As the school year began, the faculty and staff of Darlington School had already made their pledge to support The Darlington Fund 100 percent, setting the tone for another great year for the school. This was soon followed by full support from the Board of Trustees.
Previously known as the Annual Fund, The Darlington Fund campaign is a year-long effort that runs during the school’s fiscal year, June 1 through May 31. Tax-deductible gifts to The Darlington Fund help bridge the gap between tuition income and the school’s operating expenses as well as provide for innovative and challenging academic, athletic, and arts programs; increased leadership opportunities for students; and recruitment and retention of highly talented faculty and staff.
Changing the name from the Annual Fund to The Darlington Fund is the result of the school's extensive work on branding and strategic planning.
“I love the change to The Darlington Fund!” said Julie Lucas (‘97), chief advancement officer. “We had several discussions and went through different ideas of what we could call it to help articulate all that it does for our students and teachers, but the simplicity of the name, The Darlington Fund, rose to the top every time. I'm excited for our supporters to hear about the new name and join our celebration of it this year. “
Trustee Rachel Gross (‘89, LD ’13), this year's Advancement Committee chair, is also thrilled with the rebranding.
“I am very excited this year to serve as chair of the Advancement Committee for the Board of Trustees,” said Gross. “I am especially excited about being a part of the rebranding of The Darlington Fund. The new name truly shows what the program is about and it supports everything that Darlington does and allows us to do better things for students and teachers.”
Last year, the fund finished strong, reaching the cash goal of $1.25 million. The Parents for Purple initiative was introduced, driving overall parent participation to a record-breaking 64 percent, with the Pre-K to 8 division achieving an incredible 86 percent.
“We had an amazing year last year and I look forward to working with our donors again this year,” said Lucas. “The Darlington Fund connects the dots between what tuition and endowment doesn't cover to run the school and our Darlington family are the ones who step up every year to make sure it happens. I absolutely love talking with and meeting our Darlington supporters and hearing their stories about why they continue to support the school. Thank you to all of our Darlington Fund supporters, whether you make a gift or volunteer your time, we are so grateful and appreciative of you going above and beyond for Darlington.”
Brooke Brinson (‘88, LD ’14) is leading the charge as chair of this year’s Darlington Fund campaign.
“I am so excited about this opportunity to help make a difference for Darlington,” Brinson said. “After joining the Alumni Council in 2015, my passion for giving back has grown. I have learned how much it takes to run the school, hire incredible teachers, hire great staff, and keep us at the forefront in education in the 21st Century. Darlington shaped my being as a whole. It is an invaluable part of my and my family's life. My wife and I don't just drop our kids off and pick them up from Darlington. We are a part of a much bigger thing, the Darlington family! We all love and care for the school, the teachers, the students and the staff and The Darlington Fund is a great way for us to give back.”
This year’s Parents for Purple campaign wrapped up on Friday, Sept. 30, starting the year off with parent participation already at 52%.
"Giving to The Darlington Fund is about much more than simply making an annual contribution to the school,” said Brent Bell, head of school. “It is part of our connection to this school, our experience, and an opportunity to say thank you for the opportunities provided. Without the generosity of our donors we would not be able to meet our mission in the way we desire, and our students deserve."
To make your gift to The Darlington Fund today, visit www.darlingtonschool.org/give.