Applewild School honored behind MIT and McGill University

FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Applewild School Development Office was awarded the 2017 CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) District 1 Bronze Award for Excellence in the Annual Giving Program, behind Silver winner MIT and Gold recipient, McGill University. Kelly Jennison, director of development and alumni affairs and Julie Breau, development associate, spearheaded the 10,000 Reasons to Support Applewild School campaign and were commended for their outstanding work.

CASE District 1 encompasses all six New England states as well as Eastern Canada. Applewild’s Head of School, Christie Stover, extended her congratulations.

“This is a highly prestigious award. It is remarkable for an independent elementary/middle school to have received the bronze award behind such prestigious universities,” said Stover. “It’s a tremendous honor and testament to the work that has been done by Kelly and Julie on behalf of Applewild.”

The judges noted that the achievement was all the more impressive given that the budget for the Applewild campaign was just under $300.

According to the National Association of Independent Schools, the median annual giving percentage at day schools is 66.5 percent. Jennison and her team, including the annual Fund Parents Committee, were able to inspire 100 percent of current parents to pledge to the annual fund last year. A generous donor sponsored a parent challenge to encourage families to pledge or donate early so as to secure an additional $10,000 challenge gift.

“We were so fortunate to have such a dynamic, hardworking group of parent volunteers helping to make the campaign a success and to capture the generous parent challenge gift,” said Jennison.

Annual giving campaigns are common in independent schools and colleges since tuition alone does not cover the cost of educating a student. Unrestricted contributions raised by annual giving campaigns subsidize every part of the educational experience and provide a crucial bridge between tuition revenue and the actual cost of running a school.

Historically, Applewild has had a loyal and committed community.

“Our passion for Applewild School compels each family to contribute a meaningful gift,” said John Eydenberg, a parent of an Applewild student from Groton, Mass. “Regardless of the size of each family’s donation, our parents are united in the belief of supporting an Applewild education.”

The 10,000 Reasons to Support Applewild School annual giving campaign allowed the school to achieve an unprecedented milestone in fundraising. Not only did the development team reach their goal of 100 percent participation with parents, but with the Board of Trustees and current faculty and staff as well. With these remarkable participation numbers, the 2016-17 annual fund surpassed its stretch goal of $230,000 and raised $251,957 from 486 donors. Because of these tremendous accomplishments, Jennison and Breau have been selected to present at the CASE-NAIS 2018 Independent Schools Conference in Anaheim, Calif., in January 2018. Each year, the CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference draws more than 1,000 advancement professionals from around the world to learn about strategies and opportunities that will enhance donor and alumni outreach at independent schools.

This fall, Applewild School celebrates its 60th anniversary. For this special milestone, a 60th anniversary Diamond Giving Club has been created to encourage first time gifts of $60, or increased gifts by either 60 percent or $60. This anniversary campaign is set to kick off this week with a goal of $250,000.

Applewild School is a private, independent elementary school and middle school located in historic Fitchburg, Mass., conveniently near Concord, the MetroWest area, Southern New Hampshire and the greater Nashua area and Worcester. Applewild serves families with children in K-8 and with a preschool for children ages 3 and 4.

For more information, visit www.applewild.org.

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