Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I contribute to the Orange Fund? Isn’t tuition enough?
A: The Orange Fund has a direct impact on the ECFS educational experience. As with all independent schools, tuition alone does not cover the full cost of educating each student at ECFS. Historically the gap between tuition and operating expenses has been around $7,000 per student. The remaining costs are made up of income from our institutional investment portfolio and unrestricted donations to the annual fund (Orange Fund).
Philanthropic support is an important part of every independent/ not-for-profit school’s business plan. Your gifts to the Orange Fund help reduce the gap per student and help ECFS meet our annual operating budget. Achieving our Orange Fund financial goals is essential.
Q: Why can't the School draw more money from the endowment instead of fundraising?
A: Thanks to the generosity of generations of philanthropic alumni, parents, grandparents, parents of alumni, faculty, staff and friends, ECFS is fortunate to have an endowment that allows the School to pursue its educational mission without jeopardizing its financial stability. While endowment income does fund a portion of the yearly operating budget, a portion of it must be reinvested each year to ensure that the endowment keeps pace with inflation. In addition, some contributors to the endowment have set specific restrictions on how these funds may be used.
Q: If I can't make a large gift, does a small gift really make a difference?
A: Yes! ECFS values every gift no matter the size. Every donation will contribute to reducing the gap per student.
Last year, the median gift to the Orange Fund was $150. Thanks in part to these contributions, the Orange Fund reached a new milestone for total giving, directly benefiting each student's ECFS experience. Our School greatly values participation from all community members. Last year 73% of our families contributed to the Orange Fund. Our goal is to increase this participation every year and reach 100%.
Q: Our family receives financial aid. Why would I give back money that the School is giving me?
A: We ask every member of the ECFS community — from current families to alumni — to participate in the Orange Fund, including families who receive financial aid. Your contribution, at any level, strengthens our community and demonstrates your support of the ECFS mission and your investment in its future.
Q: How much should I donate to the Orange Fund?
A: Contributions to the Orange Fund range in size from $5 to $100,000+. Each and every gift is important.
We hope that families will make ECFS a top philanthropic priority while their children are attending, and that alumni will recognize the importance that ECFS made on their lives and donate to provide a similar opportunity for those who follow. Strong financial support of the Orange Fund demonstrates your commitment to the School and your belief in our students and their bright futures.
Q: Are Orange Fund gifts tax-deductible?
A: Yes! ECFS is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization under the Federal Internal Revenue Code. Unlike tuition fees, all contributions to the Orange Fund are deductible pursuant to the prevailing tax laws. All donors will receive a letter noting their gift amount, the date of their gift, and a disclosure that no goods or services were provided.
Q: When can I make a gift to the Orange Fund?
A: The Orange Fund runs from July 1–June 30 each year.