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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Annual Fund Goal?

This year our goals are $146,000 raised and 100% participation among our families, board and our staff/faculty.

Who is asked to give to the Annual Fund?

All members of the Giddens community—parents, grandparents, alumni, parents of alumni, faculty and staff, and other friends—are asked to help provide students with a superior education by giving to the Annual Fund.

Where will the money we raise be allocated this year?

  • At Giddens, we believe deeply in the value of teaching and the expertise that teachers bring to their everyday work with students. Our teachers thoughtfully connect with each of the children in their class intellectually, socially and emotionally. We think carefully and critically about who we teach, what we teach, and how we teach. Ambitious Teaching and Learning is slow, steady work. We do it every day and with your help, we learn to do it better.
  • Financial Aid we know that having students from diverse experiences enriches our teaching and learning, and helps all of us to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to succeed in a global society. Almost 35% of Giddens Students receive need-based assistance that includes tuition and additional school related costs.
  • Extended Day brings learning beyond the classroom and offers an opportunity to created social connections. Our Extended Day program provides a caring and safe bridge from school to home. It’s essential for working families to have a consistent place for kids to grow and learn beyond the school day.
  • An ethic of Community Service is integral to developing learners who become citizens who can think critically about justice and who can commit to improve the world in which we live. Our Diversity Committee is developing new initiatives for Giddens kids to develop a deeper understanding of our community and the historic neighborhood in which we learn and grow.

Why not just increase tuition to cover the full cost of a Giddens education?

As part of Giddens’ commitment to making our educational experience available to as many qualified students as possible, the School seeks to maintain an affordable tuition. Raising tuition to meet all costs would mean that many of our current families would be unable to send their children to Giddens.

Unlike public schools, Giddens School receives no state or federal funding. Therefore, Giddens must augment tuition with Annual Fund contributions, fundraising events, and grants income to meet its operating costs.

How much should we give?

Only you can decide how much to contribute to Giddens each year. We hope that our families will make the School a philanthropic priority.

Why does Giddens need an Annual Fund when parents already pay tuition?

As in most independent schools, there is a gap between the cost of tuition and the true cost of providing a high-quality education for each child. At Giddens School the gap is $2,200 per child. Raising tuition by this much would undoubtedly drive away many of our current families and discourage many new families from applying.

A major underpinning of the school’s mission is its commitment to diversity across traditional divides. This is made possible in part through the school’s generous financial aid program. Giddens School’s tuition is equal to the average tuition of independent schools in the Pacific NW, but Giddens offers more than double the average number of children financial aid. The result is a thriving community made up of families representing diverse financial situations, family structures and ethnicities. Participation in the Annual Fund is critical because it makes up close to one-third of our financial aid budget.

*Just a reminder: Any donation families make to the school over tuition is tax-deductible. If we added the gap amount to tuition, it would not be tax-deductible.

Why are we asked to give to both the Annual Fund and the Auction – doesn’t the money go to the same place?

The Annual Fund and Auction contribute about 9% of the School’s yearly operating budget, covering the gap between tuition revenue and the cost of educating each student. Special event fundraisers provide a social way to give that sometimes yield a tangible item or experience through bidding; they also help build community. The Annual Fund is a quieter way to give and its success is less reliant on attendance. The School relies on our entire community to show support for both efforts.

Why participate in the Annual Fund? Why is it important, even if I can only afford a small gift?

Because building an inclusive community is part of the school’s intention and values. Because actively supporting what you believe in helps make it a reality.

Last year, 100% of faculty and staff contributed their hard-earned dollars back to the school. Now it’s time for families, alumni and our greater community to meet that same participation goal. Of course we understand that not everyone can give at the same levels; what’s important is that everyone plays a part by giving what they can. High participation demonstrates a kind of strong community spirit that sends a powerful message to potential grantors and funders, as well.

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