us know of your future intentions, we appreciate your commitment to GRACE. We hope to see you tonight on the football field where we will be serving cake to celebrate the conclusion of this year’s Annual Fund campaign. Remember, your investment in the GRACE Annual Fund directly benefits your students. When you invest in GRACE, you are investing in their future.
Your investment in GRACE allows us to equip, challenge and inspire your children to impact their world for Christ and, if you have not already done so, we invite you to make a gift now to the Annual Fund. You can donate directly online at www.tinyurl.com/GCS-Giving or, if you plan to give by other means, you can let us know that by filling out the 2018-2019 Annual Fund Commitment Card.
Today’s Annual Fund video update from Mr. Bradley focuses on the contributions that GRACE business partners make on our school. Their contributions each year are an essential part of our Annual Fund and allow us to get more projects done quicker. We appreciate the support of these 13 GRACE-family-owned businesses who have partnered with us this year. We encourage the GRACE family to choose our business partners when you have a need for their products/services.
All investments in the GRACE Annual Fund allow us to equip, challenge and inspire your children to impact their world for Christ. Please join our Business Partners and support GRACE above and beyond tuition by making a gift this year to the Annual Fund. Please make your commitment (or let us know about the giving you are already doing) by filling out the 2018-2019 Annual Fund Commitment Card.
As we near the end of our 2018-2019 Annual Fund campaign, I want to say thank you to all of you who have already made a commitment to support GRACE this year, either with a donation now, an end-of-year gift, or a promise to give at next spring’s Celebrate GRACE event. Every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference. As we seek outside funding in the future, the level of participation evidenced by our community makes a difference in those discussions.
Mr. Bradley’s Annual Fund video update was recorded on the recently renovated floors in the lower campus. While flooring may not be exciting, having a building that we can enjoy and be proud of is. We recently overheard visitors from one of our sports opponents comment on how nice our building was. Keeping the building looking good is something that the Annual Fund has been used for.
Today we also released a video interview with Darrel and Kathy Hegar, parents of two GRACE graduates. The Hegars speak to how connected they felt to the GRACE community of teachers and parents, how GRACE prepared both their boys well for college, and how they view their investment in GRACE as a direct investment into the future of their children. Please take a moment to watch their interview and hear their advice.
Your investment in the GRACE Annual Fund allows us to equip, challenge, and inspire your children to impact their world for Christ and we invite you to prayerfully consider making a gift this year’s Annual Fund campaign. Please make your commitment (or let us know about the giving you are already doing) by filling out the 2018-2019 Annual Fund Commitment Card.
In today’s Annual Fund video update, Mr. Bradley highlights the importance that the Annual Fund plays in providing great facilities for our students. This update was filmed in front of the lower campus playground, which was renovated several years ago with contributions made to the Annual Fund. Investing in GRACE today ensures that both current and future GRACE students will benefit in a variety of ways. Previous Annual Fund contributions paid for the renovated second floor of the Upper Campus, upgrading our HVAC system, and many other “behind the scenes” improvements. Please prayerfully consider making a gift this year to the Annual Fund.
The GRACE Annual Fund campaign continues through the end of this week. In case you missed it yesterday, please watch the alumni video of Kira that was posted yesterday and hear from her how GRACE prepared her for success at Wake Forest University and how she remains connected to the GRACE community today. We want GRACE to be a place where we can equip students to be successful in whatever they choose to pursue. Your investment in the Annual Fund helps us equip more students like Kira.
Your investment in GRACE allows us to equip, challenge and inspire your children in their academic pursuits, preparing them to make an impact on their world for Christ. Mr. Bradley discusses our goal of equipping every student for success in today’s Annual Fund video update.
The GRACE Annual Fund campaign continues through the end of this week. We want GRACE to be a place where we can equip more students to pursue their passions — even when their passions are varied and don’t necessarily “go together.” I invite you to watch today’s alumni video of Kira and hear from her how GRACE prepared her for success at Wake Forest University and how she remains connected to the GRACE community today. Your investment in the Annual Fund helps us equip more students like Kira.
We invite you to prayerfully consider making a gift this year to the Annual Fund. Please inform us of your commitment (or let us know about the giving you are already doing) by filling out the 2018-2019 Annual Fund Commitment Card.
Yesterday we kicked off our 2018-2019 Annual Fund Campaign. Your investment in the Annual Fund supports our school in many ways throughout the year, but most often by allowing us to accelerate the implementation of new technology, classroom enhancements, or facility maintenance to directly improve the educational experience of your student.
Today we welcome grandparents to campus and it was such a great morning being able to celebrate with them. We hope that they enjoyed their time on campus as much as we enjoyed having them. For those of you who have grandparents who were not able to be on campus today, please share this streaming link with them so they can watch this morning’s program wherever they are.
Before the grandparents showed up, Mr. Bradley posted a video highlighting the importance of legacies and reminding us that investing in the Annual Fund is investing in in the future of your students.
Your investment in GRACE allows us to equip, challenge and inspire your children to impact their world for Christ. In case you missed it yesterday, we want you to meet GRACE alumna Hailey and hear how GRACE prepared her to live out the GRACE mission statement.
We invite you to prayerfully consider making a gift this year to the Annual Fund by making your commitment (or let us know about the giving you are already doing) by filling out the 2018-2019 Annual Fund Commitment Card.
The 2018-2019 Annual Fund Campaign will last from October 11th-19th! Gifts to the Annual Fund allows GRACE to invest in critical resources in many areas of school life including academics, athletics, fine arts, safety, security, and technology. Watch this brief video from Head of School Eric Bradley as he personally invites you to participate in this year’s campaign.
Investments in the GRACE Annual Fund allows us to fulfill our mission to be a loving community that spiritually and academically equips, challenges, and inspires our students to impact their world for Christ. We invite you to see our mission statement in action – meet Hailey, a class of 2014 GRACE graduate who will tell you how GRACE prepared her for life beyond Buck Jones Road.
We invite you to prayerfully consider how you can be a part of this year’s Annual Fund Campaign. Strong parent participation is a key factor in us gaining access to outside foundation funding. Every gift, regardless of the amount, counts toward our goal of 100% participation. Please make your commitment (or let us know about the giving you are already doing) by filling out the 2018-2019 Annual Fund Commitment Card.
If you attended last Friday’s Celebrate GRACE dinner, you know what a special time it was. Thank you to everyone who had a part in making this year’s event the best one so far. If you missed the night, but want to get a glimpse of what went on, you can watch the Celebrate GRACE Event Recording (thanks StreamTeam).
Whether you attended the event or not, you may still donate to support our Annual Fund; our goal Friday was to close the $108,000 gap on $225, 000 goal set at the beginning of the year and we are close! Help us with the last $20,000 by going to tinyurl.com/GCS-Giving or scannning the QR code to the right to make a donation via credit card today.