Importance of Philanthropy
Bear Creek, like every other independent school, relies on the generosity of parents, grandparents, parents of alumni, and friends to offer a robust learning experience to all students as well as the inspiring and innovative school for our faculty.
We want our parents to give with passion and purpose. You can see the impact of your dollars in every student all year round, as it is philanthropy and the generosity of our community that support programs that enrich and amplify students’ education and development so they can become the individuals God intends.
Phi·lan·thro·py (noun fə-ˈlan(t)-thrə-pē) is a big word and a complex concept that can be defined as “the practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people” (Webster). Philanthropy offers a unique opportunity to enrich your life, establish or continue a tradition of giving, share your skills and experience, and unite your family around a common purpose. It is much more than making charitable contributions—it is about living according to your values and supporting what matters most to you.
We invite all parents, grandparents, parents of alumni, and friends of the school to visit the Philanthropy and Community Engagement (PACE) Office. We love to speak with our donors about their favorite ways to partner with the school and how to support them by aligning their family’s giving goals with the school’s mission.
Whether we give our time, talents, or financial resources, giving back is a delightful response to feeling grateful for the blessings we have been given. Your support is greatly appreciated and is truly an investment in our mission, our school, and our students. Thank you for helping celebrate another year of God’s faithfulness at Bear Creek.
Philanthropy at Bear Creek
Annual Fund – Bear Creek, like every other independent school, relies on an Annual Fund as our most important source of unrestricted revenue after tuition. Tuition covers the basic operations of the school, but it is the Annual Fund that allows Bear Creek to offer the programs that enrich and amplify our students' education—field trips, superb arts program, an inclusive athletics program, classroom technology, scholarships, and curricular innovations. Gifts may be made by check, credit card, recurring payments, or stock.
Auction – Bear Creek’s Auction celebrates all the school has to offer the students and families in our community. Each year, the auction proceeds help fund Bear Creek today, tomorrow, and into the future by supporting the Endowment and Fund-A-Need, with proceeds dedicated to a specific project designated by the Board of Trustees each year.
Capital Campaigns – Like all schools, from time to time, Bear Creek needs to add to or significantly renovate portions of its campuses. The money for these large projects comes from special fundraising campaigns focused on such “bricks and mortar” improvements. Donors typically spread their pledge over several years so they can make larger gifts.
Endowment – Bear Creek has an endowment of about $1.25 million, raised through auction proceeds and donations. Endowments provide long-term financial security and sustainability for independent schools, in that the principal is never spent, only the investment earnings. As the principal grows, the amount available for use will increase.
PTF Walk-a-thon – This is the primary fundraising event for the PTF each year, which allows them to implement the many community-building programs they conduct during the school year, support the faculty and staff, and invest in smaller capital projects, such as the gaga ball pit used by the Lower School at recess.
Matching Gifts – Matching gifts from parents’ employers increase the impact of a donor’s financial gifts, and in some cases transform volunteer hours into revenue as well. Gifts to Bear Creek or volunteer time are eligible for matching by many local, national, and international employers with matching gift programs.
Community Partners – Bear Creek has selected two non-profit organizations with which to partner on an ongoing basis: Hopelink and Seattle Children’s. Selecting these partners allows us to incorporate curricular strands, student leadership opportunities, and full-school involvement.
Tax Deductibility – Bear Creek is a 501(c)3 organization, so donations are eligible for a tax deduction as provided by law.