Monthly Update from Board Chairs Ann Balderston and Richard Yates
Dear Members of the AC Community,
A number of incredible things have happened at AC since we sent our last update. After a busy holiday season, we were thrilled to find out we surpassed our December 31st, 2019 fundraising goal of $3 million dollars! The details of our fundraising successes were subsequently featured on the front page of the Rochester Business Journal’s January 3rd edition. The article outlines our widespread community support and features the anonymous $1 million gift from current AC parents and the $1.5 million commitment from Ursula Burns, a parent of an AC alumna, former Trustee, and former Xerox CEO.
As the Board of Trustees committed to remaining independent, the Board decision reflected the confidence that the AC community would come together to work towards a sustainable future.
We anticipate ending this school year in June with no draw from our endowment for the first time in 10 years. In addition, AC is projected to continue to improve its bottom line in 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 with a net positive operating budget. We reached these projections by working closely with the school’s Leadership Team, thoughtfully managing expenses, carefully considering tuition increases and successful fundraising, and projecting conservative and attainable enrollment numbers. It is important to note that our annual giving goal was necessarily aggressive this year, and we have been grateful for this year’s extraordinary giving levels. While financial generosity will always be crucial, our projected budgets over the next three years reflect moving towards a ‘new normal’ with a consistent reduction in our fundraising goals.
Our recent fundraising success provides us with the confidence to know that AC can attain its fiscal year-end goals. We need our alumni, parents, and community friends to make personally meaningful gifts to AC this spring. Our total fundraising goal for the 2019-2020 school year is $4 million. Having surpassed our $3 million year-end goal by December 31st, we still need to raise $575,000 by June 30th. With the expressions of support we have received in recent months, we know that we can be successful, but we need your help. Your gift truly matters and is part of the inspiration that unfolds at AC every day.
We recently sent out contracts for re-enrollment and have begun receiving commitments for the 2020-2021 school year. Enrollment is critical to our long-term goals, and we need to enroll new students into our program. We know that there are still people in the greater Rochester community who believe we are merging with The Harley School or that we are closed. We need each and every member of the AC community to support our enrollment effort. People need to hear about AC and be encouraged to come visit. We are counting on YOU to share your stories and experiences of AC with those you know who might be interested in a different educational opportunity for their children. Please encourage these families to call Shannon Baudo to learn more and see if AC is a good fit.
Lastly, as many of you know, our Head of School, Mick Gee will be leaving AC at the end of June. We will be hosting a celebration of all the work Mick has accomplished during his time at AC. Please save the date for Thursday, May 14th at 5:30pm at AC. An invitation will be sent in the coming weeks.
Allendale Columbia is strong and getting stronger everyday. Enrolling your children, donating dollars and time, spreading the word, and being overall cheerleaders for AC have helped position us for continued success. Not only are we graduating our 129th class this year, next year we will be celebrating our 130th. We know we can’t do this without the support of our AC community – the future of AC depends on you.
Ann Balderston P’04, P’07, P’10 Richard Yates P’15
Co-Chair, Board of Trustees Co-Chair, Board of Trustees