Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions beyond the ones listed below, please contact the Advancement Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-741-2230 ext. 3045.
- What is the role of the Office of Advancement at Sewickley Academy?
The Office of Advancement works to further public understanding and recognition of Sewickley Academy and its important mission to inspire and educate students to engage their hearts, minds, and hands to cultivate their full individual and collective potential in the service of a greater good. The department is responsible for a range of activities that provide the framework for building strong support and lasting relationships with a variety of constituencies, including parents, alumni, community members, donors, the media, and friends. The Office of Advancement includes development, alumni relations, marketing, communications, and community and media relations.
- What is the Annual Fund?
The Annual Fund, provides money for the current-year operating expenses. In many ways, it functions as a checking account that helps the Academy accomplish its daily work. Gifts to the Annual Fund make up the difference between what tuition covers and the actual cost of running the school. Regardless of the size of the gift, 100% participation is essential to sustaining excellence. We count on our families and alumni to give to the Annual Fund each year.
- What is a campaign?
Campaigns, such as PICTURE THIS, are conducted periodically to provide significant funds for additions to endowment or to support campus additions or renovations. Pledges to a campaign are often paid over three to five years. Sewickley Academy has conducted three formal campaigns since the 1980's. Every Sewickley Academy campaign has strategically propelled our school forward, meeting the needs of current and future generations of students.
- Why doesn't the Academy charge enough to cover operating costs?
If tuition was increased to cover the actual cost of all programs, many could not afford to send their children to our school. This could mean a drop in enrollment, resulting in a cutback of our programs and steeper tuition increases in order to fund all operations.
- Is giving to the Annual Fund unique to Sewickley Academy?
No. Independent schools rely on the generosity and loyalty of their constituencies to support yearly operating costs. Very few, if any, independent schools meet full operational costs with tuition alone.
- What is the difference between Annual Giving and a Capital Campaign?
Capital campaigns are conducted periodically to provide significant funds for additions to endowment, construction, renovation, or extensive equipment purchases. Contributions are generally pledged over three to five years. Annual giving is designed to offset annual operating expenses; if the gift is pledged, it is generally payable by the end of the academic year.
- Will I be expected to give to Annual Fund and the Annual Auction?
We hope that alumni, parents, and other friends of the school consider supporting both efforts to the best of their ability.
- Can I make a gift for a specific purpose or to support the endowment?
Yes. If there is a specific project you would like to fund, please let us know. Capital campaigns generally provide named gift opportunities. The endowment fund secures Sewickley Academy's long-term future and generates an important and significant part of the annual operating revenue. The principal of an endowment gift is preserved and only a portion of the interest and earnings are used. Endowment gifts are professionally invested and managed to provide income for the Academy's operating budget, financial aid, and faculty support in perpetuity. Gifts to the endowment may be of any size and may designated for a particular purpose.
- May I make a deferred or planned gift?
Yes. Sewickley Academy has always benefited from the loyalty and generosity of the people whose lives it has touched and transformed. Your support makes the difference in securing the future of Sewickley Academy. Opportunities for planned giving include bequests, gifts of retirement assets or life insurance, and charitable gift annuities, remainder trusts and lead trusts.
- What is the Annual Auction and will I be asked to participate?
The Annual Auction is a great community building activity and is one of Sewickley Academy's primary fundraising initiatives. All funds raised during the Auction help to offset current year operating expenses such as faculty and staff salaries; student financial aid; and academic and extracurricular programs. We hope that you will choose to participate in and support the Auction by attending the event, placing an advertisement in the Auction catalog, donating an item for Silent or Live Auction, or serving as a volunteer.
- Can my gift be made anonymously?
Yes. When you send in your contribution, be sure to let us know that you would like to be anonymous and we will be happy to honor your request. As a donor, you can choose one or all gifts to the school to remain anonymous.
- Can I make a gift in memory of someone or to honor a special individual, for instance a former teacher?
Yes. The individual or family will be notified of the gift, if appropriate.
- My company offers a matching gifts program. Would the Academy be interested in this program?
Absolutely. Matching gifts are an easy way to double or, in some cases, triple your gift to the Academy. Please let us know when you contribute that your company offers matching gifts. You may also use our Employer Matching Gift Search
- Is my gift tax deductible?
All cash contributions are fully tax deductible according to IRS guidelines. Please check with your tax advisor for details regarding your individual circumstances.
- May I volunteer my time?
Yes. Volunteers are crucial to our success. Please contact the Office of Advancement if you would like to volunteer or discuss creative ways in which you may become involved.
- Does Sewickley Academy have policies related to accepting gifts?