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Saint Mary's Annual Fund

Annual Fund Lasting Impact of Saint Mary's Video Image

 

Our LEGACY. Her FUTURE.

Saint Mary’s Annual Fund is critical to ensuring our mission endures.
Because tuition alone cannot support the annual cost of operating
a 24/7 boarding/day school, it is Saint Mary’s Annual Fund which
provides the funding needed to balance the operating budget each
year not covered by endowment income, tuition, or other sources
of revenue. Learn more here.

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Annual Fund 20/20
kick-off video. 


What does the Annual Fund support?

Saint Mary’s Annual Fund supports:

  • Students by providing additional financial aid dollar
  • Programs that are comprehensive and immersive
  • Athletics by funding 11 sports competing in more than 200 games and matches annually
  • Arts to fund more than 25 performing and visual arts events
  • Technology to sustain a 1:1 program for campus-wide tech upgrades
  • People through the recruiting, hiring and retaining of faculty and staff and sustaining an 8:1 student to faculty ratio

Saint Mary’s Annual Fund also supports the maintenance of Saint Mary’s 27 buildings and 23 acres, health and wellness programs, the Chapel program, service-learning experiences, community-wide activities, campus events, and student clubs and organizations.

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  STUDENTS

 

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 PROGRAMS

 

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 ATHLETICS

 

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      ARTS

 

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       TECH

 

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   PEOPLE

 


Where do the funds come from?

Last fiscal year, 22% of alumnae contributed $1.1 million to Saint Mary’s Annual Fund, which provided 70% of the total raised. Saint Mary's families (70% of parents and 33% of grandparents) contributed nearly $300,000. Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees, Alumnae Council, Board of Visitors, and our faculty and staff also give to Saint Mary’s, along with friends, businesses, and foundations in our community. 

By the Numbers

Annual Fund By the Numbers EOY FY19

 

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Annual Fund Parent Participation FY19 Icon

 

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First Time Donors FY19 Icon

 

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Your gift to Saint Mary's Annual Fund supports every aspect of every girl's Saint Mary's experience. Every gift, no matter the size, makes an impact because YOU are providing the resources they need.

Trio of Saint Mary's students

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Saint Mary's Annual Fund and how is the money used?

Saint Mary’s Annual Fund is the foundation of philanthropy at Saint Mary’s. It is our largest fundraising effort each year and bridges the gap between endowment income, tuition or other sources of revenue, and the school’s total operating expenses.

Couldn't the school just increase tuition to cover the gap?

Saint Mary’s was founded in 1842 and is the fourth oldest girls’ boarding school in the United States. Celebrating 178 years is a blessing, but also comes with the reality of rising costs to operate a premier, 24/7, college-preparatory, boarding and day school. Augmenting tuition with Saint Mary’s Annual Fund dollars allows the school to keep tuition at a competitive rate. Our institution has a long tradition of asking alumnae, parents, grandparents, and friends to contribute over and above the cost of tuition. In fact, most independent schools rely on the generosity of their community. In addition, contributions to Saint Mary’s Annual Fund are tax-deductible, while tuition payments are not.

How much am I expected to give?

Saint Mary’s hopes our alumnae, parents, grandparents, and friends give at a level comfortable for their families, while also making Saint Mary’s a philanthropic priority, demonstrating a belief in our mission. Because every student, faculty, and staff member benefits from Saint Mary’s Annual Fund every day, we believe every alumna and family should participate. Every gift, no matter the size, has impact on our girls and school.

Can I make a pledge and pay it later?

YES! Pledges made in the fall or spring are due in full by June 30. We also offer options for monthly giving paid automatically by credit or debit card or pledge installments paid monthly by ACH. To establish your monthly gift through an online pledge, visit www.sms.edu/givemonthly. Or, contact Lauren Gerber, Director of Annual Fund and Major Gifts, at 919-424-4118 or lgerber@sms.edu.

How will my gift be recognized?

Gifts of all sizes are important and make an impact at Saint Mary’s. Each gift is recognized in the school’s annual report. Saint Mary’s is especially grateful to leadership-level donors, who provided 81% of the total dollars raised last fiscal year. Leadership giving begins at $1,000 in the Cornerstone Society. The following are additional recognition society levels: 1842 Society ($1,842-$2,499), Bishop’s Society ($2,500-$4,999), Saint Mary’s Society ($5,000-$9,999), Oak Society ($10,000-$24,999), Founder’s Club ($25,000).

Each year, all donors are recognized in our Annual Report. Supporters are invited to donor receptions, dinners, and regional events, while leadership donors are invited to exclusive events with the Head of School and Trustees as well as to other special events as they arise.

Saint Mary’s Annual Fund 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Do you have questions about
Saint Mary’s Annual Fund?
Want to get involved?
Interested in joining the
Giving Circle Program or
want to make a leadership gift?
CONTACT:
Lauren E. Gerber, Director of
Annual Fund and Major Gifts,
919-424-4118
lgerber@sms.edu


What's the VISION 20/20 Campaign?

Donors play a very important part in helping ensure Saint Mary's mission endures for our students and the Saint Mary's girls of tomorrow. This year, we launched our VISION 20/20 Annual Fund campaign, which represents both great ideas for the future and the evolution of "Our LEGACY. Her FUTURE."  We also celebrate 20 years as an independent boarding/day school, with a mission as relevant today as it was in 1842. Now, in our 178th academic year, we reflect on our history and honor our alumnae legacy and those leaders who helped propel Saint Mary's forwrad through generations. yet, much remains to be accomplished, and donors like YOU can be a part of this next phase of growth in support of Saint Mary's time-honored mission. our goal  is to raise $1.6MM for fiscal year 2020 by June 30. Gifts of all sizes make an impact, and we need every supporter to consider increasing their family gift to help us meet our goal and provide the critical funding to continue offering an outstanding academic experience our students need, in an Episcopal community fortified by sound principles of honor, integrity, civility, and fellowship. 

Make your gift today at www.sms.edu/give.

Annual Fund Giving Societies

For 178 years, Saint Mary’s has been a leader in the education of girls and young women. For a saint Mary’s girl, preparing for the future is about learning to lead. That visionary spirit gave birth to the school in 1842 and has sustained us through the generosity of benefactors who believe in our mission. The success of Saint Mary’s Annual Fund depends on gifts above and beyond the average giving level. Leadership gifts provided 81% of total dollars raised in 2018-19. 

ADDITIONAL GIVING LEVELS

The Order of the Grove $500 - $999 
Smedes Associates $499 and under 

 

Leadership Levels

Founder's Club $25,000+ 
The Oak Society $10,000 - $24,999 
The Saint Mary's Society $5,000 - $9,999 
The Bishop's Society $2,500 - $4,999 
The 1842 Society $1,842 - 2,4999 
The Cornerstone Society $1,000 - $1,841 

 

Saint Mary's Giving Circle Program

Saint Mary’s has a large and loyal alumnae body of nearly 9,500 living alumnae. Saint Mary’s Annual Fund Giving Circle program was launched in Fiscal Year 2016 to (1) increase alumnae leadership giving to Saint Mary’s Annual Fund and thereby increase overall annual unrestricted support; and (2) leverage the potential of alumnae joining together to support the second largest revenue source for the school. On September 16, 2015, Saint Mary’s first alumna joined the Giving Circles. As each member joined thereafter, they agreed to commit to sustaining their personal annual giving at a leadership level for a period of three years; assist with cultivating other alumnae; and meet quarterly.

 

Giving Circles as of FY18

Total Give Over 3 Years # Members Amt Per Year
$10,000 2 $3,334
$15,000 30 $5,000
$20,000 4 $6,666
$25,000 2 $8,333
$30,000 6 $10,000
$45,000+ 4 $15,000+