CA Mascot Gus greets families on CA Gives Day.
CA Mascot Gus greets families on CA Gives Day.

The impact of your philanthropy

October 28 is CA Gives Day—a day we spotlight to drive participation in our annual campaign. It coincides with a number of “asks” that usually come in the fall. Honestly, I get it—it can be a bit overwhelming. I thought I would use my blog to describe the ways that parents, alumni, and friends of the school support teaching and learning at Colorado Academy. It may help to frame your philanthropy by considering your values and the impact your gifts have on our academic, arts, and athletics programs.

Consider your values
When I think about how I am going to support Colorado Academy with my own giving, I first identify the dollar figure that I want to contribute and then consider how the programs I support match what I hold dear. I divide my funds among the following great causes for the school: The CA Fund, Horizons, HOPE (our student-run program providing food, clothing, and other essentials to others in our community), and any capital/strategic campaign the school is engaged in.

As you have heard me say before, tuition does not cover the full cost of one student’s CA academic year. There is a gap of $2,300 per student. The CA Fund covers that gap, and this year our fundraising goal is $1.9 million. My first priority as a donor is to help close this gap and give support to all the amazing programs at the school. It is essential for the school’s operations. I invite all donors who have the means to join me in giving to The CA Fund. Your participation alone makes a big difference. I’m proud to say that our faculty and staff join me in this philanthropic endeavor as we are working to complete 17 consecutive years of 100% faculty and staff giving to The CA Fund. It’s a powerful statement of their commitment to the school and about the importance of The CA Fund. Every gift matters. So, on October 28, please consider contributing to The CA Fund on CA Gives Day. Our hope is to get high participation and reduce further asks of the community.

You are no doubt seeing invitations to next month’s Horizons Wine & Dine. Horizons’ annual fundraising event is on November 10, and you can support the event in a variety of ways. Horizons is part of CA’s outreach to the broader Denver community. It is a year-round program that serves under-resourced students from Denver Public Schools. Although under our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, Horizons is not funded by the school (with the exception of in-kind donations of campus space) and is supported entirely by donors. Many donors are from CA because our families understand what a transformational program this is for Denver youth. For me as a donor, I also support this program because it is CA’s primary outreach to the broader local community.

Now in its 27th year, CA students have organized an event that serves underserved families in Denver. HOPE is a combination of a clothing-diaper-backpack drive that culminates on a Saturday in December with a day of celebration. In past years, more than 1,000 families have come to our gym. They pick up clothing, play games, receive flu vaccines and eye exams, and get a dinner cooked by our students. Our students do everything to make this happen with minimum adult guidance. It’s an amazing program.

CA also has various strategic or capital campaigns or donor-initiated projects. We just wrapped up our See it Through capital campaign. Donors are to be thanked for all the great buildings we have on this campus. Additionally, special projects serve the school and allow a donor to make a huge difference. We have had families come forward with their own ideas and passions. For example, a family really saw the promise of our REDI Lab program and created an endowment.

In the spring, you’ll be invited to join us for the Concert, which raises funds to support the school’s financial aid program. Our planning committee is working to bring in an amazing act or two, and it is shaping up to be an event you won’t want to miss. There will be a variety of ways to support the Concert, including an online auction, sponsorships, and individual tickets.

Consider the impact you will have
In addition to reflecting your values, consider the impact your gifts have on CA. Each gift makes an impact and improves our educational outcomes. Part of what makes CA such a special school is the amazing parent participation we have in our annual campaign and in other events.

Additionally, we routinely meet with families and to discuss their philanthropy plan. Our conversations focus on the impact donors want to have and the legacy they want to leave.

All of this is captured in the new CA Philanthropic Giving brochure. You can download a copy here.

Supporting students and their passions
Every now and then, students come up with ideas that hold the promise of great impact, and we are compelled to help them with some promotion.

This week, I want to share two, given their timeliness.

Senior Braden Fitzpatrick is hoping you will drop off unwanted tech gear. As part of his REDI Lab program last year, Braden created a nonprofit organization called Recycle the Power. He fixes broken and old devices like laptops, iPads, phones, Kindles and more, and gives them to people who don’t have access to technology. Braden got this idea after learning that kids everywhere could not partake in online classes because they did not have any devices to join a Zoom call or similar distance-learning tools. Braden has donated laptops and iPads to the Horizons team, and he plans to donate to HOPE once he completes the repair on devices. Please consider donating any old devices you have to this worthwhile cause by dropping them off in bins that will be placed in the Lower, Middle, and Upper School buildings starting on Monday. You can donate phones, computers, tablets, or other devices, regardless of their condition. If you want to donate Apple products, know they are only usable if you turn off “Find My iPhone.” You can find instructions on how to do that on the donations tab of his website

I also invite you to join us tonight as another Senior, Caroline Ungar, is part of a group of young women skiers who have created a short film called NOVIA. It spotlights the declining rates of young women participating in competitive skiing. We’re hosting the first showing of the film in the Leach Center for the Performing Arts at 6 p.m. this evening.

These two students are among the 100 in our Senior class working on projects with community impact. It’s another unique quality in CA’s secret sauce that makes this school so special. Philanthropy is a lesson we teach at CA—in all divisions. It leads to our students and alumni having a positive impact on our world.

I am so grateful that we are all able to participate in this important work together. Thank you!