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Chatham Christian Schools launches tuition assistance campaign

Written on March 31st, 2008

Aims for $500,000 for school foundation

Chatham Christian Schools has embarked on a tuition assistance fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $500,000 for the school’s foundation within three years.

To date, the campaign, which started in late February, has had good results, according to development director Linda Wolting.

“Pledges are coming in and we’re very pleased with how it’s going,” says Wolting.

An announcement about exact campaign numbers will be made at the school’s 50th anniversary celebration in May.

Wolting says the hope is that the school’s goal will have been reached at that point.

A byproduct of the campaign is that more people are becoming aware of the Chatham District Christian Education Foundation (CDCEF), which has been in existence for about ten years.

All proceeds of the campaign will go the foundation and each year all interest generated from those donations will go directly to the school’s Tuition Assistance Fund (TAF).

“We’re hoping that by doing this we can either enroll or keep families from leaving,” says Wolting, noting that the Chatham school, like many Christian schools, loses a family or two each year for financial reasons.

“This way we can help the families that need the help the most financially.”

She adds that all families will benefit ultimately as enrollment increases, which in turn increases income and keeps tuition costs down across the board.

It is becoming clear that the future of Christian education will be closely linked to its ability to keep tuition levels affordable, Wolting says.

For the campaign, the school recruited about 30 school society members to visit all of the school’s supporters and donors, about 300 families. A 16-page booklet of information about the school, including its history and present focus, as well as the campaign and different ways people can donate, was created.

The volunteers were trained on how to arrange visits to supporters as well as how to present the information about the school and campaign.

Wolting emphasizes that the volunteers are not asking supporters for a commitment to donate.

“A lot of the visitors balked at the suggestion of asking for money.”

Instead, the visitors present the information and leave a pledge card with each family. A visit is arranged for a week later when the volunteers pick up the card in a sealed envelope.

Families appear to be very receptive to the idea of helping those in financial need, says Wolting.

For more information about Chatham Christian Schools, visit www.chathamchristian.ca.