Philanthropy: Frequently Asked Questions

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • What role does philanthropy play at CDS?

    CDS, like most non-profit schools, relies on philanthropic donations to fund classroom programs, support sliding scale tuition, and upgrade our historic campus. Our commitment to socioeconomic diversity means that tuition does not entirely fund the full cost of educating a child, and fundraising is essential to keep CDS and its programs and people strong. Individuals within the school’s community—current parents, alumni families, grandparents, friends, faculty, and staff—support the Annual Fund, Spring Fundraiser, and capital expenses.
  • What is the Annual Fund?

    The Annual Fund is our most important fundraising effort each year; it supports all of the extras that make our school unique and is essential to the operation of CDS. The campaign begins in late September and concludes late October/early November. Every parent, faculty, staff, board member, and other friends are asked to contribute to the Annual Fund. Here are some examples of what your donations to the Annual Fund support:
    • Salary, benefits, and professional development opportunities for our dedicated faculty
    • Technology such as new laptops for CDS faculty and staff, SMART Boards, iPads for each student, and more
    • Enrichments such as Farm & Garden, Spanish, Music, Art, and Athletics
    • Academic field trips to state parks, cultural institutions, and more for all students
    • Sliding scale tuition for 24% of our families ($3.6 million in the 2021-2022 school year) 
    • And much, much more!
  • Why doesn't the school charge more tuition to cover its costs?

    CDS, like most independent schools, intentionally sets tuition below the full cost of education to keep the school more affordable to a wider range of families. The Annual Fund helps provide the money we need to cover almost $3.6 million in sliding scale tuition for 23.5% of our families in the 2021-2022 school year. Socio-economic diversity is one of CDS’ core values, and by keeping tuition increases to a minimum we can remain affordable to a diverse pool of families and deepen our commitment to an inclusive community.
  • How and when will my family be contacted for an Annual Fund gift?

    The Annual Fund kicks off in October and continues through November. The majority of pledges and gifts are received during this time, and all pledges are to be paid by May 1, 2023. Look in your mailbox for our Annual Fund letter and in your inbox for a kick-off email from our parent co-chairs at the end of September. Parent volunteers will be reaching out to you to discuss the Annual Fund.
  • How much should I give?

    CDS will provide a suggested amount for your gift in the Annual Fund letter and email. We understand that every family’s personal circumstance during these changing times is different, and the amount provided is a recommendation - all levels of gifts are deeply appreciated. Here are the levels of giving:
    Leadership Giving
    • Founders' Circle: $50,000 and above
    • Changemaker Circle: $25,000 and above
    • Head's Circle: $15,000 to $24,999
    • Visionary Circle: $10,000 to $14,999
    • Innovation Circle: $5,000 to $9,999
    • Discovery Circle: $3,000 to $4,999
    • Bold Explorers: $1,000 to $2,999
    • Passionate Citizens: 
    • up to $999
  • Why is 100% participation so important?

    High participation visibly demonstrates the dedication of our community to the school and is an indicator for charitable foundations when deciding on grants and other support. For that reason, we ask that every administrator, teacher, trustee, and family support the Annual Fund in hopes of reaching 100%. In the past years, CDS reached between 98-100% community participation with faculty, staff, and board all reaching 100% each year. We sincerely appreciate each gift and the spirit that such generosity fosters in our community.
  • My family has multiple households, students in multiple grades, or both. How will our participation be counted?

    If one parent of a multi-household family gives to the Annual Fund, the entire family will be counted as having participated. Similarly, only one gift is required in order for a family to be counted for each grade in which they have a student.
  • What other fundraising activities does the school have?

    In addition to the Annual Fund in the fall, CDS typically will host the Spring Fundraiser. The Spring Fundraiser provides crucial funds for CDS’ sliding scale program and supports a high priority need, including things like faculty professional development, community support, and more. 

    The school also has periodic capital campaigns to raise funds for improvements to our facilities and buildings. During their time at CDS, parents may expect that the school will conduct a capital campaign and they will be asked to support these projects with a gift. The next priority identified in our Campus Master Plan is to replace the preschool bungalows and grow the endowment for the future. We look forward to keeping you informed as we move forward with plans.
  • Can I ask my employer to match gifts?

    Yes! Matching gifts are an incredibly important way to make the most of your charitable gift. Many employers in the Bay Area will match their employees' gifts to non-profit schools like CDS. Please contact your HR department for eligibility requirements and a matching gift form or click here for a list of employers who match.
  • How do I give to CDS?

    Cash/Credit Card/Check
    Use your credit card to make a gift any time on our secure giving form here. We also accept cash, personal checks, cashier’s checks, or money orders made payable to Children’s Day School.

    Children’s Day School welcomes your gift through a pledge — a formal statement of your intention to make a gift to our school. With a pledge, you may complete your gift by making regular payments over time, allowing you to give more generously than you originally may have considered. What is more, each payment on your pledge is eligible for an income-tax charitable deduction. You can make a pledge at any time on our secure pledge form here.

    Matching Gift
    An easy way to make the most of your gift by doubling or even tripling your donation is to find out if your company has a matching-gift program. Such programs typically match all or a percentage of employee contributions to charitable organizations, making your employer a partner in your personal philanthropy. Simply obtain a matching-gift instruction form from your employer.

    Donor Advised Funds
    A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a type of giving program that allows you to combine the most favorable tax benefits with the flexibility to easily support Children’s Day School. An increasingly popular charitable vehicle, DAFs are an excellent way to both simplify your charitable giving and facilitate your strategic philanthropic goals. If you already benefit from donor-advised funds, please make checks payable to Children’s Day School. 

    If you have held your securities for more than one year, you may find that your gift will provide a twofold tax benefit, creating an income-tax deduction as well as helping avoid the capital-gains tax that would have been due on their sale. To learn more about the benefits of donating appreciated stocks and securities, please click here.

    Wire Transfers
    Contact information for ACH and domestic wire transfers of funds into the Children’s Day School money market account with US Bank is below. For international wire transfers, please contact Jeanna Yoo at
  • Can I volunteer time as well as making a financial contribution?

    Volunteering your time is another way to give back to CDS. There are many opportunities to get involved at CDS, including helping with planning annual school campaigns and events, being a Family Farmer (caring for CDS animals over weekends and during school holidays), supporting teachers, and much more. For help finding the right activity, contact the Parent Teacher Trustee Association (PTTA) at or the Advancement Office at
  • Whom should I contact with my questions about philanthropy at CDS?

    Please feel free to contact our Advancement Team with any questions or concerns about philanthropy, volunteerism, or alumni relations. We’re here to help!

    Phone: (415) 416-6357
Children's Day School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  Learn More