Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Grace Fund?
The Grace Fund is Grace’s official name for the annual fund campaign that raises much needed funds that touch every facet of our school. The Grace Fund is a partnership between the Board of Trustees, our faculty and staff, our alumni, our parents, grandparents, parents of alumni, and our friends in the community.
Why is The Grace Fund important to Grace?
Money raised through The Grace Fund provides the important difference that makes the educational programs enjoyed by our children unique, undergirding the strength of the global community that we all treasure at Grace. Grace Community School’s programmatic and financial health depend on a strong annual fund. Since The Grace Fund funds our financial aid program, many families are dependent upon this assistance to attend our school.
Why do we have to raise money in addition to tuition?
There are many reasons for this. While tuition covers the basics of our program, The Grace Fund allows us to enhance our offerings to provide the very best educational program for our children. In addition, part of what bonds our community together is our willingness to give voluntarily to help the children of Grace at a level that we as individuals can afford. Foundations, corporations and major donors frequently make their decision to give based on how willingly our friends will support the annual fund. Finally, The Grace Fund is a tax-deductible way for you to help fund our children’s extraordinary educational experiences.
What are some of the enhancements made possible through The Grace Fund?
The Grace Fund provides 100% of our financial aid program while making possible many enhancements:
Financial Aid — to help the growing number of families experience Grace
Needs-based financial aid to families who demonstrate need
No family receives a full-ride
Arts — to supplement the cost of fine art supplies, equipment and productions
Instruments and art room supplies for the Lower School
Lighting and microphones
Athletics and Physical Education — to purchase and replace PE equipment and supplies
Athletic facility enhancements
Refinishing of gym flooring
Student Support and Enrichment — to sustain student-centered activities in and out of the classroom
Outdoor science and nature center
Professional Development — to provide advanced training for teachers and faculty
Conferences and professional organizations in teacher specialty areas
Workshops to hone teacher skills that enrich their knowledge in the classroom
Visits to model school programs
Can I designate my gift for specific purposes?
Yes! This year you can direct your gift to the following areas:
Baseball Field Development
Fine Arts Instruments & Technology
Academic Support Center
Science Equipment Enhancements
Area of Greatest Need
YOU will determine how much of The Grace Fund will go to each area by designating which program you would prefer to support. Should designated contributions exceed a fund’s budgeted limit, the Grace Community School administration retains the discretion to use such funds in the area of greatest need.
How often will you solicit me for a donation this year?
The Grace Fund begins a new campaign at the beginning of the school’s fiscal year, July 1, and ends on June 30. The Grace Fund has its official kick-off during the start of school and begins by soliciting contributions from our Trustees, alumni, parents of current students, parents of alumni, alumni, and grandparents of current students, faculty, staff and friends of the school.
The initial effort in support of The Grace Fund is through our biennial auction, The Auction on the Orient Express. Upon completion of the program, a general letter will be distributed to our school community seeking support. In the spring, several additional events are held to generate support.
How much should I give?
Only you can decide on the amount of your gift; however, your participation is critical. We hope that all members of the Grace community will participate every year in The Grace Fund to the level that they are able. Each gift, combined with the gifts of others, makes an immediate impact on the life of today’s students. Since Grace’s potential donor pool is relatively small, and our desire to maintain the highest standards of education and our need for financial support is large, every gift truly matters. Through giving, donors are able to demonstrate their support for Grace Community School and its mission. We ask that you make giving to Grace a charitable priority. While gifts differ in size, each gift has the same impact on participation.
Will my donation really make a difference to the school?
Absolutely! We are all a part of the Grace Community. It is vital that we reach our goal of raising at least $660,000 for the school this fiscal year, but because foundations, corporations and major donors care about the level of support that is shown for the school, it is just as important that more families, more alumni, more faculty and staff, and more friends contribute toward this goal. Any gift, large or small, is greatly appreciated, and will be acknowledged with enthusiasm and gratitude.
Is it unusual that GCS asks parents, grandparents, alumni and friends to contribute to The Grace Fund?
No, it is not unusual. All independent schools, colleges and universities in the United States and international schools in most countries have an annual fund campaign, relying on their annual fund campaigns to provide enhancements to the basics provided by tuition revenue. Last year, Grace raised $530,000 for The Grace Fund and 29% of our parents participated.
Do you only accept cash gifts to The Grace Fund?
We will happily accept gifts of securities which may have very positive tax implications for you, the donor. In addition, the Development Office would be happy to discuss other gift options. Please contact Tim Connor, Director of Development at 903-566-5678 x150 if you have questions.
When do I need to pay my pledge?
Once you make your gift, you have until June 30 to actually send the payment to our Development Office.
What is your matching gift program?
There are many companies in Tyler and nationwide who have matching gift programs – Trane, Chase Bank, and Wells Fargo. There are many more in Tyler. If you (or your spouse) work for one of these companies, your donation to The Grace Fund could more than double. Please consult your company’s human resource department to secure the appropriate forms that can be submitted when you send in your pledge commitment.
Is it possible to make a gift in honor or memory of someone? How is that person or family acknowledged?
This is a great way to honor your teacher, a friend or a loved one, while supporting Grace at the same time. A special notification will be sent announcing that a gift was made to the school; however, no amount will be revealed. Your gift will also be noted in the school publications, including the Touch of Grace Magazine.
Are gifts accepted anonymously?
Yes, Grace Community School respects any donor’s wish to remain anonymous.
When do I need to send my donation?
As soon as you receive your solicitation letter, brochure and pledge card, you can send in your gift and/or make a pledge that commits you to make a gift by June 30. Once you send your donation, you will not be solicited again for The Grace Fund for the academic year. However, you will receive pledge reminders until the pledge is fulfilled.
Does my Grace Fund gift go for the construction of our new academic facilities and sports complexes?
No. These changes will be funded separately through a capital campaign in which we ask all of our friends to participate. It is especially critical during years in which we must improve our facilities that all of our friends support The Grace Fund.
How do I make a gift?
You may make a gift online by clicking here, or you may send your donation to any school office.
Questions? Email email@example.com or call 903-566-5678 x150.