Strengthening Our Community

Adrienne Davidson

Earlier this week we were very excited to launch a bold new approach to our Annual Appeal, which we hope you have received and will find of interest. You can view it on the Annual Appeal website, along with links to the four fundraising priorities for the school this year. Please take a moment to read about them.

Annual Appeal logoAn annual campaign is central to the success of any non-profit such as SMUS, not only because the role of donors is so vital to us financially, but because coming together in philanthropy strengthens our community. These are strange times for us all, and while much of what may happen in the days and months ahead is still unclear, almost certainly we will be able to navigate it better together. If the times ahead are good, we will celebrate together; and if they are challenging we will support each other through them as best we possibly can.

In our department, we have tracked polls related to the impact of COVID-19 on the fundraising landscape since early spring, and have contributed to or attended multiple Zoom meetings with our Advancement colleagues across the country. The impact of the pandemic is not clear-cut, other than to say that 100% of respondents on a recent independent school webinar said it had impacted their fundraising plans. Many have reduced their fundraising activities.

Some schools, however, have been proactive, confident and creative in their planning around philanthropy for the year ahead. They have moved ahead for the benefit of their individual communities, while still allowing their organizations to reach for their vital fundraising goals.

I feel confident that we are one of these latter schools, and had this validated by the feedback we received about the early and speedy success of our Financial Aid Relief Fund in May and June. Our community of parents, alumni, staff and faculty responded so positively to the need to keep our school whole during COVID-19 that it inspires us to continue our efforts for the benefit of SMUS students.

This year’s Annual Appeal will address a number of factors crucial to the success of SMUS and our community, notably:

  1. The safety and security of students and staff
  2. Carefully vetted and approved priority projects or programs for the school this year
  3. A continued focus on our always important financial aid program
  4. A broad selection of items which will allow for donor choice and measurable impact

We hope you will consider how you may support the school through your philanthropy. We are very happy to answer any questions you may have and we will report back to you on a regular basis, especially on how the funding for this year’s 21 key projects and programs is progressing.

How You Can Give

To learn more about what the Annual Appeal supports and the impact of your giving, please visit the giving section of our website at www.smus.ca/giving. Please use our online donation form to make your gift.

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