The View From Here

The View From Here: Annual Fund Giving

Janet Furgin
As some of you know, my son Keefe (pictured above wearing his Teachers Field Day T-Shirt) is starting a new career as a sixth grade teacher at the Presentation School in Sonoma. He’s deeply engaged in his new work, getting up early to review lesson plans, digging into scholarly articles about educational theory. As he has been settling in, he’s called me for bits of advice about various curricular and classroom conundra. The other day, he called to ask me how much he should give to his new school’s Annual Fund. 
At first, I wanted to say “it doesn’t matter, as long as you give something.” Participating in the Annual Fund shows that you believe in the school, that you’re invested in its success… literally. But then, I reflected about it a bit more and realized that I actually wanted him to know it’s important that he stretch a bit. As a first year teacher, just about anything would be a stretch, but I suggested that he think about the following: what would you spend on a nice dinner out? Maybe a concert or sporting event? What would you give to a political campaign or other organization you felt passionate about? I wanted to make sure that he understood, in his first year as a teacher, that giving matters. It’s a way to support what is most fundamental: children and education. 
Keefe’s question was one of those serendipitous moments, because we are about to kick off our own Annual Fund efforts. And really, the message is the same. Most important is your participation at whatever level works for your family, but also, we’d like you to stretch just the tiniest bit (or a little more!). We know you already have given us the greatest gift you can—the opportunity to spend these transformative years teaching and learning alongside your children. And we know that you all give to us in countless ways, from all the volunteer hours to your enthusiastic attendance at games, theater productions, and family events to your engagement with your child’s learning, for which we are deeply grateful and honored. 
You’ll soon be hearing from our Kim and our Advancement Team, and I hope you will join Keefe and I in giving a gift to your children’s education.

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Sonoma Academy is the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.