The Annual Fund » Annual Fund FAQs

Annual Fund FAQs

ted graf-1-2 (1)

Head of School

A letter from Ted Graf about the Annual Fund

Read here…

Annual Fund Infographic

An overview of the Annual Fund goals and what it sustains and enhances.

View here…


Q: Why even have an Annual Fund? If all the costs aren’t covered, why not just raise tuition and fees faster than inflation?

A: We strive to keep tuition reasonable so that an independent school education is accessible to more families and so that it stays affordable even as our current families’ financial situations change over time.

“Our family has experienced a wide range of educational environments, and after just one semester at Headwaters School we saw a marked difference in the way our daughter felt about school and thought of herself as a learner and beyond. The diversity at the school is of tremendous value in helping young people feel comfortable as they work to realize who they really are and want to be. By supporting the Annual Fund I know that I am helping to create a dynamic learning environment that welcomes a wider range of families. This allows people to courageously see possibilities they otherwise would not, and live aligned with their passions. We donate to the Annual Fund to ensure affordable access to this very unique education for those who need exactly what this great progressive school offers. We give to support others, while knowing even families of significant means will be more successful due to the benefits of the school’s diversity — which will hopefully only grow over time.”

Marc and Jessica Evans, parents of a Headwaters MS student

Q: I already volunteer my time and donate things to the school. I need our small amount of discretionary income for all the extras that come up throughout the year–should I be wary of giving generously to the Annual Fund?

A: The Annual Fund is the primary fundraising campaign for the school, has the lowest overhead, and makes the biggest impact, and so we encourage you to make your gift to the Annual Fund a priority.

“As the Treasurer of the Headwaters Parent Volunteer Council, I believe that the Annual Fund is the most important fundraising effort at the school. In this spirit, I am working with fellow parents to eliminate many of the little asks throughout the year so that discretionary expenses are limited and our efforts are focused on making Headwaters School offerings robust and comprehensive. A huge part of making Headwaters such a wonderful place for our children to thrive is our teachers. By ensuring that our operational gap is filled through our fundraising efforts, the Annual Fund keeps our awesome teachers around and our children begging to go to school each day! Please join me in giving. Collectively, we can make great things happen!”

Heather Vickers, Parent Volunteer Community Treasurer and parent of an Elementary and a YCC student.

Q: How much should I give?

A: In order to meet this campaign’s goal of $210,000, every family would need to contribute at least $390 per student. This is less than $35 a month.  However, in order to balance the budget the school relies on more than $350,000 in donations annually. Recognizing the range of families’ resources across our three campuses, we encourage everyone to give what they can and be as generous as possible even if that means that you spread your contribution out by doing a monthly draw.  Some suggest giving one week of your annual salary or basing your gift amount on a percentage of your net worth.

Q: What will my gift support?

A: The Annual Fund provides more than 8% of the school’s general operating budget, supports and enhances educational programs, retains and strengthens faculty, and sustains diversity through tuition assistance.

  • $10,000+ to inspire
  • $5,000 provides furniture for classrooms
  • $3,000 maintains competitive faculty compensation
  • $1,000 sustains
  • $750 helps pay for a teacher’s benefits
  • $390 is the per student contribution required to meet our annual fund goals
  • $250 supplements curricular materials
  • $100 shows commitment

Q: How do I contribute to the Annual Fund?

  1. Make a secure one-time or recurring donation with your credit/debit card online.
  2. Make a donation by check, cash, or money order through the mail or by leaving it with a Headwaters Campus Manager. Please make checks payable to Headwaters School and write “Annual Fund” in the memo line.
  3. Arrange to meet with Keelan Wackman, our Development Director, to further discuss how or why you would like to contribute. She can be contacted at or 512-623-5419.