Support Berwick

The Berwick Fund FAQ

Useful knowledge about the Annual Fund:

List of 10 items.

  • What is The Berwick Fund?

    The Berwick Fund is the Academy’s annual giving campaign that raises critical philanthropic dollars to support the daily operations of the School during the current academic year. It is Berwick’s number one fundraising priority, as it allows the School to fully live its mission and achieve its vision. 
  • Why is The Berwick Fund necessary?

    Berwick Academy is an independent school, therefore, it does not receive any state or federal funding. The School relies entirely on tuition dollars, draw from the School’s endowment, and charitable donations from the community to educate our students and provide the incredible faculty and programs that make Berwick so great. Additionally, and true to most independent schools, tuition does not cover entire cost of educating our students, hence the need for additional philanthropic support. 
  • Doesn't tuition cover everything?

    Tuition only covers 87% of the actual cost of the Berwick experience for each child. This is not unusual for an independent school. Like most independent schools, the two major sources of income at Berwick are tuition and the Annual Fund. The Annual Fund enables Berwick Academy to provide an exceptional learning experience for each student. A strong Annual Fund also helps keep tuition costs as low as possible.
  • Why not raise tuition?

    We strongly believe that a diverse student body is an integral part of the Berwick experience and enriches the lives of all our students. Increasing the cost of tuition would deny access to our School for many of our families, and negatively impact all facets of Berwick Academy, including diversity, sustainability, and financial durability. Additionally, donations to the Annual Fund are fully tax-deductible, while tuition is not, so think about the Annual Fund as the tax-deductible portion of your tuition. Donating benefits you more than raising tuition would.
  • Why is my participation important?

    The tradition of giving at Berwick is storied and strong. Each generation has played its part to ensure that future generations of talented students from the Seacoast are able to obtain an exceptional education from a premier institution. Donations are a gesture of pride and a continuation of a history of support and generosity.
     
    The impact of your participation is valued beyond the dollars. At any level, participation in the Annual Fund demonstrates your commitment to Berwick and its continued success. When the entire community participates, it speaks volumes that our parents, alumni, trustees, faculty, staff, grandparents, and friends are committed to the success of the School and will continue to teach or send their family to the School, thus ensuring Berwick’s sustainability for years to come. Foundations, grant-making institutions, and corporations all look at fundraising participation as their key indicator of buy-in. If the community stands behind the School, those organizations deem Berwick more deserving of their support as well.
     
    The School’s overall and financial strength is dependent upon all members of the community. 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.
  • I give at the auction and/or support the Golf Tournament. Why should I also give to The Berwick Fund?

    We recognize that there are opportunities to support the Berwick in addition to The Berwick Fund, and we appreciate your participation in all of them. However, the School formally asks that you give to the Annual Fund first. It is the most critical funding need and allows the School to continue to achieve its mission and vision – the foundation for the Berwick experience. There are seven designations within The Berwick Fund that impact all aspects of our School, so give to the one you feel most passionately about.
     
    School fundraising events are important in providing supplemental funding for expenses outside of the operating budget - the “nice to haves.” The Berwick Fund is the School’s only fundraising effort that covers the “need to haves” - faculty support, programs and technology, financial aid, and arts and athletics. Additionally, the Annual Fund is 100% tax-deductible.  We hope that you participate in special events such as the Community Benefit and/or the Athletic Boosters Golf event, but we ask that you make giving to The Berwick Fund your first priority.
  • How much am I expected to give?

    We simply ask that you give at a level where your passion for the School meets your ability to give. We understand that tuition is a significant investment and every family’s capacity is different; we just hope that Berwick becomes or remains a philanthropic priority. Gifts of ALL sizes help Berwick reach its financial and participation goals.
     
    If you are interested in figures, please consider the following:
    • Regardless of financial aid, Berwick spends an additional $2,500 on average for every student, above the cost of tuition.
    • Gifts last year were as diverse as our community and ranged from $1 to $100,000.
    • Last year’s average gift was $964.
    • Leadership giving begins at $1,000.
  • How are The Berwick Fund donations spent? Am I able to designate my gift toward a specific program?

    The Berwick Fund dollars support every facet of the Berwick experience including faculty and professional development, financial aid, programs tied to the school mission, arts, athletics, and general school operating costs. The School does allow you to designate your gift toward a specific program; for more information on which programs are available for designations, click here.
     
    We encourage you to check out the Berwick Academy Facebook page, Twitter feed, Head of School Monthly 1791 Letter, or Berwick Today magazine to see great stories and photos throughout the year of your investment at work. 
  • How can I make a donation?

    Donations can be made by mailing cash or a check, or online with your Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. They may be pledged monthly, quarterly, or in one single payment. Additionally, a gift of securities can be made by calling the Advancement Office at 207-384-6309. Gifts of appreciated securities provide you with a tax deduction for the appreciated value of the stock without incurring capital gains tax.  The Annual Fund runs on the School's fiscal year calendar starting on July 1 and closing on June 30.
  • Can I use my employer’s gift matching program?

    Yes, absolutely! Matching gifts allow you to double (and sometimes triple!) your donation through your employer.  Click here to see if your employer has a matching gifts program. If you don’t see your company listed, check with your HR or Benefits department to see if such a program exists and how to get started. Submitting a matching gift is often as easy as completing an online form or filling out a piece of paper. Once initiated, Berwick works with your employer to take care of the rest!

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy is Maine's oldest, independent Pre-K through Post Graduate private school. Our community is dynamic, offering challenging academics, competitive athletics, and creative arts programs. Members of the community operate within a context of caring and respect as we pursue our quest for "useful knowledge" as "one school with three divisions." Students and faculty are encouraged to expand their horizons by balancing academics with athletic, dramatic, and musical options.