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Frequently Asked Questions
About PC Fundraising

Tuitions are rising every year – why doesn’t that cover the costs?

A first-rate education is expensive, and Penn Charter, like most other independent schools, is not able to cover total costs through tuition alone. In fact, the gap between tuition revenue and expense can be significant – last year it was more than $3,000 per student. This gap is covered by contributions from the Annual Fund and endowment income. Tuition increases are inevitable but can be controlled through the budget-relieving support that the Annual Fund provides. We could charge an additional $3,000 in tuition, but it is essential that we keep tuition at a competitive level in order to maintain the wide range of socioeconomic diversity at Penn Charter. Also, charitable donations to Penn Charter are tax deductible; tuition is not.

What is the Annual Fund?

The Annual Fund provides unrestricted dollars that the school can designate where they are needed most. Money raised during one academic year is funneled directly into supporting the education programs for the next academic year, including but not limited to: curriculum development, technology, faculty salaries, student activities, athletics, art supplies, even lighting and grounds maintenance. In a nutshell, it supports everything we do.

What is the difference between Annual Fund and endowment fund gifts?

The Annual Fund allows for an immediate and flexible response to the school’s needs and builds up the school’s "checking account" of expendable monies – and allows the school to preserve its "savings account" (endowment) for the future sustainability of Penn Charter for generations to come. Annual Fund resources are used on a yearly basis and have an immediate impact on the daily life of the school. It would take an additional $20 million dollars in endowment principal to raise the amount of interest income that the Annual Fund provides every year.

What are leadership gifts?

Leadership level gifts begin at $1,689. Leadership gifts are crucial to the success of Penn Charter’s Annual Fund program. Typically gifts at this level represent more than 85 percent of the total money raised through annual giving. Donors who make gifts at these levels are recognized yearly by leadership category in the annual Report of Gifts.

I am not in a position to make a Leadership Gift.  If I can only make a small gift, does it really make an impact?

Yes! The variation in the level of gifts is representative of the diversity of our community. Gifts to the Annual Fund last year ranged from $25 to $85,000.  In no way do we ask that every family give an equal gift, but rather make an equal sacrifice. We hope families will think seriously about the level of support they can repeat on a yearly basis, i.e., annual giving.

Why does my participation matter?

Participation matters because it shows a dedication to Penn Charter’s educational mission and vision. We want to show other schools that our alumni, parents, and faculty and staff are supportive of Penn Charter across the board. Your gift is a demonstration of your commitment to the school and a sign of Penn Charter’s strength of community.

I was on scholarship during my years at Penn Charter. I want today's students who otherwise can't afford full tuition to have the same chance I did.

- OPC '64

The Lord Lloyd Webber

With a network of OPCs around the globe, it is not unusual for Penn Charter to receive international mail. However, truth to tell, the letter bearing the seal of England’s House of Lords did cause some excitement.

Inside was a check for $2,000 and a note from Lord Lloyd Webber of Sydmonton, a Conservative member of England’s House of Lords – although better known as Andrew Lloyd Webber, the composer and musical theater genius responsible for Evita, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and much more.

Lloyd Webber made the donation in recognition of Richard Balderston OPC ’69, who treated Lloyd Webber and relieved back pain that had plagued him.

An orthopedic surgeon, Balderston is a partner in the Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute, with offices in Center City, Bucks County and South Jersey. He is a national leader in spine research and treatment. A pioneer in the treatment of degenerative disc disease, his research helped lead to the development of total disc replacement, one of the most advanced treatments available for this disease. Lloyd Webber asked that his gift be used to help support the performing arts at Penn Charter. 

Every day, when I take my grand-daughters to PC's Lower School, I celebrate anew the wonderful experience they will have in academics and the community spirit.

- PC Grandparent

Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
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