Giving

Annual Fund FAQs


Q: What is the annual fund?
AA: The annual fund covers the gap between tuition and the actual cost of educating a student at Whitefield. Tuition covers about 90% of our expenses. The balance of our needed income comes from other sources, including our endowment and the annual fund, which provides the largest source of that income.
Q: Why doesn’t tuition cover the full cost of educating each student?
A: To cover the actual cost of educating a student would require a significant tuition increase. Such an increase would violate one of Whitefield Academy’s core values; enrollment reflecting the racial, ethnic, and economic diversity within the body of Christ. Whitefield, like other private schools, generates its funding from a variety of sources. These include tuition, private grants, and fundraising from parents, alumni, and other community members. Tax-deductible donations to The Whitefield Annual Fund directly offset the current year’s operating budget, thus reducing each student’s annual tuition cost and encouraging a diverse student body.
Q: Why don’t we do fundraisers instead of the annual fund?
A: Instead of asking students to become “salespersons” in their neighborhoods, Whitefield seeks voluntary gifts to our annual fund. Families support Whitefield because they believe in the mission of Whitefield as a diverse, Christ-centered, college preparatory school. The amount contributed through our annual fund is far greater than a school would ever raise selling products.
Q: How is the goal for the Whitefield Annual Fund determined?
A: Based on enrollment and budget, the “gap” determines our annual fund goal after taking into account all of our sources of revenue. Enrollment and tuition revenue goals determine the potential operating costs for the new school year. Once school begins, actual enrollment and tuition revenue plus an estimate of other income establishes the expected revenues. This budget process sets our goal for the annual fund to bridge the gap between expected revenues and budgeted operating costs.
Q: How much am I expected to give?
A: As you are able. On average, Whitefield parents contribute $1,200 ($100 a month) to the annual fund each year. Annual fund gifts range from $25 up to our Headmaster Circle level gifts of $10,000 and above. If everyone gives as they are able, we can always reach our goal.
Q: Will a small gift make a difference?
A: Yes! Whitefield needs your participation. While the dollar goal is very important to meeting the annual budget, high participation rates (at any level) help Whitefield receive foundation grants for capital campaigns. In the last capital campaign, $3.5 million came from Atlanta area foundations that cited Whitefield’s high participation among parents and grandparents as a factor in making the grant.
Q: How do I make my gift?
A: You can make your gift by returning the envelope that was mailed to you, or you can make your pledge or gift by credit card online by clicking here to access the giving page of our website.
Q: Can I designate my gift to a specific area at Whitefield?
A: We ask that annual fund gifts be undesignated. Faculty and coaches have already identified their needs and wants through the budget, therefore we are obligated to help fund those first. However, there are times when exceptions can be made for unique opportunities. Please call Tom Wood to discuss at 678-305-3042.
Q: What is the matching gift program?
A: Many employers have matching gift programs which will match your gift with company funds. The Whitefield Annual Fund qualifies for these matches as an educational institution. Check with your employer or call Cindy Fennel in the Advancement Office at 678-305-3028 to see if your company participates in this program.
Q: Will my gift be tax-deductible?
A: Yes. Whitefield is a 501(c) 3 not-for profit organization and all gifts are tax-deductible.
Q: What is Whitefield’s tax ID number?
A: Whitefield’s tax identification number is 58-1224983
Q: What is the difference between annual fund, capital campaign, and endowment?
A: Gifts to a capital campaign allow us to build facilities, add programs, and strengthen our endowment. Capital campaign gifts are restricted to the specific purpose of the associated campaign. Annual fund gifts by definition are unrestricted, and fund the intentional gap between actual costs and tuition for each school year. Whitefield recognizes the long-term benefits of an endowment. Whitefield’s current endowment is designated to benefit low-income families through tuition assistance and facility maintenance. All capital campaigns for new facilities include an endowed amount for perpetual facility maintenance.
Q: When should I give?
A: While the Whitefield Annual Fund accepts gifts throughout the year, your early gift or pledge reduces the cost of mailings and helps the school with its budgeting and cash flow. We ask families to indicate their commitment by December 31. Payment on annual fund pledges is due by the end of the school year, June 1.
Q: How often will I be contacted?
A: You will be contacted as often as necessary to secure your participation. In addition to the financial goal, there is also a goal of 100% parent participation. This helps us greatly when we make foundation grant requests. The Whitefield Annual Fund is staffed with volunteer parents and grandparents, so the best gift you can make is an early commitment and prompt payment.
Q: How is my annual fund gift used?
A: The chart below illustrates how your annual fund gift is used. In many cases, like the Whitefield Parent’s Association and Student Activity Fund, the final decision regarding the specific use of those funds is decided by those budget owners.

Q: Does the Goal scholarship tax credit count as my annual fund gift?
A: No. The program provides a dollar-for-dollar tax credit to people or corporations who donate to scholarship funds earmarked for use by a specific private school. The Georgia Private School Tax Credit Program restricts the use of these funds. Whitefield must use the money to offer tuition aid to a public school student seeking enrollment. Annual fund gifts by definition are unrestricted.
Q: Why aren’t activity fees and booster club membership dues considered annual fund gifts?
A: Items such as activity fees and booster club dues do not meet IRS guidelines for 501(c)(3) tax deductibility due to the direct value received in return. Gifts to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible and they are used to minimize the fees and expenses associated with our students’ extra-curricular activities.