As our calendar year comes to a close, we have much to be grateful for. Our community of teachers, parents and students has undergone a magnificent transformation. With affordable tuition prices and a warm, open parent community, our school has grown a great deal and we are now attracting students from around the country! We are making important connections with local farms, educators, artists, and business people who support our pioneering effort of an extraordinary educational opportunity in the Sarasota area.
Waldorf Sarasota is committed to providing a nurturing introduction to school, supporting security, independence, and imagination in each individual child. Our teachers act as loving guides to these dear children as they begin their educational experience. Our developmentally appropriate programming cultivates a lifelong love of learning, as well as the ability to navigate the world with courage and confidence.
Waldorf Sarasota’s affordable tuition covers 85% of the cost of educating a child in the Waldorf tradition. The balance of the cost is made up by our fundraising efforts, such as donations by those who can appreciate this type of program. Please consider making a contribution to support this exceptional educational endeavor. We are a 501(c)(3) organization and your contribution is tax-deductible.
Your contribution will help to assure the future growth of our school and that this unique and developmentally appropriate educational program is available to as many children as possible.
We are so grateful for your support and please know that a gift of any amount makes a difference.
Annual Fund Q & A
What is the Annual Fund?
The Annual Fund is a fundraising effort that appeals to trustees, parents, grandparents, alumni parents, faculty, and friends for contributions in support of the school’s operating budget, as well as program expansion.
What are the major components of the school’s budget?
About 65% of our operating budget is used to fund salaries for teachers and staff. The balance supports programs, facilities, maintenance, and insurance.
Why is there an Annual Fund?
Tuition and other fees cover about 85% of the annual operating expenses of the school, and the purpose of the Annual Fund is to help bridge this gap.
Why not just raise tuition?
We strive to keep our tuition low in order to be affordable to anyone who truly desires a Waldorf education for their child. In addition, tuition is a non-tax-deductible contracted contribution to the school, while gifts to the Annual Fund are fully tax-deductible. As an independent school we rely solely on tuition revenue and philanthropic gifts to meet our operating expenses.
What makes the Waldorf School of Sarasota an independent school?
We design our own program and curriculum, and as a real Waldorf School we are self governed by our Board of Trustees and Faculty.
Are there other fundraising activities besides the Annual Fund at WSS?
Yes. In addition to the Annual Fund, we have several events and ongoing projects each year that strive to funds, such as the Paragon series, Phillippi Farmer’s Market, the Holiday Faire. We are also in the process of creating our first School Store, and we have several grant applications pending. Each of these helps to raise funds for the operating budget as well as program expansion.
Do corporations support the Annual Fund?
Corporations usually contribute to independent schools by offering matching gifts to their employees’ contributions. You may want to check with your employer to see if such a program is in place where you work.
Why is participation important?
The school’s financial strength is dependent upon the participation of all members. Your participation generates enthusiasm and encourages others to join you in supporting the school, and it is a key indicator to foundation and corporate donors that we have consistent support from those we serve, both past and present. The enormous success of an Annual Fund Campaign speaks to the high degree of commitment and support coming from the school community.
How much should I give?
You are the only one who knows how much you are able to give, and we only ask that you give to the best of your ability. As a simple rule of thumb, our Annual Fund gifts need to average approximately $200 (or $20 per month) for each child enrolled to meet our goal. Some parents truly cannot afford to give that much, yet others in the community are more than happy to make up the difference. If you feel you are of average means within the community then please give accordingly. If you are able to give more, please do so. In order to remain affordable and also pay our teachers well, we all need to give as much as we possibly can to make up the difference. Another way you can give is by appealing to your friends and family to help meet our goal.