Friends' Central Fund

Friends’ Central School relies on income beyond tuition to provide outstanding educational and extracurricular activities within a caring, supportive community rooted in Quaker values. Like most independent schools, tuition covers only a portion of the cost of educating each student, with the remainder made up of endowment income and gifts to the Annual Fund. Each year, hundreds of parents, alumni/ae, parents of alumni/ae, grandparents, and friends give generously to provide every student unparalleled opportunities at Friends’ Central School. Read about our Signature Programs supported by the Friends’ Central Fund.

Gifts may be designated to:

Participation Counts!
Every gift is important, as outside funders often look at parent and alumni/ae participation when making decisions about their donations. Leadership gifts are particularly meaningful, providing an opportunity to make a major contribution to the School’s inherent strength. Click here to learn more about the Leadership Giving Society and Gift Clubs.

  • Click here to make an easy and secure online gift.
  • Click here to make a monthly recurring gift.
  • Send a check made payable to “Friends’ Central School” to the Development Office at Friends’ Central School, 1101 City Avenue, Wynnewood, PA 19096.
  • To make a stock gift, please contact Kim Emmons-Benjet at kbenjet@friendscentral.org or 610-645-4499.

Leadership Giving Society & Gift Clubs

Leadership Giving Society
Donors to the Leadership Giving Society play a key role in the School’s success by making gifts ranging from $1,845 to $50,000 and upwards. Over half of funds raised are given by members of the Leadership Giving Society. This philanthropy ensures a layer of excellence appreciated by every member of the community. Donors who join the Leadership Giving Society are recognized with gratitude in our Annual Report of Gifts published each fall.

Gift Clubs
Over 1,500 donors are recognized in one of Gift Clubs in the Annual Report of Gifts published each fall. Donors are also listed by their children’s grades and/or their alumni/ae graduation year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Friends’ Central Fund?
Contributions to the Friends’ Central Fund go immediately into the School’s budget to support the ongoing operations of the school. In a Capital Campaign gifts support building projects and endowment funds. Like other schools, Friends Central runs a Capital Campaigns every few years for big projects, but the Friends’ Central Fund is crucial every year.

How much should I donate to the Friends’ Central Fund?
Friends’ Central hopes that you will place the school among your top philanthropic priorities. Because the act of giving is highly personal, only you can determine the amount of your gift. Last year, gifts to the Fund ranged from $10 to $35,000. Participation in the Friends’ Central Fund is as important as the size of the gift. However, leadership gifts help to ensure the long-term strength and sustainability of the School.

What are leadership gifts?
Leadership level gifts begin at $1,845. Leadership gifts are crucial to the success of the Friends’ Central Fund. In 2016-2017, gifts at this level represented 60 percent of the total raised.

If I can only make a small gift, does it really make an impact?
It makes a difference. Gifts to the Friends’ Central Fund last year started at $10. Consider this: last year the school received 244 gifts of $100, totaling $24,400! What matters most is simply the act of giving.

Seriously? Participation matters?
Participation matters because it shows dedication to the mission and vision of Friends’ Central School. Your participation generates enthusiasm and encourages others to join you in celebrating and supporting the School. It makes a difference every day in every facet of our students’ experience. The School’s financial strength is dependent upon all members of the community. Also, foundations, grant-making institutions, and corporations look at participation as an indicator of support from the community when making decisions about funding.

Can a Friends’ Central Fund Gift be designated to a particular area?
Friends’ Central offers six areas within the school budget for gift designation: Greatest Current Need; Student Programs; Arts; Athletics; Faculty and Staff Retirement and Support; and Financial Aid.

Why raise funds for Financial Aid?
Financial aid benefits the entire School community. Scholarship aid helps create a talented and diverse peer group, exposing students to multiple perspectives and preparing students to live and work in an increasingly global society. Financial aid is thus a critical component of academic excellence both for individuals and for the entire school.

Who is asked to give to the Annual Fund?
Everyone who is part of the Friends’ Central community—current and past parents, alumni, grandparents, Trustees, faculty, staff, and friends of the School—is asked to participate in the Friends’ Central Fund. There is a strong tradition of giving at Friends’ Central. Each generation has played its part to ensure that future students are able to obtain an outstanding education. Contributions are a continuation of a legacy of support and generosity.

What does it mean when Friends’ Central is referred to as an independent school?
Friends’ Central is an Independent School because it designs its own programs and curriculum, operates without financial support from the government, and is governed by its own Board of Trustees. Unlike public schools, which are funded by tax dollars, independent schools rely solely upon tuition fees, endowment income and proceeds from fundraising to meet their operating expenses.

Is Friends’ Central eligible for matching gifts?
Gifts to Friends’ Central can be doubled, and even tripled, when they are matched by participating corporations and foundations. Please check with your employer’s Human Resources Department to determine eligibility.

Should I give if I receive tuition assistance?
Even though many families make financial sacrifices to pay tuition, it remains important for every member of the Friends’ Central community to participate in the Friends’ Central Fund at some level. Making a donation to the Friends’ Central Fund has no negative impact on financial aid.

Where does the money from tuition and philanthropy go?
The School’s 2017-2018 budget is about $22 million. 79% of the budget is spent on people—salaries and benefits for the faculty and staff who make all the good things happen at Friends’ Central. The remainder of the budget is spent on curricular and extracurricular programs, financial aid, administration, and the physical plant.

What kind of gift offers the greatest tax advantages for a donor?
All Friends’ Central Fund contributions are tax-deductible during the year in which they are made. In most cases, a gift of appreciated securities provides the best tax advantage. When you donate securities, you not only receive credit for the current market value of the stock, but you avoid paying capital gains tax on the appreciation. Always discuss such gifts with your own tax advisor.

Volunteer

When volunteers add their time to their gift, they are more than doubling their support for Friends’ Central. Whether they are alumni/ae contacting classmates or parents in touch with fellow parents; whether they are asking for a gift or thanking a donor for a gift already made, volunteers are serving Friends' Central in a most important way.

Our volunteers love Friends’ Central and find that reaching out to FCS folks is easy.

  • Parent volunteers phone fellow parents, reach out to friends via email and social media, or attend phonathons at School.
  • Alumni/ae volunteers can live anywhere in the United States. They encourage classmates to give via email, Facebook, or by phone calls. Area alumni/ae often join in phonathons. Reunion Volunteers help plan Class parties and events at Reunion.

If you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Kim Emmons-Benjet at 610-645-4499 or kbenjet@friendscentral.org.

Parent and alumni/ae volunteers begin working on the Friends’ Central Fund each fall. When a volunteer calls you for help with the Friends' Central Fund, please give generously!

Donor Stories

Make a Gift to the Friends' Central Fund

Gifts to the Friends' Central Fund have an immediate impact on the educational experience of every student at FCS. Our fiscal year runs from July 1 - June 30.

Click here to give online.

You can also mail a check, cash, or money order to the Friends' Central Development Office, 1101 City Avenue, Wynnewood, PA 19096.

We also have recurring gift, matching gift, and gifts of securities options. Click here for more info.

Thank you for supporting the Friends' Central Fund!

Why I Give

"I give to FCS every year because I met my best friends there and the community is a big part of who I am today."

-Taylor Lee '08