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Annual Fund FAQ

Why is important for me to give to the Annual Fund Campaign?

While the true value of a Keys School education is hard to quantify, the cost of educating each student at Keys exceeds tuition every year. We supplement funding for our educational and extracurricular programs with money generated from annual fundraising activities, special gifts to the school and, from time to time, capital campaigns. The generosity of Keys School’s supporters enables us not only to maintain but also to enhance the quality of our students’ educational experience each and every day.

Thanks to the commitment of the Keys community of parents, trustees, alumni, grandparents, and friends, Keys School is financially stable and its program is strong, however, there are always opportunities for growth. Our goal is to ensure that current and future Keys students receive the best education available. Charitable giving to Keys helps create excellence!

Why does Keys ask for the "gap amount" of $3,000 per student?

The largest part of Keys' operating budget is covered by tuition. While one might expect that tuition would cover all of the operating expenses, it does not. Tuition is intentionally set below full cost to increase accessibility by a wider range of families. Tax-deductible, philanthropic commitments "close the gap" between tuition and actual operating expenses. This practice is typical of most independent schools.

Each year Keys asks current families to support the Annual Fund Campaign at the "gap level" which is currently $3,000 per student. This is the cost per student that is not covered by tuition dollars. Families who are able to do so are encouraged to give more, as this helps cover the gap as other families at the school are unable to offer support at that level. Every gift - from $25 to $25,000 - is important.

What role does philanthropy play in the school’s budget?

Fundraising is the second largest form of fiscal revenue at Keys.

Similar to most independent schools, Keys relies primarily on gifts from individuals within its community: parents of current students, parents of alumni, alumni, grandparents of current students, friends, faculty, and staff. Keys also requests grants from charitable foundations and corporations primarily for specific, program-related support. If you are aware of any foundations or corporations that might be interested in supporting Keys, please notify our Development Office.

How and when will my family be contacted for an Annual Fund gift to the school?

Keys' Annual Fund Campaign officially begins in the fall each year. Members of the Keys community will receive a letter from the school in September and members of the Annual Fund Team will begin contacting the community in early October. All pledges are due by January 31 and gifts must be received by May 15 of the current school year.

What are the giving levels at Keys School?

All gifts - no matter the size - are greatly appreciated by Keys. If you are fortunate enough to be able to support the school at a higher level, leadership giving levels are as follows:

  • Founder's Circle $25,000+
  • Leadership Circle $10,000 - $24,999
  • Benefactor Circle $5,000 - $9,999

How do I give to Keys School?

Click here to go to our "Ways to Give" page.

Can my employer match my gift?

The Bay Area is full of companies who generously match a percentage of their employees' charitable donations. Some companies will match your gift 100%! If you work for a company with a matching gift program, please consider enhancing your annual commitment to Keys by filling out the necessary paperwork and submitting it to our Development Office. Most employers have adopted the use of online forms to help expedite your matching gift. Please check with your company's HR department for details. Companies currently matching gifts at Keys include: Adobe, Altera, Apple, BlackRock, Cisco, Dell, Genentech, Google, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, Sociometrics, Symantec, Visa, VMWare, Wells Fargo, and Yahoo just to name a few. We also provide a service to see if your employer offers matching gifts.

May I make a pledge in fulfillment of an Annual Fund gift?

Yes. Gifts to the Annual Fund Campaign may be fulfilled by pledges. We simply ask that pledges to Keys School be documented in writing by January 31 and fulfilled by May 15 of the current school year. To work out a monthly installment schedule for your Keys donation, please contact Ainsley Kelly in the Development Office at 650.328.1711, x106.

Are my gifts to the Annual Fund Campaign tax-deductible?

Keys is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. As a result, all gifts to the school are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. Please consult with your tax advisor before making your gift, especially if you are giving securities or other non-cash gifts.

How are my gifts to Keys School recognized by the school?

All gifts to Keys are recognized in two ways. Gifts are acknowledged with a paper-copy letter which contains all appropriate tax information. This letter is usually mailed within one week after the gift is received. Also, unless a donor wishes to remain anonymous, his or her gifts are acknowledged in our Annual Report sent to our community at large each year.

I still have a few questions about charitable giving at Keys, whom should I call?

The Development Office at Keys welcomes your call. Please feel free to contact Kate Atmore, Director of Development, with questions or concerns about philanthropy at 650.328.1711, x104. For questions about volunteerism and alumni relations, please contact Gail Longfellow, Assistant Director of Development for Special Events, at 650.328.1711, x105.

Keys School - Lower Campus · 2890 Middlefield Road · Palo Alto, CA · 94306
Keys School - Middle Campus · 3981 El Camino Real · Palo Alto, CA · 94306

Phone: 650-328-1711