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Why members of the CFS community make donations

Without the donations of thousands who came before us, Carolina Friends School would not be here today. In fact, a grant of $6,000 (secured by the grandparent of a student) allowed us to open in 1964. The donation paid the salary of our first teacher. And every year since then donations have constructed the buildings, stocked the libraries, and built the school that we all benefit from today.


Donations keep tuition costs down

At CFS, tuition only pays for about 86% of the actual cost of educating our 500 students. Donations are essential to making up the difference. Donations keep tuition as low as possible and increases as small as possible to by creating another revenue stream in addition to tuition. Each year, the difference between tuition charged and the actual cost of educating a child averages some $2,500 per student.

This amount per child is really a form of  tuition aid that each child receives, even if the parents are paying "full tuition."

The total gap between what tuition covers and the actual cost of running CFS is more than a million dollars.

Donations are a primary way we close that gap and pay for the essentials of our children's education at CFS. (Foundation grants are only a tiny part of funding for independent schools.)


Donations provide daily essentials at CFS

Donations to CFS help provide the everyday essentials for our 500 students. If CFS students are using it, donations helped provide it. These items include books for our libraries, lab equipment, playground structures, many End-of-Year Program expenses, computers and other learning technology, Exploratorium, art supplies, and much more.

Donations also help pay the salaries of some 90 teachers and staff.

In addition, donations to our annual giving campaigns help fund our tuition aid program that provides tuition assistance to over 26% of our students.

The Friends of Friends School Fund--the annual giving program at Carolina Friends School--helps provide these daily essentials.

The reason donations help supply these essentials is that tuition is not expected to cover all of the day-to-day expenses of the school, keeping tuition costs as low as possible.


Donations provide major improvements to CFS

Gifts to the Friends of Friends School Fund as well as tuition revenues only support the annual expenses of CFS. They do not fund new buildings, major renovations, increasing endowments, and other large-expenditure improvements.

At CFS, we have historically paid as we built by raising the money needed for each project. The buildings our students are using today have been donated by those who came before us: quite a gift to our children and to us.

These improvements usually come from donations to capital campaigns. These fundraising initiatives raise much larger sums than our Friends of Friends School campaigns are expected to raise.

Our 2005-2008 Next Step initiative was our fourth capital campaign. Generous donors gave over $4.2 million to build the Upper School Meeting Hall (shown in the photo at right) and add over $3 million to our endowments for tuition assistance and staff salaries and benefits.

We're now engaged in the final stage of a $7.75 million Building Friends Campaign to fund, directly or indirectly, 12 construction projects to enhance teaching and learning at CFS.

In late 2015 the Board of Trustees approved external borrowing for the first time to capitalize on the School's strong finances and historically low interest rates in order to realize two longstanding needs: a modest addition to the Campus Early School and a new theatre. 


Endowments create annual income for CFS

Endowments are funds that we invest with care and then use the income from them to provide an additional, steady revenue stream for the school. The return on these endowment funds provides income for the school year in and year out. CFS endowments are currently valued at over $11 million. This creates a revenue stream of more than $400,000 a year.

This annual return on our endowments is another way that Friends School keeps tuition lower. Each dollar of income from endowments is a dollar we do not have to ask current parents to pay in tuition.

Donations to endowments may be made at any time. Donations can be used to start new endowments or to fund existing ones. Endowments have been created for numerous purposes: technology, teachers of science, staff development, modern language instruction, and much more.

Our two largest endowments provide funds every year to support teachers' salaries and tuition aid.

Click here to learn more about our endowments and how they work.


Your gifts to CFS are tax deductible

Gifts to Carolina Friends School are tax deductible as the IRS has determined that CFS is a 501(C)(3) organization. Our Federal Tax Identification Number, also known as an Employer Identification Number, is 56-0812560. You can see a copy of the IRS letter.


You can give to CFS with confidence 

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in our fundraising, including through membership in the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. We adhere to the:


You may donate to CFS online

To make a pledge or gift to Carolina Friends School, please click here....

From the development team....

Please let us know how we can help you. We're so grateful for your support of the students and teachers of Carolina Friends School!

Anthony L. Clay, Rebecca Swartz, Laura Shmania, and John Ladd 


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Carolina Friends School          
4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705
919.383.6602 tel / 919.383.6009 fax / info@cfsnc.org

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