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Message from the Chief Advancement Officer

It is wonderful to see the heart and soul of the St. John’s School community. This is especially true during challenging times. We have witnessed tremendous humanity during hurricanes, tragic family losses, and now again with the COVID-19. Not surprisingly, many in the St. John’s community have recently reached out to us about how they might be helpful and supportive. We recognize that the current environment has been particularly challenging for many. Even with that reality, we see incredible generosity. We have seen that there are people who can and want to be helpful now.

There will be some economic headwinds that the School will face. Demand for financial aid will increase. Endowment yield will be down and operating support from the St. John’s Fund could be impacted. Fortunately, St. John’s has been prudent in creating operating reserves that will provide some help. In addition, discussions are already underway about how costs could be curtailed sensibly during this time. However, philanthropy will play a key role. The most comprehensive way to ensure that the School’s mission continues to be delivered at the highest possible level is to support the St. John’s Fund. The Fund helps everything from financial aid to program needs, technology, and faculty support.

In a very short period of time, faculty pivoted aggressively to adapt to a remote learning program. Changing the way lesson plans are delivered continues to be a major undertaking for faculty with a great deal of work taking place behind the scenes to ensure success. Yet, they have remained dedicated. Now, more than ever, is a time to show them our support.

Financial aid demand always spikes during economic crisis, and this pandemic will be no exception. Financial aid funds are available largely from the operating budget (as well as endowment), which is supported by the St. John’s Fund. Support of the St. John’s Fund could never be more helpful. We encourage your support within your ability to do so.

Some have asked about how to support those community members most adversely impacted during this time, particularly those experiencing acute financial hardship. Fortunately, several years ago Headmaster Mark Desjardins established the Head of School’s Student Assistance Fund to address financial needs that go beyond tuition assistance. This fund has grown over the years thanks to many generous members of the community. It was utilized during Hurricane Harvey to provide financial relief for students and their families, as well as faculty and staff members, during that time of need. If you wish to contribute to this fund, please click here.

Thank you for your involvement, volunteerism, and generous support. We will get through this together. I am fortunate to have seen the wonderful strength and heart of the St. John’s community in challenging times, as well as philanthropy across the United States. I am confident that this will be the case now. As I have mentioned in previous letters to the community, adversity reveals true character and the St. John’s community is demonstrating that character and will again.

Please do not hesitate to contact me, or any of the Advancement team members, if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance during this time.

With gratitude,

Mark Dini, CFRE
Chief Advancement Officer
St. John’s School

Advancement Program at St. John’s

The advancement program at St. John’s School is focused in a manner that is somewhat unique to day schools. Rather than multiple appeals for philanthropic support during the course of the year, emphasis is placed on the St. John’s Fund, which provides unrestricted funds for support of the overall mission of the School. These funds provide a measure of excellence that directly benefits the student experience.

The St. John’s Fund is the foundation of the philanthropic program at St. John’s. Since there is not a series of other appeals such as a gala, auction or other official fundraising programs, families are asked to make a thoughtful single philanthropic gift in support of the mission of St. John’s.

Endowment, Planned Giving, and Capital Gifts

St. John’s completed a highly successful comprehensive Opportunity of a Lifetime Campaign in 2016. The campaign met the ambitious goal of $100 million. Click here for the Campaign Final Report.

With the Opportunity of a Lifetime Campaign completed and pledges extending through 2020, there are no near-term plans for a community-wide capital or endowment campaign. However, for those who are interested, there are opportunities to make endowment, planned giving, and capital gifts.

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