List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • What makes Fessenden an “Independent” School?

    Fessenden is a nonprofit organization that operates without financial support from local or federal taxes. The School relies on tuition, annual giving, endowment, and auxiliary income (income from summer camps, facility rentals, etc.) to operate.
  • What is the Annual Fund?

    The Annual Fund is our annual giving fund. Annual giving is the custom of making yearly gifts to those institutions which are in line with a donor’s beliefs and values. More pragmatically, annual giving is essential for nonprofit organizations because it supports operating costs and expenses incurred by the institution each year. The Annual Fund is a large part of the school’s total annual giving each year when we make a case for unrestricted support that can be directed to the school’s most pressing needs by the Board of Trustees.
  • Why is the Annual Fund necessary?

    Fessenden’s tuition revenue covers about 75% of the costs associated with educating a Fessenden boy. The Annual Fund, along with income from the endowment and from auxiliary programs, makes up the difference. Unrestricted financial support provides vital funding for many of the school’s most pressing needs including enhanced compensation and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff; student financial aid; academic, arts, athletics and extracurricular programs; and improvements to the school’s buildings and grounds.
  • Why should I make a gift to Fessenden?

    Excellence at Fessenden is linked directly to the generosity of our extended community. Financial support from parents, alumni, grandparents, and friends allows Fessenden to educate boys with the quality, care and attention that have become the hallmarks of the school.
  • Will my gift really make a difference?

    Absolutely! Every gift plays a part in Fessenden's success. We encourage everyone to make Fessenden a philanthropic priority this year. Approximately 80% of the Annual Fund comes from gifts in our leadership giving group, The Red & Gray Society, with gifts of $2,500 and more. That being said, every gift, regardless of size, makes a difference. Overall donor participation reveals how the school is valued by its constituents; each gift has a profound and immediate impact on the Fessenden program and is truly appreciated.
  • Is it possible to designate my gift to a certain area of the School?

    Although we encourage unrestricted gifts whenever possible, there are opportunities to establish endowed and special-use funds that are created to support an area of special interest to the donor, including faculty compensation, financial aid, or a particular aspect of the school’s academic, arts, or athletic programs. 
  • What is Capital Giving?

    Periodically, the Board of Trustees identifies a capital priority that requires a substantial investment in the school that falls outside the scope of the operating budget. These capital projects can be accomplished through a combination of philanthropy and financing. The Fessenden Centennial Campaign for example raised $23.5 million for the construction of several new buildings, including The James R. Pallotta Athletic Center, The Frank Perrine Science Center, and the Wheeler Library.
  • How do “matching gifts” work?

    Many corporations will match an employee’s gift to a school or charitable organization. It is an easy way to increase the impact of your generosity, and the school credits the individual donor with the amount of the matching gift received as part of his or her total gift to the school. To find out if your employer offers a matching gift program, contact your human resources department.
  • Is my gift tax deductible?

    Fessenden is a 501(c)(3) organization as determined by the IRS. All gifts of cash qualify for a charitable deduction in the year of payment as allowable by law. If you make a gift of appreciated securities you will be entitled to a charitable deduction for the fair market value of the securities on the date of the gift and may be free from having to pay the tax on the capital gain. We recommend that each donor consults with his or her financial advisor.
  • What is the best way to make a gift to Fessenden?

    There are many ways to make a gift to the school. You may give by check, credit card or online at the school's website. Gifts of appreciated securities can have beneficial tax implications for the donor. In addition, there are also a variety of ways to help ensure Fessenden's future through a bequest, charitable gift annuity, or charitable trust. Please contact the Advancement Office at 617-630-2310 with any questions you may have.
© 2015 The Fessenden School. All Rights Reserved.
The Fessenden School
250 Waltham Street
West Newton, MA 02465
(617) 964-5350

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