Annual Fund FAQs - Jewish Day School

Annual Fund FAQs


1. What is the Annual Fund?
The Annual Fund is a recurring fundraiser for JDS. It begins the start of each school year and runs through the end of December. Annual Fund dollars are used to fund school operations, support financial aid, pay teacher salaries, allow for our low student-faculty ratio, and ensure that JDS is able to deliver the progressive curriculum our community has come to expect. Without the Annual Fund, we would be unable to deliver our JDS Mission: Provide an exceptional education that empowers Jewish children to be confident, wise, and compassionate upstanders who are committed to life-long learning and community stewardship.

2. I already pay tuition. Why do I need to give to the Annual Fund?
As a private institution, JDS depends on a number of sources for financial support. These include tuition (typically the largest portion of most schools’ operating budgets) and also contributions from some local generous benefactors, including the Samis Foundation.

Over the years, however, JDS has been called upon to provide an increasing amount of its own support. We conduct fundraising campaigns for our annual budget (including tuition assistance), capital expenses and other programs that support the growth of our school. JDS does not receive any government support. However, the school does depends on the community – JDS parents, faculty, staff and outside community members – to raise dollars to help maintain academic excellence at JDS. Dollars raised also help support programs, faculty recruitment, retention, professional growth and tuition assistance.

The JDS Annual Fund is the centerpiece of our yearly fundraising and accounts for approximately 10% of our overall budget.

3. How do I give to the Annual Fund? What does it mean to pledge and pay?
JDS accepts Annual Fund contributions via check, cash, credit card or stock. Contributions may be made in multiple parts. All donations to the 2017-2018 Annual Fund are tax-deductible as allowable by the law.

A pledge is an expression of your commitment to JDS and allows you to be counted toward our parent participation goal. You have until June 30, the end of the school’s fiscal year, to fulfill your Annual Fund commitment. During the 2016-2017 academic school year, Annual Fund parent participation was 100% for the second consecutive year.

4. I can’t afford to make a big gift when I am already paying tuition (or I am on financial aid). Why should I participate?
JDS welcomes all gifts, big or small. As a community, we expect everyone to participate. There is no gift that is too small, except the one that is never made. When JDS seeks to fundraise from community members in the greater Seattle area who do not have children at the school, one of the most important metrics is family participation in our school's Annual Fund. If we are not supporting our own school, why should anyone else give? By showing 100% participation, we are sending a powerful message to the community at large: JDS is a special place and it is worthy of community support. Making a donation to the school’s Annual Fund is not mandatory, but it does show that you are “all in.” You are voting to support this school that you have already entrusted with your most important asset, your child. Your Annual Fund gift should be within your means and is an incredibly important part of your overall commitment to the school.

5. What is the difference between Annual Fund and Auction?
The Annual Fund is used to fund the operations of the school, including financial aid, teacher salaries and the development of curriculum to maintain JDS’ educational excellence. The Annual Fund drive occurs the beginning of the school year and JDS expects 100% participation from our Board of Trustees, our facultyand staff and our parent body.

The Auction is an amazing community event that happens later in the year and is open to all community members. It is a night for adults to get dressed up, have a great time and raise money for JDS. Funds from the Auction are used for operations when needed, but are also allocated to those extra things that the school needs. Recent examples include: funding our middle school STEM transformation, funding faculty development and continuing education, and buying a bus to allow students to have transportation to field trips or sporting events. While the school does not expect 100% participation at the Auction, it is a great event and one you don’t want to miss!

6. What is the Samis Foundation?
The Samis Foundation was the vision of the late Sam Israel. He invested early in many downtown real estate ventures and amassed a large portfolio which appreciated as the City of Seattle grew. On his death, he directed his estate to be used to support Jewish education and camping predominantly in the greater Seattle area. Some of the funds are also directed to charitable causes in Israel, but the bulk of the money is used to fund education in this area. The foundation has supported much of the Jewish education in Seattle and surrounding areas. JDS has been a regular recipient of generous donations from the foundation. For more information go to