Our Top Giving Priority
The Country Day Fund is our annual giving program and top giving priority because it directly impacts our greatest assets—our students and our teachers. Far-reaching and essential, the Country Day Fund directly impacts everything that makes Country Day exceptional.
The Country Day Fund, our annual giving program, is our top giving priority because it directly impacts our greatest assets—our students and our teachers.
Where do the funds go?
The Board of Trustees and Head of School are committed to minimizing tuition increases while continuing to offer every student an excellent education. The Country Day Fund offers a tax-deductible opportunity to augment tuition revenue that supports the school’s operating budget each year. The majority of any school budget is applied to people and facility maintenance, leaving little flexibility due to those fixed costs. The cost of providing an excellent education continues to increase significantly, putting pressure on the budget while maintaining a minimal increase in tuition every year. Dollars raised ensure that the school can:
- Attract and support excellent faculty and staff
- Offer dynamic programming
- Allow students access to technology
- Maintain small classroom sizes
- Provide professional development opportunities for our faculty and staff
- Offer financial aid opportunities that foster community
The Country Day Fund allows the Country Day community—parents, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, grandparents, and friends of all financial circumstances—the ability to support the life of the school. This is a common practice for most independent schools throughout the country.
Country Day Fund Supports Our Students and Teachers
Step by step, Country Day students learn how to break large problems into small parts, to conduct research, and to express their ideas. Guided by teachers who expertly move each student toward his or her own highest potential, our students explore possibilities, gain skills and knowledge, and tackle intellectual challenges, as we prepare them to take their place in the world.
Our outstanding educators receive encouragement and support to hone their craft and stay up-to-date with the latest research. Our teachers know they are expected to keep growing and learning, and they are motivated by a professional community that values new ideas and approaches.
Going Beyond Academics
At Country Day, academic rigor is balanced by community service and athletic, artistic, and extracurricular endeavors. As partners in our students’ success, our goal is to shape confident, healthy, well-rounded adults who are comfortable and successful in diverse settings-individuals of honor, integrity, and purpose who are ready to make significant contributions to society.
Strength in Community
We are committed to living as an authentic, inclusive community. Our pursuit of this commitment to community recognizes and affirms the richness brought by difference and discovered through commonality. Central to this commitment to prepare our students for their future is creating a diverse academic community.
Renaming the Annual Fund the “Country Day Fund” allows us to focus more on the impact these critical, operating dollars have on the core of our mission: students and faculty.
We also plan to host more of an active dialogue with donors regarding what part of the Country Day experience they value most, while more intentionally reporting back to them on the difference their generosity is making.
What is the difference between dollars raised for the Country Day Fund, Parents' Association, Boosters Club, and construction?
All giving to Country Day is greatly appreciated and offers important support to various areas of school life. The Country Day Fund is a budgeted fundraising priority of the school because it offers significant, unrestricted operating support to Country Day on a yearly basis. Fundraising efforts hosted by the Parents’ Association, Boosters Club, and other parent volunteer groups raise supplemental dollars for special projects to build community and offer other ways for families to give of their time and resources to the school.
Does the Country Day Fund support the construction efforts on campus?
Since the Country Day Fund contributes unrestricted funding annually to the school's operating budget, restricted, capital gifts are used to pay for construction projects identified as critical needs through our strategic plan and long-range master facilities plan. Continued growth of the Country Day Fund is key to successfully operating these new facilities and allowing the programs they ultimately host to flourish.
The Country Day Fund provides unrestricted support for the school’s operating budget, which is allocated annually by the Board of Trustees. Areas of impact are not designations for funding, but allow Country Day to better understand what inspires our generous donors to give annually. The school will then share what difference their annual gift helps make in those areas.
The Country Day Fund invites our annual donors to share what Areas of Impact are most meaningful for them. These areas include:
- Greatest Need
- Academic Programming & Innovative Learning Tools
- Exceptional Faculty & Staff
- Financial Aid
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programming
- International Studies
- Fine Arts
Each year, volunteers work in collaboration with the Advancement Office to connect with all members of the Country Day community to encourage broad-based support for the school’s top giving priority—the Country Day Fund. Through their leadership, perspective, and personal outreach efforts, Country Day Fund volunteers help ensure the success of each campaign.
2017–18 Country Day Fund Volunteers
Country Day Fund Co-chairs:
Joe and Susannah Beach
Country Day Fund Cabinet Leaders:
- Alex and Patty Funderburg, Leadership Co-Chairs
- Katie Cox, Upper School Chair
- Margaret Rixham, Middle School Chair
- Charlie '94 and Leighann Swanson, Lower School Co-Chairs
- Raquel Tillman, POCIS Chair
- Stacey Slomka and Alecia Hatlem, New Parent Co-Chairs
- Lee Cornwell '03 and Allison Cornwell Moss '99, Alumni Co-Chairs
- Kent and Judy Walker, Grandparent Co-Chairs
- Jim Carroll, Former Trustee Chair
- Bill and Jenny Merlo, Parents of Alumni Co-Chairs
Country Day established levels to recognize and honor donors who make generous gifts to the Country Day Fund. The extraordinary support of this generous group of leaders is critical to Country Day's success.
Only you know what a meaningful gift is for your family. Your participation at any level helps ensure the success of our campaign and communicates your commitment to sustaining and strengthening Country Day for future generations.
Friends of Country Day
Up to $499
Young Alumni Selwyn Society (YASS)
Classes of 2003–2007: $500+
Classes of 2008–2013: $250+
Classes of 2014–2017: Participation
What is the Selwyn Society?
The Selwyn Society honors Country Day's generous supporters who have made gifts of $1,500 or more to the Country Day Fund during a fiscal year. The loyal support of this group of leaders is critical to giving Country Day students distinctive academic experiences.
The Young Alumni Selwyn Society recognizes alumni who graduated within the last 15 years and display their leadership by making a gift to the Country Day Fund.
Head of School Mark Reed acknowledges members of the Selwyn Society every fall at a special reception.
"I believe Country Day is an even stronger school now than when I was a student. It is a dynamic place that has improved with the advancement of time and technology, but at the core the traditional values that date back more than 75 years have remained. The teachers at Country Day are what set it apart. We give to the school because we want to honor those who have shaped my life and continue to shape my children's lives on a daily basis."
Michael Leonard '85, Current Parent
Merrill Mills, Director of the Country Day Fund
(704) 943-4540 | E-mail