Fund for Aurora FAQs

Why is charitable giving to Aurora necessary?

In order to develop and deliver this unique education to your children, Aurora, like most independent schools, depends on your charitable support. Tuition and other sources of operating funds do not entirely fund Aurora’s operations. According to National Association of Independent Schools statistics, tuition and other operating funds cover an average of 80% of day schools’ operations. The remainder is supplied through the personal philanthropy of parent communities and other constituencies such as parents of alumni, alumni, grandparents of current students, friends, faculty, and staff.

Aurora looks great. It has amazing teachers, excellent curriculum and a nice building. How can a school like this still have financial needs?

Thanks to the careful consideration and thorough planning of the school’s administration and Board, and the generosity of the community, Aurora is financially stable. Charitable giving to Aurora supplies the extra ingredients that help propel the school from “good” to “great.” Other sources, such as tuition, provide the school with core operating capital, but the philanthropy of our community enables Aurora to: fund a Spanish language program, truly integrate art, music, library, computers, woodshop and movement into a student’s day; purchase and maintain state of the art technology systems; attract and retain the best faculty members; invest in professional development for faculty; acquire the scientific equipment, art supplies and instruments necessary to deliver advanced curriculum to students; take advantage of so much of what the Bay Area has to offer including speakers and field trips. Without charitable giving, Aurora would not be able to deliver the education you expect for your children.

Why doesn’t Aurora simply charge enough tuition to cover its costs?

The largest part of Aurora’s operating budget is covered by tuition. While one might expect that tuition would cover all of the operating expenses, it does not. This is also the case at most other independent schools in the area and around the country. Aurora deliberately sets tuition below full cost in order to keep the school more affordable to a wider range of students and to provide community members with opportunities to support the school with tax-deductible donations. As a community, we believe this practice is conducive to building the type of inclusive school we all wish to have.

How does The Fund for Aurora work?

The school’s annual giving drive is called The Fund for Aurora. The campaign kicks off in the fall and winds down in January (although we are happy to take contributions throughout the year!) Families at Aurora are contacted directly in writing, by phone and by email by their Class Captains. These dedicated volunteers are the classroom liaisons from the Development Office to each family at Aurora. They are available to answer questions and explain more about the importance of gifts to the Fund. We urge you to give at a level that feels significant to your family because every gift makes a difference. We strive for 100% parent and staff participation in The Fund for Aurora. Strong participation is a signal to potential donors from outside the Aurora community that there is support and enthusiasm for the work we do.

May I make a pledge to fulfill a Fund for Aurora gift later?

Yes. Annual gifts may be fulfilled by pledges and you may pay in installments. We ask that pledges to The Fund for Aurora be made in writing to the Development Coordinator and fulfilled by the end of March.

How can I give to Aurora?

Gifts can be made in a variety of ways:

  • Write a Check – either drop it off in the front office or send it in the mail
  • Donate Online – secure, fast, and easy (Adding 3% to your gift will cover our processing fees so that your whole gift goes to our students!)
  • Use a Credit Card – Call the Development Office with your credit card information (510) 428-2606 ext 226
  • Learn about Matching Gifts
  • Make a Gift of Stock
  • Consider a Planned Gift

Are my gifts to Aurora tax-deductible?

Aurora is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. As a result, all gifts to the school are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. Your tax advisor can help you learn more about your individual situation. Aurora School’s Federal Tax ID Number is 94-3080476.

Can I give my time as well as a charitable gift?

Volunteers are essential to all school operations, and especially to philanthropy at Aurora. Some individuals prefer to help with events, mailings, and office operations, while others agree to act as Class Captains. All of these earn credit toward the required hours of volunteer time to support Aurora’s fund raising efforts. Read more about Volunteer Opportunities.

Who may I contact with questions about giving to Aurora?

Jessica Rampel is our Development Coordinator. She is happy to help answer any and all questions about philanthropy at Aurora. She can be reached by email or phone (510) 428-2606 ext 226.

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