Annual Fund FAQ

What is the goal of this year’s Annual Fund?

Our goal is twofold. First and foremost, we would like 100% participation by FOA families and staff. Our fundraising goal for the 2020-2021 fund year is $72,800.

I pay tuition. Why does Five Oaks Academy have an Annual Fund?

Like most independent schools, tuition alone does not fully cover the cost of a student’s education. The Annual Fund bridges the gap between tuition and what it costs to provide the unique, high-quality education that has become the hallmark of FOA. Before the Annual Fund was created, our Founding Family provided the extra funds each year so that Five Oaks could rise to its commitment to excellence.  While the Founding Family still provides support, the Annual Fund is helping to narrow that gap.

What percentage of the total cost of a student’s education at Five Oaks Academy is met through the Annual Fund?

Approximately 10% of the cost of a student’s education is met through the Annual Fund.

Why doesn’t Five Oaks charge the full cost in tuition instead of raising funds each year?

Raising tuition dollars to meet our educational criteria would restrict the number of families who could afford to attend, thereby limiting enrollment. Five Oaks values diversity and wants to provide as many families as possible the opportunity to attend.

Putting a cap on the dollars coming in would also inevitably lead to stagnant programs meeting the status quo year after year. There would be less creativity, a weakened sense of community, and loss of vision. In order for Five Oaks to thrive and offer the highest quality programs, it must be able to dream big.

Additionally, tuition is not tax-deductible, but the Annual Fund is!

Where does the money go?

The funds raised are divided evenly among three categories: Program Excellence, Faculty Excellence, and Student Excellence. The Annual Report lists in detail what the Annual Fund has supported in each category.

The funds generated are NOT used for the operating expenses of the school. Examples of operating expenses include staff salaries, building repair and maintenance, utilities, and landscaping.

May I request where I want my gift to go?

As a general rule, we cannot earmark donations because we try to evenly distribute the total funds given into three categories.  However, occasional exceptions may be made depending on the nature of the request.

How can I make my voice heard if I have a question or comment about the Annual Fund?

We realize that you are giving your hard-earned money to this worthy cause, and encourage your opinions and comments.  Please feel free to contact the Annual Fund Director or a committee member if you have a comment or question. Also, this year we will have a “Seeds for Growth” box available at the Fall Festival and the Fall Fete.  We welcome your good ideas and feedback and encourage you to put them, signed or anonymously, in the “Seeds for Growth” box at these events.

Is the money raised for this year applied to this year’s programs?

Yes, the money raised for the 2020-2021 Annual Fund calendar year is applied to the same calendar year.

What is the Founder’s Cocktail Reception?

The Founder’s Cocktail Reception is an appreciation dinner held in the Spring to honor those who give a gift of $1500 or more to the Annual Fund.

If I can’t give a large gift, should I just not give at all?

Your gift matters. The Annual Fund welcomes whatever amount each family feels they can financially give and appreciates wholeheartedly every gift. While a large gift is greatly appreciated and can help us get closer to our goal in dollars, a gift of any amount is important because 100% participation is our main goal.

Does it matter when I make my gift?

The calendar year for the Annual Fund is from August 1 through July 31, 2021. So, a gift given anytime during this school year, up until June 30, 2021, will be applied to the 2020-2021 giving year. While we usually have a Spring drive, you may give at any time. If you would like your donation to be applied to your 2020 tax return, your gift must be given by December 31, 2020.

How can I give?

You may give by credit card online via our secure gift form. This is the easiest and fastest way. You may also give via cash or check by completing a gift form and mailing or turning into the front office.  Pledges are accepted, and count toward classroom participation, but must be fulfilled by June 30.  We also have an automatic draft (ACH) option that allows you to break down your Annual Fund pledge into monthly payments that will automatically be deducted from your checking account.