Development Fund

The Annual Fund

Rathdown School’s Annual Fund is a fundraising initiative, whereby families are invited to contribute each year to worthy school projects, supporting all aspects of school life.

Through Annual Fund donations, the School is able to fund immediate needs and benefits such as upgraded facilities or equipment, which enhance the experience of all our students.

Examples of previous projects include ICT development, piano and piano stools for the Performing Arts Academy, decoration of common rooms in Boarding House and state-of-the-art playground equipment.

For more information on the Annual Fund, please see the FAQ section below or email KDoyle@rathdownschool.ie 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by ‘philanthropy in education’?

It is the giving of time, talent and/or treasure for the good of the students. By giving to your school, you are demonstrating your support for the goals, the people and the mission of the institution.

What is the Annual Fund and how will my daughter benefit?

It is an annual fundraising initiative, whereby a request is made to parents to contribute to worthy school projects. Donations support all aspects of school life and are used to complete projects that yield immediate results (within 12 months). Raising funds through this method avoids the usual ‘black hole’ of fundraising, when you do not know where the money raised was spent.

Previous funds raised have helped to purchase new playground equipment, to refurbish dormitory rooms and to provide start-up funding for significant ICT improvements.

Why is Rathdown School seeking additional funds?

Income from school and boarding fees allows the School to operate to a high standard on a daily basis but does not provide for major enhancements. The reliable income from an Annual Fund will allow us to properly plan for the future. School fees are calculated to cover the day-to-day operating costs of running the School when combined with government assistance. Government funding comprises less than 7% of Senior School income and the Junior School receives no government assistance whatsoever. Therefore, in order to finance desirable improvements in our facilities and advance our position as leaders in education, we need to build alternative sources of funds.

Why not just raise school fees, increase the number of students or charge a levy?

Although raising fees is necessary each year because of ongoing costs, it is not an effective way to advance the mission of Rathdown School. Revenue from the Annual Fund will allow affordable tuition with minimal increases, thus making the School accessible to a diverse group of students. The ‘small school experience’ is one of Rathdown School’s most sought-after attributes. Increasing the number of students would diminish our effectiveness and ability to provide each student with the attention they need to achieve their personal best.

Charging a levy will make our school less affordable for future students (and less diverse) and will not allow donors, or the School, to benefit from tax revenue associated with a voluntary contribution. If a school is charging a levy that you must pay in order to remain at the school, it is not permitted under the law to collect the tax benefit associated with your payment of the levy.

Rathdown School has beautiful grounds, lovely buildings and many other pricey features. It sure doesn’t look like it needs money. Why should I give?

It is easy to overestimate the affluence of a school. If they charge many thousands of euros for tuition and enjoy attractive facilities, you may naturally assume that a school must be rich, the teachers well paid and the financial needs minimal. All that Rathdown School offers comes at an ever-increasing cost. In order to offer competitive salaries, provide a superior education and supply the resources to help your child to maximise her potential in today’s competitive environment, Rathdown School (like most other private, fee-paying schools) must ask for a gift over and above your tuition.

How much should we give and how much of a difference can my gift really make?

Your gift, no matter how large or small, will provide substantial support for Rathdown’s projects when combined with other gifts from parents and friends. Contributions to the Annual Fund have ranged from 50 – 6,000 euro. Unlike a third level institution or major charity, Rathdown School has a smaller base of supporters, therefore every gift counts even more. As a result, we are asking families to make their child’s school a philanthropic priority no matter what the size of the gift.

I gave last year, isn’t it someone else’s turn?

We need to BUILD participation! We hope that every parent will participate for the duration of their child’s time at the School. As parents become more familiar with the benefits of the Annual Fund, we hope that they will plan their giving to the School and determine the size of their annual gift accordingly. High levels of participation will ultimately help to encourage high-level donors to give in a major way, benefiting past, present and future Rathdown students.