Why does Foothills ask for contributions in addition to tuition and fees?

Foothills is a non-profit, independent school and receives no financial support from the local tax base, or state or national government. While tuition covers significant costs, it does not cover the total cost of educating each student. Tuition income, charitable gifts, and other fundraising make up the yearly operating budget. The remainder is supplied through the personal philanthropy of parents, faculty and staff, and other constituents such as alumni, parents of alumni, grandparents of students, and friends of the school. As is the case with other independent schools, Foothills' fundraising efforts are designed to solicit charitable gifts in order to bridge the gap between tuition income and the actual cost of operating the school. Each year, tuition provides about 75-80% of Foothills' overall operating budget.

Why doesn't Foothills charge enough tuition to cover all operating expenses?

The largest portion of our operating budget is covered by tuition. In order to keep our school as affordable as possible and to encourage a more diverse student body for the benefit of all, we do set our tuition lower than the full cost of education. Approximately 89% percent of the school's income comes from tuition, while the remainder comes from generous donations to our Annual Campaign and funds raised at our Annual Auction.

What is the Annual Campaign?

The Annual Campaign, held each fall, is money raised from current parents, faculty and staff, and friends to support our annual operating budget. Our tuition covers 89% of the core costs of our program, including faculty and staff salaries, facilities, and our unique programmatic elements. Funds from the Annual Campaign help bridge the gap between what tuition covers and the cost of educating each student. Without it, tuition would be much higher or we would need to significantly reduce programs costs and lose much of what makes Foothills School special. Because all contributions go directly to support learning, a gift to the Annual Campaign directly impacts Foothills students each and every day.

How does the Annual Campaign work?

The Annual Campaign kicks off in the fall. Families at Foothills are contacted directly with a kickoff letter by Director of Development, Development Chair, and Annual Campaign Chair. Further follow-up in the form of e-mail or a phone call will come from Class Liaisons. These dedicated volunteers are available to answer questions and explain more about the importance of gifts to the Annual Campaign. We urge you to give at a level that works for your family because every gift makes a difference. We strive for 100 percent parent, board, faculty, and staff participation. Strong participation is a signal to potential donors from outside the Foothills community that our parents, board, faculty and staff are invested in supporting Foothills and its mission.

Where does Annual Campaign money go?

Funds from the Annual Campaign are vital to the school's financial health and insure that we can continue to provide a rich, challenging and differentiated education. Money raised through the Annual Campaign goes toward the current year's operating budget.

How much should we give?

We ask that families, board members, faculty, and staff participate in the Annual Campaign to the extent that they are financially able. It is important to remember that any contribution will directly impact our mission of being a vibrant learning community where students develop personal, academic, and social responsibility – leading to a lifetime of discovery. Our goal is to have 100 percent current parent participation. Your gift of whatever you can afford will help us meet that goal. High levels of annual giving participation – regardless of gift amount – indicate to corporations, foundations and others to whom we appeal for support that our families are committed to Foothills' mission.

How can I make my gift?

Donations may be made in cash, or by check, credit card or stock. Gifts can be made with a credit card via secure online donation through our giving website or by contacting Liz Edrich at 208-331-9260.

May I make a pledge to fulfill an a gift to the Annual Campaign later?

Yes, a gift to the Annual Campaign may be fulfilled by pledges and you may pay in installments. We need actual contributions to the school by June 30, the end of our fiscal year. Melissa Olson, can provide more information about making a pledge.

What are matching gifts?

Many corporations support their employees' charitable contributions through matching gift programs. This kind of corporate support makes a significant contribution to Foothills as it can greatly increase the size of annual giving contributions. Please contact your employer's human resources department for information on matching gifts to schools.

Is my gift tax-deductible?

All contributions are tax-deductible according to IRS guidelines. In 2011, the Idaho income tax credit for educational donations increased to 50% of the contribution, limited to a maximum credit of $1,000 (married, filing jointly; $500 for single filers) and 50% of a tax-payer's total Idaho income tax liability. This increase in the Idaho Education Tax Credit is in effect. Please consult your financial or tax advisor for details.

How can I get more information?

Please feel free to contact Liz Edrich or Melissa Olson, 208-331-9260, with any questions about supporting Foothills.

An independent school serving pre-school through 9th grade.

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