North Cross Annual Fund
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the North Cross Annual Fund?
The North Cross Annual Fund is an annual fundraising campaign and an essential part of our school’s budgeted revenue. Tuition covers approximately 91 percent of the cost to educate every student and unrestricted gifts to the North Cross Annual Fund contribute to the nine percent shortfall. We ask every North Cross family to make the school a philanthropic priority and take advantage of the tax deduction for your gift. Annual fund gifts vary in size, but every gift is important because every gift benefits every student.
How does my gift to the North Cross Annual Fund help?
Your gift touches every part of the school and almost every facet of a student’s educational experience in the classrooms, on our performance stages, and on our various fields of play. Your gift to the school helps to fund its faculty, staff, buildings, grounds, academic, art, athletic offerings, classroom supplies, professional development, program development, utilities, and maintenance.
Is the North Cross Annual Fund helping to pay for things like the Global Studies Program, Early Childhood Program, Singapore Math, and world language five days a week in the lower school?
Yes. North Cross School’s strategic goals are to develop challenging academic programs like those mentioned above and to attract, develop, and retain a talented and diverse faculty who know and understand our children and develop in them a love of learning and an exemplary character.
Is the North Cross Annual Fund part of North Cross School’s commitment to a balanced budget for each and every year?
Yes, it is. North Cross School counts on achieving its annual fund goals each year to meet operating expenses and avoid being in a deficit position.
Why doesn’t the school just raise tuition to eliminate the North Cross Annual Fund drive?
We could, but we don’t believe that would be good for the school and would be counter to our vision. If tuition were raised, fewer students could afford to come to North Cross and our classrooms would not be as representative of the broader community we currently serve. With less students our revenues would decrease and we would have to make decisions to have less here than the robust offering we currently provide. We can continue to grow our programs and offerings with a mix of full-pay and partial-pay tuitions. We must maintain the affordability of a North Cross School education. Gifts to the Annual Fund help the school continue to be attractive to current and prospective families and help keep our broad array of programs and co-curricular activities.
If I receive financial aid, does giving to the North Cross Annual Fund apply to me?
Yes. We ask that every North Cross family share the responsibility of the Annual Fund. We strive for 100 percent participation, regardless of the size of the gift. Please give any size gift that is meaningful to you, knowing that every gift helps every student including your own..
Are there other special events or campaigns the Development Office will ask me to support in addition to the North Cross Annual Fund?
Yes. Development will ask you to support special events such as the Gala and the Big Flea Sale. These support the school’s annual operating budget, as well. On occasion, capital campaigns are also conducted to address other needs such as new construction or increased technology. We recently completed a capital campaign for the new Cook Athletic Field.
What happens if we don’t make our North Cross Annual Fund goal?
We do everything we can so this does not happen. Imagine your family lacking the money it needed to run your household — what would you have to do? If it were to happen, we would not have a balanced budget, would be in a deficit position, and would have to make difficult decisions such as possible cuts in programs or staff. We are confident in our future, and confident we will make our school and financial goals.
As an alum, why should I give to North Cross when I’ve already paid for my education?
Giving to the Annual Fund is a way to invest in today's North Cross. All alumni benefit when the quality and reputation of their alma mater remains strong. Giving to the Annual Fund is also a way of demonstrating your confidence in and loyalty to your school. And finally, many alumni support the Annual Fund as a way of expressing gratitude for the experience from which they have benefitted. Tuition has never covered the full expense of educating students at North Cross. Even those graduates who paid full tuition benefitted in some measure from the generosity of donors to the school who came before them.
If we could count on meeting the North Cross Annual Fund each year, how would that affect the school’s future planning?
We would be elated. It would enable us to meet the goals of our strategic plan. As an example, those goals include creating a sustainable financial model to expand our academic offerings and increase professional development opportunities for our teachers.
I was told that North Cross Annual Fund parental giving was at 51 percent. Compared to other schools like us, is that average, high or low?
You heard correctly. Our parent giving percentage is 51 percent. The NAIS average is 65 percent, and other schools’ parent giving is as much as 94 percent. Ours is low, even when compared to other schools whose tuition is higher than ours. One hundred percent of students benefit from every gift to the annual fund; and every gift, no matter its size, counts toward participation. We believe every student’s family is able to make a gift to the annual fund.
In addition to the North Cross Annual Fund, does the school have other sources of revenue to help keep tuition affordable?
Yes, we have a number of programs that produce additional revenues such as our summer programs, memberships to the Carter Athletic Center, and rental of our facilities. Although there are other sources of revenue for the school that bridge the gap between the actual cost of educating a child and the amount of tuition, The North Cross Annual Fund is by far the largest contributor to this shortfall.
When I buy wrapping paper, greenery, or purchase food at concessions, does that money support the school’s operations like the Annual Fund does?
No. Although you are supporting the school, this money does not support the school’s operations. These purchases from organizations like our Parents’ Association, Friends of the Arts, Boosters, sports teams, SCA, and other organizations go toward specific programs - all important to enhanced student experiences and all falling outside the school’s operating budget. These organizations help to make our school even more special; and though it would be nice if the school could fund everything that happens here at North Cross, we simply cannot afford to charge the tuition to pay for it all.
Do we have an endowment, and does it go toward the annual operating expenses of the school?
Yes, we have an endowment. However, money is not currently directed toward our annual operating expenses from the endowment.
How does North Cross School’s tuition compare with other independent schools?
According to data compiled by the National Association of Independent Schools, accredited schools located in the Richmond, Tidewater, Greensboro, and Charlotte areas have significantly higher tuitions than North Cross School.
For more information about The North Cross Annual Fund including how to give, please contact the Development Office at 540-989-6641 ext. 303 or visit the Online Giving page.
Click the “Online Giving” button to make your North Cross Annual Fund gift.