The guiding principle of life at Ross School is “Know thyself in order to serve.” Our students are called to use their skills and empathy to positively affect their communities and the world at large. The philanthropy of our current and alumni families, faculty and staff, grandparents, and friends, bears witness to the intersection of the school’s Core Values and serves as a real-world example for students of our shared responsibility to one another and the well-being of our wider community.
Ross School’s Annual Fund enriches every aspect of students’ educational experience, from the classroom to Field Academy, from art to athletics. To learn more about the Annual Fund and its importance, Ross News spoke with Executive Director Kristin Eberstadt for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding annual giving at Ross School.
Why does Ross School need an Annual Fund? Your annual support sends a message within the educational community that you are a passionate believer in Ross School’s mission and the unique experience it provides. Furthermore, annual gifts are used immediately to bolster the institution’s operating budget, ensuring that our departments, programs, and teams have the resources they need to provide world-class learning experiences while the institution remains strong financially.
Why am I being asked to contribute beyond my tuition payments? The cost of tuition is actually less than the true cost of educating a student, and gifts to the Annual Fund help to bridge that gap. These funds allow us access to the tools and resources that keep Ross School at the forefront of education—something that affects the experience of all 420 of Ross School’s students. Additionally, unlike tuition payments, contributions to Ross School are tax-deductible, which has the potential to result in lower tuition costs and entitle you to a tax benefit.
Why not raise tuition instead of asking for support? The Board of Trustees works to keep tuition as low as they can so that a Ross education is available to as many qualified students as possible. Increasing tuition would further restrict the number of families who can afford to send their children to Ross; charitable contributions allow us to maintain both the accessibility and the quality of our programs.
It seems like Ross has a lot of money already. Will my gift make a difference? Absolutely! Unrestricted gifts to the Ross Annual Fund provide the greatest flexibility for us to address our most pressing needs. Moreover, every gift—regardless of its size—is valued and important. Giving participation percentages are widely considered to be an indicator of an institution’s strength, so the significance of your gifts to Ross School extend well beyond their monetary value.
What are some of the projects funded with Annual Fund dollars in recent years? Annual Fund donations support every aspect of Ross School’s operating budget, including the facilities maintenance of our two campuses, the costs associated with attracting and retaining a world-class faculty, and offering unparalleled academic programming. In recent years, Annual Fund dollars have also funded the development of the Lower School Farm, students’ participation in a workshop held by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences titled “Children and Sustainable Development: A Challenge for Education,” upgrades to Innovation Lab @Ross, renovations to the gymnasium, campus improvements, and tuition assistance.