Giving Matters

The Impact of the Carroll Annual Fund

May 2021

In This Issue
  • A Healthy Prognosis for Carroll School
  • Did you know? Ways to Give to Carroll
  • VIDEO: Learning in Nature: Building confidence and joy at Carroll School
  • Community Voices: Ruth Reeves
Previous Issues

January 2021

November 2020

Thank you, donors!

Every single thing we do at Carroll has been reimagined this year. Our heartfelt thanks goes to everyone who helped us meet these unprecedented times and continue to serve our community by contributing to The Carroll Annual Fund.

As of May 4th, we have raised $980,000 towards our goal of $1.325M from 483 donors! Thank you all for your continued support of Carroll! Our fiscal year ends on June 30, 2021 - so if you haven’t made your gift this year - there’s still time!

A Healthy Prognosis for Carroll School

  1. Healthy financial status for a school of 54 years old
  2. No indications for any major change of diet, exercise, or medications
  3. Continue to operate frugally and responsibly. Seek generous philanthropy.
  4. Monitor constantly by setting targets in key area (tuition, FA, compensation, school size, fundraising)

Recently, Head of School Steve Wilkins shared this “health check dashboard” with Carroll Trustees to highlight the school’s strong financial position and prognosis for continued health.

The “patient”, Carroll School, is very healthy as a result of fiscal discipline by the Trustees, generosity of donors to the recent capital campaign and annual fund, and thoughtful stewardship of resources by the administration. With an annual budget of $24.5M, Carroll School is strong and, with continued philanthropy and fiscal restraint, will continue to thrive.

The school’s endowment has grown at an extraordinary rate as a result of If Not for Carroll. This capital campaign was a leap of faith by the Trustees that has created a stable foundation for the “patient’s” future. These long-term investment dollars provide a secure incremental income stream that guards against health risks to the “patient” in the future.

Unlike many other independent schools, Carroll carries no debt. This is remarkable, given that Carroll has twice as many faculty as most independent schools and six times as many teachers as a public school for the number of students we educate. Through the continued strategic management of the school’s finances, Carroll accomplishes a great deal with our resources - managing three campuses, serving 440 students, providing innovative learning interventions, and investing in the expertise of our faculty.

Nearly 80% of our budget each year is spent on faculty salaries and benefits and yet, our average compensation for faculty is less competitive than that of many independent and public schools. Although we have made good progress in the last five years towards providing our faculty with increased wages that come closer to matching their level of expertise, our work is not yet complete. This remains a top priority for our Board of Trustees.

To succeed at Carroll, we believe that each and every student should feel seen, accepted, and valued for their unique perspective and contribution to the world. For us, that has meant a commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as an increased focus on making Carroll as accessible as possible to families from all zip codes and backgrounds in the Greater Boston area. For our students, being part of a community that is reflective of the world around them is a critical element in becoming a capable and engaged citizen and a thoughtful learner.

To that end, our healthy “patient” is doing very well with 25% of our families receiving some sort of Financial Aid. However, we continue to strive to do more. With 55 students already on our waiting list for the next school year, we know that the need for Carroll continues.

Tuition at Carroll has increased at a moderate pace over the last 5 years. Though running a school like Carroll is an expensive endeavor, the “patient” is well within a reasonable rate of tuition growth as compared to other schools who provide the same level of teacher to student ratios. The Trustees are committed to a continued restrained tuition growth, but to do this continued generosity from the Carroll Community is necessary.

The generosity of parents, graduates, grandparents, and friends of Carroll has positioned the school for the future. Each and every gift makes an impact on the continued strength of the “patient”. With thoughtful, strategic, and incremental steps forward and the support of a community that is committed to the belief that all children deserve an education that teaches them in a manner in which they learn best, Carroll School’s prognosis is strong and healthy.

When I first learned about Carroll I was excited and a bit nervous-- would it deliver on its promises? The answer is YES!! Carroll has exceeded all of my -- and my son's -- expectations! The close-knit team of educators got to know my son in the first few days and weeks. He immediately embraced the learning model and his attitude on school shifted from one of dread to absolute joy. He has gained confidence and is thriving! I am grateful for the strong foundation Carroll has provided and know that my support of the Annual Fund makes a difference.

-Amily Dunlap, 7th Grade Parent

Did You Know? Ways to Give to Carroll

Did you know? There is more than one way to give to Carroll!

Giving matters and giving to Carroll truly makes a difference - changing lives and unlocking potential for our students’ future.  Graduates, parents, grandparents, and friends support Carroll in many ways—through unrestricted annual giving and capital gifts to priorities such as financial aid and faculty compensation. Besides making your gift by check, debit card, or credit card, did you know that you can also make a gift through a Donor-Advised Fund, Stock Transfer, planned gift, or a bequest?  Did you know that your gift may qualify for a matching gift from your employer?

A Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) is like a charitable investment account, for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations you care about. When you contribute cash, securities or other assets to a donor-advised fund, you are generally eligible to take an immediate tax deduction. Then those funds can be invested for tax-free growth and you can recommend grants to virtually any IRS-qualified public charity.  

Donor-Advised Funds are the fastest-growing charitable giving vehicle in the United States because they are one of the easiest and most tax-advantageous ways to give to charity.  In the past year, many DAF donors have taken up the Fidelity Charitable challenge to give half of their DAF in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  At Carroll, nearly 20% of our donors made their gift last year through their DAF.

To learn more or to make a Donor-Advised Fund donation to Carroll, please follow this link for instructions.

Stock Transfers are another easy way to make a charitable donation. If you own shares of companies that have risen in value over the years, then donating stock to charity can be an even smarter way to give. Donors are often entitled to valuable tax breaks in exchange for their charitable gifts. 

When you sell a stock in a regular taxable brokerage account, you'll owe taxes on the capital gains, or the difference in what you received in sales proceeds compared to what you paid for the stock when you first invested in it.  The taxes on those gains depend on how long you've held the stock. If you've owned it for a year or less, then you'll pay your ordinary income tax rate -- currently, as high as 37% -- on the gains. If you owned it for longer than a year, lower long-term capital gains rates apply, but they can still take away up to 20% of your profits.

If you give stock that you've owned longer than a year to charity, though, you can deduct the full market value of the stock as an itemized charitable deduction. That not only avoids the capital gains liability you'd owe on the stock if you sold it, but also maximizes the tax deduction you're allowed to take. To get a personalized and accurate review for your portfolio, we encourage you to consult your financial advisor for your particular situation before making a gift of stock to Carroll.  

To learn more about or to make a Stock Transfer to Carroll, please follow this link for instructions.

Making a yearly donation through your IRA or through your estate plan can also make an impact at Carroll.  The Cole Society, named for founder Dr. Edwin Cole, honors those who leave a legacy to Carroll in this way.

To learn more, please contact Naomi Hitchcock at

For those that choose to make a cash or credit card donation, did you know that you might get your gift matched by your employer? Check this list to see if your company matches gifts. You can also plan your gift to be paid in small increments by using our monthly giving option. Instead of a one-time gift, by giving monthly you can make a gift that fits you and your family in monthly installments.

No matter how you decide to make your gift to Carroll - your support, participation, and commitment to giving each child what they most need is deeply appreciated.  With your help, Carroll changes lives.

Before I came to Carroll I struggled a lot in school. I gave up on learning because I wasn’t able to read, write, and learn like the rest of the class. However, when I got to Carroll my eyes were opened with the possibility that I could learn. Carroll has taught me that I’m not stupid but just learn differently than other students. Carroll hasn’t just taught me to read and write, but has given me the skills to understand that everything is possible if you put your mind to it.

-Sam Caron '18, Alumnus

Learning in Nature: Building confidence and joy at Carroll School

Video spotlight

Carroll has always had a rich tradition in outdoor education, designing students' schedules to allow for valuable outside time to rejuvenate throughout the academic day and using nature as a learning catalyst to help students connect and experience the world. This year, our teachers got even more creative with their use of outdoor spaces--from holding tutoring on playground swings to the study of graffiti art by spray painting canvas sheets in the woods.

We invite you to watch this video to see more examples of how Carroll builds confidence in joy through outdoor education.

My time at Carroll has been an experience not many people get to have. When I first walked in the doors of Carroll I didn’t think my education mattered; in fact, I felt lost when it came to school. If someone told me I would end up liking math, find a love for critical thinking and analysis, and figure out the effects of the choices made in the civil war, I would not have believed them. Now, I know what a beautiful place school really is.

-Catherine Hegarty '16, Alumna

Community Voices: Ruth Reeves

Ruth Reeves, a parent of a Carroll 3rd grader, recently shared this message in our Carroll Parents Facebook group. She tells us that the art is proudly taped to their fridge where it will remain as a reminder of everything Carroll is doing for her daughter, who no longer says, "I wasn't born to read."