What is Third Source Funding and why should I know about it?
The Development office of St. Mary’s Springs Academy is responsible for raising additional funds for our school that support any and all of our programs. Third source funding is all the different ways we raise that money that is NOT tuition or parish subsidies.
In order for SMSA to have a balanced budget, there are three very important sources of funding:
parish subsidies, and
third source funds.
I don’t have to tell you much about tuition, and parish subsidies are funds the various local parishes share with us as a way for them to support Catholic education. But what is third source funding and why should you care? Partly because it provides about 30% of the overall budget for the school and is a large factor in keeping tuition costs lower. Here is a brief look at the sources!
By far the largest third source of that third source funding, the annual fund generates nearly $600,000 in additional revenue for the school. Alums, current and past parents, grandparents, corporations and friends of the school share some of their hard-earned dollars with us in order to help us keep tuition costs lower and meet the financial obligations of the school (teacher salaries, heat and lights, books and computers, co-curricular activities like basketball and music, etc.). Annual fund contributions are generally unrestricted and are used to offset budgeted items. All gifts to the annual fund are tax-deductible. For current parents, we often call the annual fund “parent partnership.” Did you know that what you are charged in tuition is not the actual cost of educating your child(ren)? Depending on the grade of your child, the cost could be as high as nearly $10,000 (high school), but the school chooses to keep all tuition at a level that is more affordable for parents. This produces a large GAP, which all third source funding helps to fill! Parents who contribute to Parent Partnership (annual fund) are helping to ‘fill the gap’ with their gift.
The Scrip program began many years ago at the former FACES school for two reasons – to help raise additional funds to support the school and to give parents and others an opportunity to use Scrip credits to offset tuition costs, both at our school and at any other tuition-charging school!
Today the SMSA Scrip program sells nearly $3 million in Scrip, which generates about $63,000 in revenue for the school and an additional $37,000 in tuition credits for parents. Scrip users know the value of the program and use everyday purchases to earn extra dollars for themselves and our great school! This program is so easy to use.
Traditionally run by the student council at the high school, last year the magazine drive was expanded to the 7th and 8th grades at the middle school. Typically the high schoolers sell about $80,000-85,000 worth of magazines, and the school receives 50% of sales. So when you’re approached by a very shy student in October, November, or December to buy magazines, remember that 50% of each magazine you purchase actually comes back to the school!