Frequently Asked Questions
Why is charitable giving to Saint Francis necessary?
In order to deliver the high-quality college-preparatory programs that Saint Francis is known for, the school, like other independent schools, depends upon your charitable support. We do not receive any federal or state funding or financial support from the Brothers of Holy Cross or the Diocese of San Jose. Saint Francis relies on philanthropic contributions to fund a portion of the operating budget. Your gift allows Saint Francis to provide faculty, programs, facilities and aid that make it a diverse community and one of excellence.
Why does Saint Francis rely on an Annual Fund instead of making tuition higher?
The largest part of the school’s operating budget is covered by tuition, but the school deliberately sets tuition below cost in order to keep the school more affordable to a wider range of students and to provide our community with opportunities to support the school through charitable gifts. All donations to Saint Francis are tax deductible, while tuition is not.
We give to the school in so many other ways; can our gift of time count towards participation?
Saint Francis would not be the same school without the tremendous gifts of time and talent from our parent community; however, we rely on the financial support of the Annual Fund to provide the best high school experience and keep tuition increases reasonable for all families. A participatory gift of any amount is appreciated and demonstrates your commitment to our important educational mission.
How much are we expected to give?
All levels of commitment are appreciated, and every gift helps the school to fulfill its mission. Participation of our entire community is critical to the success of our work. We urge you to consider your gift in light of your personal circumstances and your family’s total philanthropic plan for the time your children attend the school. We strive for 100% parent participation because it is a strong signal to the community about the importance of our mission and educational philosophy. Families who give $2,500 will be invited to the President’s Dinner.
What does the bulk of Annual Fund money go towards?
The Annual Fund, like our operating budget, primarily supports our faculty and our programs. 67% of Saint Francis’ operating budget goes to salaries and benefits. This is in line with the national average. The Annual Fund supports all the operations of the school including financial aid programs. Saint Francis awarded aid in the amount of $3 million in 2016-17. Approximately 16.5% of students are receiving financial aid this year.
How do the Saint Francis athletic and arts programs benefit from the Annual Fund?
The Saint Francis athletic and arts programs are fully funded by the operating budget at a level which allows them to be excellent without needing additional fundraising. The Annual Fund is critical to that.
Does it matter when I make my gift?
Yes. A gift or pledge made early in the school year is preferred because it enables us to better plan the budget. The goal is to have all Annual Fund commitments in by December 31, 2017. Pledges must be paid by June 30, 2018. We ask that matching gifts requests be submitted to employers by March 31, 2018.
I am a Saint Francis alumnus/a and a current parent. Should I make my gift to the Annual Fund or the Alumni Class Endowed Scholarship (ACES)?
The Annual Fund and the ACES are both critical annual fundraising efforts. The Annual Fund is a current use fund that supports the operating budget each year. The ACES is a permanently endowed scholarship fund, funded through alumni gifts each year. While you are a current parent at Saint Francis, we ask that your first priority should be to the Annual Fund.
Senior Parents have already given so much, why is it important to give in the senior year?
The Annual Fund provides funds for this year’s operating budget. The goal can only be met with support from all families. For the 2017-18 school year, all gifts to the Annual Fund from senior families will be matched by the school with a gift the 2018 Alumni Class Endowed Scholarship in honor of your senior student.
How do I make my gift?
You can make a gift online, by check, wire transfer, donation of stock or through your employer’s matching gift program. Gifts are tax-deductible.