This year’s Annual Fund is off to a fantastic start. Our kick-off event was a success, thanks to some wonderful volunteer parents, grandparents and students. Dave Embree, MSU professor in Religious Studies and Director of Christian Campus House was an exceptional keynote speaker. We are so excited that as of today, our friends and families have pledged just over $50,000, which is $20,000 above our goal of $30,000! We have been humbled by the outpouring of support for our school. Contributions to the Annual Fund will help GDA pay for the many needs of a growing school, which are as follows:
RenWeb is a communication system with more capabilities than our previous system. The set-up expense of this system during the first year is significantly more than the subsequent years will be. It will be an ongoing process to utilize many of the features of this new program but is a necessity due to the growth of our school.
The Accreditation Requirements are extensive. GDA Administration is working hard to accomplish the recommendations being made by ISACS and to get ready for their next visit in October of 2018. Expenses include external educational training and financial auditing as well as outside consultation.
Marketing and Communication expenses are an inevitable cost of raising awareness of our school within the community. We are already seeing a significant response from the increased communication, including record breaking attendance at our last Info Meeting. The biggest expenses are printing, mailing, and social media boosts.
We will now be able to establish our first Gloria Deo Academy Scholarship Fund. This fund began the year with $3,000 from the 2016/2017 Annual Fund campaign and we are anticipating adding an additional $20,000 this year based on pledges and donations already received. Our friends and family are wonderfully generous and we are so excited to make this fund available in the fall of 2018.
Our Annual Fund also serves multiple purposes. The first purpose is to take care of the needed expenses that are listed above. It also establishes a culture of giving within our GDA community and gives us a common goal that we can achieve together.
As most of you know, we are at spatial capacity at the Glendale Campus. We anticipate having room to grow at the River Bluff Campus in the immediate future. The long-term vision for GDA is to continue to grow, but there are different kinds of growth. First, we can grow in numbers by adding more younger grade classes to a certain point as space allows.
Secondly, and more importantly, we are focusing on retention and filling the spaces in classrooms that already exist. This particular kind of growth incurs the minimal additional expense and if maintained, can help us to fulfill our fervent wish to increase teachers’ salaries.
Growth can also mean maturity. We are learning from past mistakes and diligently trying to build the trust and loyalty of our families so that we may have a strong foundation as we move into the future. Reliable growth cannot be rushed and we intend to enjoy the journey as we build these relationships.
At some point in the future, we hope to have a permanent home for our school. How far in the future will depend on the strength of our foundation and support of our families and others, spiritually and financially. The first step GDA is taking to fulfill the need for a permanent home is through an ongoing coffee fundraiser with No Coast Coffee. 100% of the profit goes directly into an endowment fund for GDA. No Coast donates 20% of their sales to missions. We are incredibly excited to launch Lion’s Pride Coffee and thrilled to partner with a company dedicated to the Gospel. More opportunities to support GDA through various products will be available soon.
As we continue working hard to improve our school, please join us in praying over the future of GDA and eagerly expecting God to do great things.