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Frequently Asked Questions

I have received materials about the Annual Fund and the Capital Campaign. What is the difference?

An Annual Fund is a fundraising initiative that occurs every year, whose proceeds are spent in the same fiscal year and are used to augment the general operating budget. At Wakefield these funds underpin the activities of our students and faculty and are critical to the daily operation of the School.
A Capital Fund supports the capital expenditures of the School, and funds are raised through a capital campaign. Capital campaigns in general last for specific periods of time and raise funds for very specific physical projects or long-term financial objectives such as an endowment.
Wakefield School is a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Gifts to the Annual Fund and for Capital gifts are tax-deductible. Please consult with your financial advisor on the tax advantages of a donation to Wakefield School.

What is Wakefield's Annual Fund and how is it used?

The Annual Fund is comprised of money raised through voluntary giving during the fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). All funds are used to augment the general operating budget of the School and thereby allow for the many extras that make the Wakefield experience unique. The funds also help keep our faculty salaries competitive, providing resources for professional development, for maintaining the quality of the athletic and fine arts equipment and facilities, and for supporting academic departments. One of the most beneficial characteristics of the Annual Fund is that it allows our teachers the flexibility to take advantage of exciting opportunities that arise for the students throughout the year.

I cannot afford to make a large gift to the Annual Fund. Should I even give?

Participation in the Annual Fund on any level is extremely important for several reasons. First, we are a community predicated on mutual support of one another, at all levels and in many ways, and ensuring that the Annual Fund meets its goal is therefore a responsibility shared by all members of the community.

Second, participation rates are important indicators of the confidence our constituents have in the School. They demonstrate to grant-making foundations that our community responds when called upon to help, and that there is broad support for our mission and goals.

Finally, all the seemingly small gifts added together make a significant impact on our total dollars raised for the Annual Fund.

How much should I give to the Annual Fund?

Only you can decide. A good rule of thumb in determining the amount of an annual fund gift is that it should be an amount that is replicable every year. It is the Annual Fund after all! The average gift to the Annual Fund is between $1,000 and $1,500; however, gifts ranged from $5 to $50,000.

If you are in a position to give at a significant level, we hope that you will consider becoming a member of the Leadership Council ($10,000 or more) or the Archwood Circle(from $5,000 to $9,999). Your contribution at one of these levels will have a demonstrable impact on the daily lives of our students and teachers.

If giving at a high level is not your choice, please do not refrain from participating. Wakefield prides itself on its history of wide participation in the Annual Fund, and EVERY gift truly makes a difference in our small community.

What is a matching gift?

Some companies will match gifts made by employees to non-profit organizations such as Wakefield School. Many companies do not readily advertise their matching gift program so please ask your company’s Human Resources Administrator. If your company has a matching gift program, you will receive a form to send along with your check to Wakefield School and we will fill in and mail the form. Wakefield will credit you for the gift and the match as well. A corporate matching gift to Wakefield will have an even greater effect.

I cannot afford to pay my gift in full right now. Can I pay in installments?

Yes, we will be happy to develop a payment schedule with you that will permit you to comfortably complete payment of your gift by June 30. Some people will choose to make a pledge early in the year to signal their commitment to annual giving and make periodic pledge payments throughout the year. We will send you a reminder in the spring, but you will have until June 30 to pay your gift in full. Making an early pledge significantly helps create momentum for the Annual Fund in the fall. Once your pledge is received you will not be sent any further solicitations.

Who should I contact about the Annual Fund?

For more information on making a gift to the Annual Fund, please contact Ann-Charlotte Robinson, Director of Development and Community Relations or call her on 540.253.7502.

What is the Capital Campaign?

Wakefield has just completed Phase V of the Soaring to New HeightsCapital Campaign, which is divided into several phases aimed at completing campus construction according to the Master Plan and growing Endowment. Six million dollars was raised for the new Library, Science, and Technology Building which included building a dedicated Dining Hall and Lower School Library. This was the largest amount that Wakefield has ever raised in a capital campaign and a testament to the generosity, vision, and enthusiasm of many donors.

Should I make a Capital gift instead of an Annual Fund gift?

We ask that everyone always give to the Annual Fund. Gifts for the Annual Fund are solicited every year for current, expendable funds. The Annual Fund must stay strong so that the quality of the daily lives and experiences of our students and faculty remain extraordinary.

When we are in a Capital Campaign, we ask that everyone give to both the Capital Campaign and the Annual Fund. Capital gifts (1) allow the School to complete the construction of our campus and (2) can provide permanent financial assets for the School through Endowment gifts. We often request Capital gifts for special construction projects when we are not conducting a Capital Campaign; gifts to the Endowment can be made at any time, as growing the Endowment is an ongoing need. We appreciate support for these purposes in addition to the Annual Fun if this is possible for you.

How does Wakefield decide which construction projects to undertake?

The construction of new facilities is driven by the needs of the curriculum. For example, in order to succeed in the ever-changing world of science and technology, Wakefield needed the proper laboratories, classrooms, and technological integration for our students. The Library, Science, and Technology building was therefore completed in 2007. The strength of the academic programs and the needs of the students lead the way for determining which new facilities are a priority at any given time.

How much does one give for Capital purposes?

Capital gifts are generally larger than Annual Fund gifts due in part to the scope of the projects funded using capital dollars. Capital gifts are generally special gifts that vary from person to person depending upon individual decisions within a specific timeframe. These gifts are often pledged over two or three years, depending upon the amount of the gift.

If I were to make a pledge to the "Soaring to New Heights" Campaign but could not afford to pay it all at once, could I pay over time?

Yes, it is very common, in fact usual, for donors to take several years to pay their pledge in full during a capital campaign. We would happily work with you to set up a comfortable payment schedule.

What is the Endowment?

A school’s Endowment is a fund that lasts in perpetuity with only the income being spent for priority needs such as teaching students, retaining faculty, and providing financial aid for students. The Endowment provides financial strength for the school in the present and for the future. Gifts can be made at any time to help build the general Endowment, regardless of how large or small the gift may be. Gifts to establish endowed funds for specific purposes require a minimum amount to start the fund and can be named to recognize a person whom the donors may wish to recognize. People can also give to the Endowment through a Bequest or other estate planning vehicles.

For more information about making a gift to the Endowment, please contact Ann-Charlotte Robinson at 540.253.7502.

Can I make a gift to Wakefield through a Bequest?

If you make a provision for Wakefield in your will, it will help ensure that the school will be financially strong for generations to come. These gifts often fund the school’s Endowment. A Bequest can deliver a specific dollar amount or asset to the School or it can give us a percentage of the balance remaining in your estate after taxes and specific Bequests have been paid. Those people who have made Wakefield a beneficiary in their wills can become members of the Legacy Circle.

Who should I contact about Capital/Endowment Gifts?

For more information about the Soaring to New Heights Campaign or making a Capital gift at any time, please contact Ann-Charlotte Robinson, Director, Development and Community Relations at 540.253.7502.

How can I make my gift to Wakefield School's Annual Fund or for a Capital/Endowment gift?

You have a choice of ways to convey your charitable gift to Wakefield School. You can:


    1. Go online and use a credit card (American Express, MC, Discover) to make your donation
    2. Use one of the Annual Fund reply envelopes that accompany our appeal letters
    3. Charge a gift to a credit card by calling the Development Office at 540.253.7601
    4. Send a check payable to Wakefield School, to Wakefield School, Attn: Development Office, PO Box 107, The Plains, VA 20198
    5. Transfer securities by contacting Jennifer Miller, Development Assistant, at 540.253.7538.

    For details on making a planned or estate gift, please consult Ways To Give or call the Development Office at 540.253.7601.

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