Great Gift Giving NewsOctober 4, 2018
Why do people give to charitable organizations, to humanitarian causes, or to their former or current schools? Research suggests it’s because of the purely social good that comes from giving, or the purely social good that comes from giving plus the personal fulfillment one gets from giving, and sometimes for the bragging rights that one gives and has the capacity to give. Favorable tax treatment of gifts is also a key motivator.
Some additional interesting research on giving:
- The rate of giving doubles when people are asked to include a charitable organization in their will as the documents are actually being drawn up.
- Giving is ruled as much, or more so, by the heart as it is the head.
- Giving is highly influenced by others.
- Giving is contagious.
What does all of this mean to Verde Valley School? It means, simply, that due to your robust annual giving we have yielded $2 million dollars USD in fundraising over the last 3 years. Wow! Thank you. This growing community of students, faculty, staff, trustees, and friends of VVS is so grateful to all of you who support the school, for the reasons you do, and for the many ways that you do.
- Last year, as a result of a family’s generous gift, we were able to completely replace the basketball court surface and hoops, and add space and netting for tennis and volleyball. One alum wrote, “It’s truly unbelievable to see the basketball and tennis courts looking like this ….”
- Head of School, Paul Amadio, recently secured an annual scholarship gift of $40,000 — with at least a three-year commitment — to be used toward day student and Native American student tuition needs.
- Nearly a dozen people have informed us that they will name VVS in their estate plans. With the average bequest for an organization our size being approximately $60K, this type of “planned” giving could result in a $600K revenue stream for VVS over time.
Paul and I recently returned from an advancement trip to Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area to meet with alumni, trustees, current parents, friends of VVS, along with former faculty and staff. It was heartening to hear recollections of their experiences at VVS — spanning six decades — and to hear their excitement when talking about the ways they want to continue to support VVS. Many reiterated their intent to keep supporting VVS at their current levels, while others pledged to substantially increase their giving. You see, it is contagious!
The VVS Board of Trustees is the governing body of the school. The VVS Foundation Board is an independent corporate entity tasked with protecting and managing the assets of the VVS foundation, including the endowment. At an all-day (Saturday) meeting with the VVS Foundation Board, held at our VVS Board of Trustees president Richard Greenberg’s house in Los Angeles, I was struck by the devotion all of our board members exhibit towards VVS. They invest their time, money, and professional expertise without seeking recognition in return. They see and feel the “social good” of such support. Their efforts are admirable in so many ways.
In our conversations, we are always candid about the challenges that face VVS: burdensome deferred maintenance needs; a shortage of faculty housing; a fluid international recruitment environment, and the resources required to program, sustain, enhance, and respond to the 21st century needs of 121 current students and families. Likewise, you are equally honest with us, and our job is to continue to listen carefully.
Like all private boarding and day schools, we are intent on maximizing giving opportunities and actively planning future advancement outreach efforts. Paul, Donita Coburn-Amadio and I will be hosting a number of visits and regional events over the school year and look forward to meeting with you.
We will seek your support; we will be in your “neck of the woods” soon; we will meet and update you on our school’s improvements and challenges, and we will ask for your help to ensure that today’s VVS will always be tomorrow’s.
Thank you, again.
Sean Fagan, Director of International Relations & Major Gifts