Capital Campaign FAQs
What is the current endowment and how is it invested?
The current endowment is $1.8 million. The endowment is managed by The Williams School Investment Committee. The committee has set target allocations at 10% money-market, 35% fixed-income and 55% equity. Within the equity sector there is an allocation to small, middle, developed and emerging markets.
What debt does the school carry?
The building debt is $1.7 million. TWS pays $100,000 per year toward this obligation. In 2014, however, the yearly obligation increased to $200,000 per year. There is no other debt the school carries.
Why doesn't the school re-finance this building debt?
TWS is bound by an interest rate swap until 2016 at which time we plan to refinance the estimated outstanding balance of $1 million with a conventional loan.
What percentage of the school's revenue is allocated to financial assistance?
Ten percent of our revenue is allocated to financial assistance. Our goal as stated in the long-term strategic plan is to designate 12% of tuition revenue toward financial aid.
What percentages of families receive financial aid or scholarship?
Currently, 15% of TWS families are receiving financial aid of some type from the school. By raising money for scholarships, we hope to raise this number to 21%, the national average for independent schools.
What amount of the operating budget is covered by tuition and other revenue?
Tuition is the main source of revenue and it covers 90% of the expenses in the operating budget. The rest is raised annually through fundraising efforts.
How do our teacher salaries and benefits compare with public and independent schools locally and nationally? What benchmarks are we trying to reach?
The school's stated goal is to fund faculty and administration salaries at the 75th percentile of public school salaries. The existing Baldwin Fund has been helpful in achieving this goal. As salaries increase, we hope to be able to maintain, if not exceed this benchmark. We estimate that an additional $1.5 million in gifts reserved for this purpose will secure teacher and administrative wages. We would also like to be able to offer salaries and benefits in the 90th percentile as compared to our local independent schools so that we can attract the best and brightest faculty. Again, we feel allocating $1.5 million to designated funds for salaries will allow for this. We also estimate that such a fund would be helpful in providing a better benefit package to our employees, increasing the ability to hire the best. Currently we do not offer full health care coverage for teachers and their families.
What percentage of the campaign dollars raised will be allocated for endowment? What percentage will be used for direct services, i.e. operating expenses? What percentage of the campaign dollar will be used to pay off the facility debt?
We cannot know for sure how donors will direct their money, such direction would be followed by the school. Therefore, exact percentages are almost impossible to share. However, assuming money raised was unrestricted, the best financial plan would be to escrow what is needed to pay off the facility debt in 2016. We cannot prepay this debt due to the interest rate swap and penalties involved. Once that debt is taken care of, the cash flow of the school would increase by $225,000 annually, a major change in TWS's financial landscape. It would still allow us to allocate money raised to each of our stated fundraising goals, and would also allow the additional available yearly revenue to go toward those goals.