The CWS Annual Fund

Giving Together

To recognize the community required to keep CWS flourishing, this year’s Annual Fund campaign is Giving Together. Our goals are to raise $175,000 with 100% participation from parents, faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees.

Charlottesville Waldorf School’s Annual Fund campaign closes the gap between tuition and operating costs, and supports virtually every area of school life. We depend on donations to the Annual Fund to support our music, art, movement, foreign language programs, classroom supplies, class plays, festivals, and tuition assistance.

Contributions range in size from $100 to $100,000 and come from current parents as well as faculty, board members, past parents, grandparents, alumni, businesses, corporate matches to employee contributions, and family foundations. Donations can be made at one time or on a weekly or monthly basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Annual Fund campaign?

The Annual Fund campaign is a yearly direct appeal to our community of parents, faculty, staff, trustees, grandparents, alumni, alumni parents, and friends of CWS for financial contributions in support of the school's day-to-day operating budget. It is a way to sustain the highest functionality of the school while keeping tuition increases as minimal as possible. Tuition is not tax-deductible, but as the Charlottesville Waldorf School is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit independent school, gifts to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible.

What are the major components of the school's operating budget?

The majority of the school's operating budget is spent on salaries and benefits. The remaining is spent on facilities, program expenses, class supplies and activities, and general operating costs. The Board of Trustees practices fiscal responsibility, without compromising the integrity of the Waldorf program.

Why is an Annual Fund necessary for an Independent School?

Tuition income covers most of our operating expenses. The remainder must be funded through other sources, which, for most independent schools, is the purpose of their Annual Fund. Each of our current families is asked to make a donation every year to the Annual Fund Campaign in addition to paying tuition, to help close this gap. The Annual Fund campaign is the single most important component of our Giving Program. 

We design our own program and curriculum, operate without financial support from federal or state government agencies, and are self-governed by our Board of Trustees and College of Teachers. Unlike public schools, which are funded by tax dollars, CWS relies solely on revenue from tuition and philanthropic gifts to meet operating expenses.

Why not just raise tuition?

Our school was founded on the principles of community, generosity and the value of a Waldorf education. GIving - philanthropy - is part of our origin and our culture. By keeping tuition as affordable as possible, as well as raising money for a robust financial aid program, we can attract an economically diverse student population, which makes for a richer education for all our children. Remember, gifts to the Annual Giving campaign are fully tax-deductible - tuition is not.

Are there other fundraising activities besides the Annual Fund?

Yes, in addition to the Annual Fund campaign, the school has several initiatives and events to help close the yearly budget gap. These include our Holiday Bazaar, Spring Day of Giving, class fundraisers, and more.

Who supports the Annual Fund?

Every segment of the school community, including the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, parents, grandparents, alumni parents, alumni, and friends. We also reach out to the greater Charlottesville metropolitan area, as we know the difference Waldorf-educated citizens can make in their communities and in the world. We all benefit from the gifts of a thriving Waldorf school.

Why is participation important?

The school's financial strength is dependent upon the participation of all members of its constituency. Your participation generates enthusiasm and encourages others to join you. It is also a key indicator to foundation and corporate donors that we have consistent support from those we serve, both past and present. Last year, with the help of high parent participation, we received corporate donations and three grants for our programming and facilities. When 100% of the people who benefit from our organization also care enough to donate, this sends a strong message helping us to obtain outside grants and gifts.

How much should I give?

An artistically and academically rich education is expensive. We ask each family to look into their heart and give to their family's best ability. Some families truly cannot afford to give that much, yet others in the community are blessed with the means to contribute more. Many families make their gift in monthly installments to maximize your contribution over time.

Please consider making your child’s education and school your top philanthropic priority and be as generous as you can. We are deeply grateful for gifts of all sizes.

Does this apply to me if I receive tuition assistance?

Yes - we strive for 100% participation from our entire parent body, regardless of the size of the gift. Every gift counts. Please give a gift that is meaningful to you.

Do employers, corporations and foundations support the Annual Fund?

Corporations typically contribute to independent schools by offering matching gifts to their employees' contributions. Many CWS families are able to double their personal contributions through such employee match programs. Check with your employer to see if they have a matching policy. 

Foundations generally give to Annual Fund appeals when there is a direct personal connection to the organization. Usually they are more interested in specific projects that are within their funding guidelines and advance their specific area of interest. If you have a family foundation or a relationship with a foundation that may be a good fit for CWS, please contact our Board of Trustees at

Can I donate stock to CWS?

The school welcomes gifts of appreciated stock. If you have been fortunate enough to recognize any substantial capital gains, please consider donating your appreciated stock to the school’s Annual Fund. It’s a convenient way to make a meaningful contribution while recognizing some potential year-end tax planning benefits. Please contact our Business Office ( for details on how to donate stock.