Frequently Asked Questions
The school’s operating budget is based on a financial model in which eighty-eight percent (88%) of the school’s operating budget is covered by payments from student tuition and twelve percent (12%) of the school’s operating budget comes from other incomes and parent tax-deductible donations to the Annual Fund. Daily operational costs include:
- Faculty professional development
- Program expenses, such as global travel and field trips
- Financial aid
- Facilities maintenance
This model is used by all private schools in the Bay Area.
Every dollar raised toward our $1.2 million Annual Fund goal funds the current year’s program. The Annual Fund allows us to invest continually in our students, faculty, and facilities each year.
Why would the school use a financial model that doesn’t allow tuition to fully cover its operating budget?
Obtaining 88% of the operating budget from student tuition, as opposed to 100%, allows the school to attract an economically diverse student body and keep tuition in check. We ask families to give what they can, knowing that each family may give different amounts at different times, based on their abilities. If all families were to give an equal amount to the Annual Fund to cover 12% of the operational costs, each family would need to contribute between $3,000 and $4,000 per child.
When foundations and corporations commit their limited charitable resources to a school, they consider the percentage of parents donating to the school as a factor in deciding whether or not to give to our school. Foundations and corporations view high parent participation rates as a reflection of strong internal support, confidence in the school, and the sign of a healthy educational organization. Consistently strong participation in contributions to our Annual Fund is essential to attract funds from external sources.
When French American and International seeks foundation and corporate sponsorship for targeted projects, we are often required to indicate parent participation levels in terms of percentage and dollars. Thus, even a small donation by each family helps us to declare a 100% parent participation rate. Plus, all gifts—no matter the size—make an impact. For example, in 2016, contributions in the range of $1 to $600 summed to over $100,000. This amount is enough to fund over five (5) scholarships to deserving students.
Most foundations and corporations do not fund general operating expenses, except through matching or donor-advised gifts. Foundations and corporations look for strong internal support and the Annual Fund is essential to attract outside funds.
Giving a gift or pledge to the Annual Fund can be made online, by check, or transfer stock.