This week, we were able to share news of a very generous lead gift for a new Center for the Performing Arts at CA, the school’s fourth and final capital project as part of our See it Through campaign. The week prior, we had the good fortune of opening Colorado Academy’s new Athletic Center, also built with the generous support of hundreds of people from the CA community.
The smiles that I have seen on the faces of children as they have walked into the new Athletic Center space are validating. From young children to our older students, one can sense gratitude for this new facility and for the generosity that created it.
I am often humbled by the ways in which people wholeheartedly share their hard-earned resources with the school. What I have learned in my years of working in education—nearly all of which have also meant fundraising for education—is that people give in different ways, and for different reasons, but above all, people give because they believe that they can make an impact on the lives of children and the future.
Giving to a school can often mean gratitude for what you or your child received as a student, or a hope for what other students might receive in the future. And for me, that is the crux of it. I am moved not merely by the giving, but by the individual stories behind each gift.
One of the uniquely CA elements of our new Athletic Center design is the school’s crest that was cut from the old gymnasium floor and placed as an emblem at the student entrance to the new facility. If you look closely, you’ll see how one CA parent was moved to use that marker as a way to honor and remember her late husband and CA dad, Tim Scott.
Colorado Academy recently received a gift from a retired Denver lawyer who attended a SPEAK lecture last month. He wrote, “I have always had an affinity for Colorado Academy. I am a graduate of Albany Academy, a country day school in Albany, NY.” He says he was “made to feel at home” at CA.
The donors highlighted in this week’s announcement talk about experiences they had as students that have had a lifelong impact and are looking to this next CA project to impact the lives of others.
It seems that giving and volunteering provide very personal ways for us to make a difference in the world. Nearly every independent school operates on a model of tuition + philanthropy to cover operational costs, and even more philanthropy to support capital and endowment projects.
The Giving USA Foundation reports that Americans, fueled by a strong stock market, are engaged in record-breaking charitable giving, saying, “Even in divisive times, our commitment to philanthropy is solid…. Americans seem to be giving according to their beliefs and interests, which are diverse and wide-ranging.”
No matter your reason, and no matter the amount, know that CA is grateful for your philanthropy and is honored to be stewards of both your gifts and the stories that inspire them.