The Parker Endowment
Frequently Asked Endowment Questions
Francis Parker School is one of the finest independent schools in the country. But like all schools, Parker must continually evolve to meet the challenges and opportunities of educating students in the rapidly-changing 21st Century.
To ensure that a Parker education is as relevant and stimulating in the future as it is today, we must build a financial endowment for the future. An endowment is a pool of money that, prudently invested, will generate dividends year after year to fund Parker's outstanding programs. There is no other way.
Endowment is the one area where Parker does not live up to the ambitions we have for our students and our school. Parker’s current $13 million endowment ranks as one of the lowest in per student value among premier schools nationally as well as among regional competitor schools. That means that we rely more on tuition dollars than we should, making it difficult to plan for the future.
How Much and How Often Should I Give?
We are counting on you and every Parker family to make a gift every year.
Every gift - from $10 to $10,000 or more– helps the endowment. It is the collective effort of the entire Parker community that will allow the endowment to grow.
For families who are able, we encourage your consideration of a Named Endowment Fund. A named endowment requires a commitment of $50,000 payable over 5 years. Please contact the development office for more information.
What Will the School Do with My Gifts?
Parker’s top strategic funding priorities are:
- Recruiting and retaining a preeminent faculty
- Providing more than $3.5M in financial aid to talented and deserving students
- Strengthening and expanding our programs in and out of the classroom
- What is an endowment?
- What does the endowment support?
- What is the size of Parker’s current endowment?
- How does that compare with our peer schools and comparable schools nationally?
- What is different from last year?
- How can I give to endowment?
- Will I still be asked for a gift annually?
- What impact will this change have on tuition?
- Can I still direct my endowment gift?
- How much should I give to endowment?
- How much is required to establish a named endowment?
- What are the endowment naming opportunities?
- What if I cannot give $50,000?
- How will I know what my current endowment total is?
- How much income from the endowment is spent each year?
- Who invests and manages the endowment funds?
- I have questions that aren’t answered on the FAQ. Who should I contact?
- What is an endowment? An endowment is the permanent capital of an institution comprised of gifts given over time. Parker’s endowment provides funding to support the School’s academic mission for current and future students and lends fiscal stability to the School.
- What does the endowment support? Income from the endowment directly supports the operating budget and reduces the School’s reliance on tuition. Unrestricted endowment provides the School with the greatest flexibility.
- What is the size of Parker’s current endowment? Parker’s endowment is currently valued at $12 million, or just under $10,000 per student.
- How does that compare with our peer schools and comparable schools nationally? Parker is at a competitive disadvantage when compared to other schools nationally, both in total endowment and in endowment per student.
- What is different from last year? By vote of the Board of Trustees in October 2011, all gifts made to Francis Parker School will be designated by the board as endowment unless otherwise specifically designated by the donor for a different purpose.
- How can I give to endowment? Gifts may be paid by check, credit card, stock transfers, or wire transfer. In addition, transfers of appreciated assets such as real estate, art, etc. are all acceptable means of funding an endowment. Planned gifts and bequests may also be used to add to endowment.
- Will I still be asked for a gift annually? We will still ask every member of the Parker family to consider a gift to the School each year. However, instead of asking for your support to balance the budget or “fill the gap,” we will ask you to build your portion of the School’s endowment over time.
- What impact will this change have on tuition? While it is likely that there will always be an annual tuition increase, the goal of building the endowment is to mitigate those tuition increases and to keep them as low as possible. As the endowment grows, so does the School’s ability to keep tuition in check.
- Can I still direct my endowment gift? Donors can indicate if they wish for their gift to be directed toward support of faculty, financial aid, academic or extra-curricular programs, or unrestricted.
- How much should I give to endowment? Any gift amount is welcome and we encourage all families to participate in this ongoing effort.
- How much is required to establish a named endowment? At the current time, a $50,000 threshold must be reached in order to name an endowed fund.
- What are the endowment naming opportunities?
- Endowed Teaching Chair: $1,000,000
- Endowed Full Scholarship: $500,000
- Endowed Restricted Scholarship Fund: $100,000 or more
- Endowed Restricted Program Fund: $100,000 or more
- Endowed General Fund for Faculty, Financial Aid or Program: $50,000 or more
- What if I cannot give $50,000? Again, all gifts of any size are welcome. Gifts below $50,000 or lifetime giving below $50,000 can be directed to a general endowment fund. If at any time, your gifts to Parker total $50,000 (or the stated minimum at the time) all of your prior endowment gifts can be credited to your fund.
- How will I know what my current endowment total is? Total giving by individuals will be tracked by the School. Each year, they will notify you of the total amount added to endowment previously.
- How much income from the endowment is spent each year? Currently, by vote of the trustees, Parker spends 3.5% of a calendar three year average of the endowment’s value. This conservative spending rate allows the endowment to grow.
- Who invests and manages the endowment funds? The investments are managed by an independent outside financial investment company that is overseen by the Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee.
- I have questions that aren’t answered on the FAQ. Who should I contact? Parker Advancement at (858) 569-7900 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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