Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Help take Saint John School to the next level – Tomorrow is Built Today!
Tuition and fees alone do not cover 100% of the costs to educate every Saint John student. Tuition and fees go towards the operating costs of the school: teacher salaries, books and classroom materials, electricity, water, etc. However, for the school to improve over time, we need to invest in further improvements: upgrades to classroom space, modernizing facilities, providing state-of-the-art equipment, tuition assistance, competitive teacher salaries, along with new curriculum programs. The Annual Fund is a yearly campaign that provides revenue that allows us to go beyond the day-to-day operating costs and make progress toward our long-term vision and goals for the school. As these goals benefit both current and future students, we recognize that Tomorrow is Built Today!
For more information about the Annual Fund, please contact the office of the Principal at Saint John School (760) 944-8227.
Q: Why do we need an Annual Fund?
A: It takes money to run a school: public, private or Catholic. That money can come from:
- Government: funds collected from taxpayers
- Tuition: mandatory tuition and registration paid by families of current students
- Fees: additional fees for optional programs, such as enrichment and after-care, paid by families who use them
- Grants: gifts from corporations and foundations
- Giving: donations from individuals and families
Q: How do other schools fund themselves?
A: Public schools in North County spend $8,000 to $14,000 per student and that cost is borne by taxpayers. Private schools may spend even more and that cost is typically reflected in higher tuition. Saint John School runs efficiently and can achieve a lower per-pupil cost, but it still costs $7,100 per student in order to have great teachers and great programs.
Catholic schools, as a matter of principle, try to make Catholic education affordable to anyone who desires a parochial education. Since there is a gap between tuition and the cost to educate, we have to make up the difference through fundraising and giving.
Q: Why do we need the Annual Fund in addition to the auction, jog-a-thon, and golf ball drop?
A: While these fundraisers help us to meet our annual operating costs, annual giving provides funds that allow us to go beyond day-to-day operations and meet the capital requirements necessary to make our long-term vision possible. The Annual Fund fosters a culture of giving. We are all stewards of something larger than ourselves and should help bring Catholic education not just to Saint John School but also to our entire community. The Annual Fund provides a giving opportunity to the broadest number of families, friends and benefactors.
Q: Is 100% parent and community participation that important?
A: YES! 100% participation is important to meeting our overall financial goal. Before outside funding sources, like foundations, will consider donating their dollars, they want to know that Saint John School families are supporters as well. With the increasingly competitive market for Southern California education, a high participation rate toward the Annual Fund is extremely important.
EVERY GIFT COUNTS!
Q: Why not run the school like a business and charge the full cost for the services provided rather than asking for gifts? Why doesn't Saint John School just raise tuition to cover the additional expenses?
A: A school, whose primary mission is to provide children with a good education, cannot be compared to a business, whose primary mission is to make money. By their very nature, excellent schools are labor-intensive and people-oriented. Moreover, the costs of faculty and staff, salaries and benefits along with facility maintenance, to a large degree, drive the cost of an independent school education. In order to offer competitive salaries to faculty and staff; maintain and improve facilities and to provide desirable programs, Saint John School can choose to do the following:
- Raise tuition
- Charge fees to offer enrichment and specialized programs, extended day care, and extracurricular activities
- Pursue corporate and foundation gifts
- Ask you for a gift through the Annual Fund
We do not want the expense of tuition to prohibit qualified students from attending our school. It is especially important that tuition remain as affordable as possible in order to serve all families choosing a Catholic education.
Making Your Donation
Q: I have no idea how much to contribute – what is the suggested donation level?
A: The difference between the cost of education and the tuition charged is $1,300 per student. The suggested donation level per family for the 2015-2016 Annual Fund “Tomorrow is Built Today” campaign is $1,000. It is our hope that all stakeholders dedicated to the success of Saint John School prayerfully discern a meaningful amount to donate.
Remember your gift is more than a check. Your gift is a witness to your faith in Catholic schools.
Q: I want to make a sizeable contribution. Is it possible to spread it out over time?
A: Yes. It is possible to make a donation spread over several months or a one-time donation. To make your donation go to www.saintjohnschool.com/development or complete the Annual Fund pledge form. Donations spread out over time can be made in installments for a set payment period such as 2, 4, or 8 installments. Payment options include check, credit card, debit card and can be made online or by phone. Once your pledge form is complete we will automatically charge your credit card based on the payment installment you have selected. If you need any other payment arrangements, please contact the office of the Principal.
Q: Will I receive a tax benefit from my donation?
A: Yes. Saint John School is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation under the laws of the United States. No goods or services will be received in exchange for your gift, so it will be tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Written recognition of your gift will be provided for tax purposes. (Note that the amount donated is tax-deductible in the year in which it is deposited by Saint John School.)
Q: Is there anything I can do to encourage my employer to contribute to the school?
A: Yes. Many employers offer Matching Gift programs. Please take the time to determine whether your employer offers such a program – it could serve to double your donation! In some cases, gifts from spouses, and retired employees can be matched as well. Do not hesitate to ask the school for whatever documentation you might need in order to facilitate a matching gift.
Q: Is it possible to make a memorial or “in honor of” gift?
A: Memorial gifts – gifts in memory of someone you loved or admired – are a particularly meaningful way to contribute to the Saint John School Annual Fund.
“In honor of” gifts for all occasions (a student's birthday or parents' anniversary, for example) are also lasting tributes.
Q: What other options are available for supporting the school?
A: The general rule in the “not for profit world” is that everyone with an interest in the organization should contribute at least one of the so-called "Three T's" – Time, Talent or Treasure. Undoubtedly, each of us can contribute to the school in one or more of these areas, each of which is essential to the success of our school. However, please note that it is still extremely important that we have 100% participation at some giving level in the Annual Fund.
Some other ways to help Saint John School include:
- Gifts of Securities: Gifts of appreciated securities can represent a two-fold tax saving opportunity because donors may avoid paying any capital gains tax on the increased value of the stock.
- Planned Giving & Bequests: There are many ways you can help the school through planned giving-options including bequests, annuities, and trusts, to name just a few.
IRA Charitable Rollover: IRA owners, beginning at age 70½, are permitted to make outright charitable gifts totaling up to $100,000 per year from their IRAs directly to eligible charities. The donor does not have to report the distribution as taxable income. Consult with your financial advisor for further information.
- In-Kind Gifts: Certain types of in-kind gifts may be extremely useful to the school.
Building Outside Support for Saint John School: Spread the word about Saint John School! Be an advocate for the school! Ask your family, friends and employers to make donations, or simply make an introduction to the school. (In particular, many grandparents of Saint John students continue to be generous supporters of the school).
- Volunteer: If you see a need that you can help fill, don't hesitate to speak up and let us know on the Pledge Form.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF SAINT JOHN SCHOOL!
If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Saint John School Principal at (760) 944-8227.