SEEDS Q&A

The Most Commonly Asked Questions About SEEDS for Growth

What is SEEDS for Growth?

SEEDS for Growth is The Parish School's annual fund program. Like all independent schools in the United States, The Parish School relies on unrestricted gifts to the annual fund to offset the cost of operating a superior school committed to meeting the needs of our students.

I already pay a lot in tuition ‑ why should I give more?

Tuition does not do it all. Tuition only covers 75% of all Parish operating expenses. Therefore, seeking outside funding sources reduces the pressure to increase tuition and allows the school to remain mission driven.

We strive to keep the tuition affordable and market appropriate but we must offer competitive salaries and benefits, which will allow us to hire and retain the very best teachers, therapists and administrators; we must have first class programs and facilities for academics, arts and sciences, and therapeutic supports; and we must stay on the cutting edge of technology. A strong annual fund will keep the costs of tuition from rising dramatically in the future.

Supplemental funds raised through voluntary contributions to SEEDS for Growth are essential if The Parish School is to uphold our commitment to fulfill our mission. SEEDS gifts make up the difference between what tuition covers and the actual cost of running the school’s daily operations.

How does The Parish School spend the money raised through SEEDS for Growth?

Your donation to SEEDS for Growth supports:

  • Classroom enhancements, programming and technology that impacts every student and teacher every day
  • Tuition assistance/scholarships for deserving students
  • Professional development for faculty and staff
  • Offset basic school operations, as tuition covers on average between 75-80% of budgeted expenses

We’ve already made a gift for the Margaret Noecker Nature Center this year. Why are you asking for SEEDS for Growth?

Our Margaret Noecker Nature Center is a very important capital undertaking for the school. However, even when raising money for a special project, our SEEDS for Growth needs remain the same. To the best of your ability, we hope that you will support both the SEEDS for Growth and the Nature Center needs.

Who gives to SEEDS for Growth ‑ just parents?

SEEDS for Growth is supported by a variety of school constituencies, including alumni, grandparents, alumni parents, board members, foundations, friends and faculty as well as parents. We are particularly proud of the fact that 100% of The Parish School's staff and board demonstrated their commitment to the school by supporting SEEDS for Growth eachyear.

When and how will I be asked to make a contribution?

Each Parish supporter will receive a letter that describes the needs of SEEDS for Growth and will include a general information brochure. We will also send updates via email and social media throughout the school year.

How soon will I be expected to pay my pledge?

We encourage everyone to "pledge now, pay later." You may pay your pledge at any time prior to July 31, which marks the end of the school's fiscal year. Only those contributions paid by July 31 will be recognized in our annual donor's report. Payment may be made in installments. Some donors find that when they budget in a monthly gift to be sent to the school, by the end of the year, their cumulative giving is usually larger than if they sent in a one-time contribution. Reminder notices will be sent according to the donor's instructions.

Do I have to pay cash?

No. You may pay your pledge through MasterCard, VISA and American Express (and receive miles, points, etc. too!). The Parish School also encourages gifts of securities.

What is a "matching gift"?

Some corporations have a policy of matching the contributions of their employees to educational institutions. For example, if you work for a company with a matching gift program and you contribute $250 to The Parish School's SEEDS for Growth annual fund, your company will "match" your contribution by donating an additional $250 to $500 to the fund drive. (Matching gift program guidelines vary from company to company.) All you have to do is complete and sign the appropriate form and send it to The Parish School with your contribution. Check with your company's human resources office for details, or contact advancement@parishschool.org.

I have a special interest in a particular program within the school. Can I direct my contribution to that program?

Yes, you may designate your gift to any specific or program. Please write any such specification on your pledge card. You may also make your gift in honor of or in memory of someone special.

I can't give as much as I'd like to - should I just wait until next year's fund drive to make a gift?

No! Every gift of every size is important to The Parish School and to its students. Participation is the most important way you can express your support for the school and your belief in the importance of a Parish education. Whether or not you participate in special events or other revenue generating projects, we ask you to first plan on making a meaningful gift to SEEDS for Growth. “Meaningful” is defined as commensurate with your family’s financial ability. The only gift that’s too small is no gift at all!

In addition, grant making foundations and major gift donors often look at a school’s parent participation – regardless of gift size – upon deciding whether or not to support a school like ours with grant money or a major gift to a project like the Oak Creek Exploration Zone. If an independent school like The Parish School has a low parent participation in its annual fund, odds are that foundations, etc. will assume the school’s parents are not supportive, therefore they should not support that school either. Your participation is of utmost importance because it can generate additional capital and endowment gifts.

How does my child benefit from SEEDS for Growth?

Every student at The Parish School benefits from SEEDS for Growth, for it is annual contributions that provide the critical difference between a fine school and a truly superior academic institution. SEEDS for Growth ensures those things we value most, small class size, individualized instruction, leading edge technology, dedicated faculty and a nurturing, loving community, will be continued.

Contact Us

If you have further questions regarding SEEDS for Growth, feel free to contact advancement@parishschool.org.