Annual Fund FAQs

Your donation to the Annual Fund ensures that CSS remains a viable part of the Colorado Springs community.

What is the Annual Fund?
Why do we have to raise money in addition to tuition?
Why doesn't the Board set tuition to cover all costs and eliminate the Annual Fund?
How much should I give?
How does CSS determine the amount it asks someone to consider?
How often will CSS solicit me for a donation?
How is the Annual Fund different from the Endowment or the Foundation?
Will my donation really make a difference to CSS?
My family has a lot of financial obligations. Does the payment have to be made soon?
Why doesn't CSS cut costs?
Is it possible to give a gift in honor or memory of someone?
Are gifts accepted anonymously?
When do I need to send my donation?
Can I make a restricted gift?

What is the Annual Fund?

The Colorado Springs School’s Annual Fund is where all unrestricted financial contributions to the operating budget are held. The Annual Fund provides the primary source of unrestricted funds to CSS, allowing the school to apply funds to areas of greatest need. Funds support day-to-day operations, programming, and maintenance of the school. CSS relies on its community of parents, grandparents, alumni, past parents, friends, faculty and staff, foundations, and area businesses and corporations to contribute to the its Annual Fund, with the goal of continuing day-to-day operations and growing and strengthening the school's programs and teaching professionals.

Why do we have to raise money in addition to tuition?

The Annual Fund addresses the gap between operating expenses and tuition income. If CSS only relied on tuition and did not conduct fundraising campaigns, tuition would actually be higher. Currently, tuition and fees account for only 80 percent of CSS's annual income.

Why doesn't the Board set tuition to cover all costs and eliminate the Annual Fund?

Independent schools, colleges and universities rely on their Annual Fund – in addition to tuition dollars – to effectively deliver their mission. CSS strives to maintain a socio-economically diverse student body while keeping tuition as reasonable as possible.

Tax laws are designed to encourage voluntary financial support of nonprofit groups, including independent institutions like The Colorado Springs School. Annual Fund gifts are tax-deductible, whereas tuition dollars are not. The current national climate has strong financial incentives to give tax-deductible gifts this year and in Colorado our donors may take advantage of the Colorado Childcare Tax Credit (a 50% tax credit on your Colorado taxes for qualified donors). We encourage you to talk with your accountant, CPA, or financial advisor about your personal situation.

How much should I give?

It is our hope that The Colorado Springs School will be your family’s top philanthropic priority.

  • Individual gifts to the Annual Fund range from $25 to $50,000 or more.
  • The Claremont Society promotes giving levels of $1,962 (signifying the year of the school’s inception) or more. In fact, 80 to 90 percent of the CSS Annual Fund comes from the generosity of Claremont Society donors each year. Claremont Society donors receive special recognition at an annual Claremont Society reception.
  • Major Giving is recognized for gifts of $5,000 or more.
  • If you are interested in funding the gap for a student, this amount equates to approximately $2,600 per student each year.
  • We simply ask that you give at a level that is meaningful to your family. Donors are recognized in the Honor Roll of Donors and parent participation is reported by grade level.

How does CSS determine the amount it asks someone to consider?

It is an art and not a science. We consider things like previous giving history, conversations had with potential donors, a review of each donor’s life circumstances, etc. We prefer to work with our donors to determine what they can give – always feel free to contact the Advancement Office to talk through your giving level.

How often will CSS solicit me for a donation?

The Colorado Springs School fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of each year. The Annual Fund campaign coincides with the start of the school year, and CSS continues to solicit funds through June 30, marking the end of the school’s fiscal year. Please feel free to communicate with us if you feel you are being solicited too often.

CSS will continue to seek financial support and participation through other fundraising activities throughout the year. The Annual Fund is the school’s highest fundraising priority and we encourage you to, similarly, prioritize your giving goals to the Annual Fund.

Other CSS fundraising initiatives include:

  • Parents Association Fun Run and Carnival
  • Kodiak Athletic Booster Club Memberships
  • Signature Event & Auction
  • Capital Priorities
  • Planned Giving

Student-led fundraisers are limited. Teams, clubs, and classes receive modest budgets and cannot launch individual fundraising efforts without prior written approval from the Advancement Office.

How is the Annual Fund different from the Endowment or the Foundation?

The Annual Fund enhances the current year’s operating budget, while a school’s endowment is its long-term savings account.

Will my donation really make a difference to CSS?

Absolutely! We are all a part of the CSS community. Any gift received, large or small, is greatly appreciated and is acknowledged with enthusiasm and gratitude. We also recognize the power of many small gifts.

Strong participation in giving to the Annual Fund is key to attracting further philanthropic and corporate funding. Philanthropic organizations are more inclined to make their own gifts and grants when there is 100 percent participation from trustees, faculty and staff. Achieving 100 percent parent participation is one of the top goals for the CSS Annual Fund campaign! Proudly, each year the CSS Board of Trustees and the faculty and staff Annual Fund campaigns have achieved 100 percent participation.

My family has a lot of financial obligations. Does the payment have to be made soon?

Achieving 100 percent parent participation is one of the top goals for the CSS Annual Fund campaign! You can pledge today to give to the Annual Fund and simply pay the pledge in full by June 30. A pledge helps build momentum in our solicitation of gifts. Gifts can be made by check, cash, credit card or gifts of stock. Monthly credit card installments are also a popular means of payment over the course of the fiscal year. Learn more on ways to give here.

Why doesn't CSS cut costs?

Annual Fund donations support all aspects of the budget, including the cost of attracting and retaining masterful teachers, offering superior academic programming, and equipping and maintaining our facilities.

We emphasize good stewardship with our resources and have maximized student experiences through difficult economic times. All the while CSS carries no debt while maintaining the assets of a 28 acre campus with eight buildings.

We believe that an investment in CSS is an investment in our school’s future, and more importantly, an investment in each individual student’s future.

Is it possible to give a gift in honor or memory of someone?

A contribution made in honor of a faculty and/or staff member, a friend, or a loved one, is encouraged and replaces your individual recognition. On your pledge form, there is a designated place for you to indicate whom you would like to honor. Please be sure to also include the person’s address. A special card will be sent to the recipient announcing that a gift was made to the school, however, no amount will be revealed.

Are gifts accepted anonymously?

Yes. The Colorado Springs School respects any donor’s wish to remain anonymous. An anonymous gift can still receive a tax receipt and acknowledgement.

When do I need to send my donation?

The CSS Annual Fund campaign ends yearly on October 31, but the school does accept gifts year-round. Having funds accounted for by October 31 allows the school to operate with funds available on hand and is a much more efficient way to plan spending and operations.

Can I make a restricted gift?

Let's talk first. The Colorado Springs School can consider a restricted gift for specific items. The school's leadership and development committee will need to determine whether the gift can fulfill strategic priorities. They must also consider whether the amount offered will fully cover the cost of the purchase, any installment expenses, ongoing maintenance, professional development, or add-ons to meet the spirit of the gift. Ultimately, restricted gifts that offset budgeted expenses are the best kind of restricted gifts. Contact the Advancement Office at (719) 434-3506 to discuss.