The Overlake Fund FAQ
- The Overlake Fund is Overlake’s most important annual fundraising initiative.
- Donations make an immediate, positive impact on every aspect of the school during this school year and fund a vital 5% of the annual operating budget.
- Each and every gift, at every level, makes a difference and is deeply appreciated.
- All gifts support the school’s most important priorities including faculty and staff salaries and professional development, athletics, the arts, classroom technology, classroom supplies, financial aid, maintenance of our beautiful campus, and more.
- The Overlake Fund is our “margin of excellence” – it takes our great school and makes it exceptional.
Our goal is to raise $1,055,000 for the Overlake Fund and $123,000 for the Senior Class of 2023 Legacy Fund (SCLF) with an aspirational 100% family participation.
Last year we raised:
- $1,080,000 for the Overlake Fund
- $170,000 for the SCLF
- An inspiring 95% of parents/guardians participated, along with 100% faculty/staff and Board of Trustees participation!
Giving Who, What, When, & How
The entire Overlake community of families, trustees, faculty and staff, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, and friends are invited to contribute.
The five-week campaign runs from September 26 – October 28, 2022.
You can pledge or donate now online at give.overlake.org. Both a pledge and a donation during the five-week Overlake Fund campaign counts toward your and your class’s participation. We ask all families to make a commitment during this five-week period before the campaign ends on October 29.
If you pledge now, you can make installments over the school year, with the remaining balance due by June 15, 2023.
You can pledge or donate at give.overlake.org. It is quick and easy. If you prefer to make a donation by check, you can either mail it to Overlake or drop it off at the Front Office. Please be sure to write "2022-23 Overlake Fund" on the memo line of the check.
We appreciate gifts of all sizes and ask parents to consider a gift that is meaningful to them. We ask all families to make Overlake a top philanthropic priority and participate to the best of their ability. Gifts from parents have ranged from $20 - $25,000+.
No. When you make a gift, it will count toward family participation for all grade levels in which you have students. Traditionally, returning families have increased their gift amount when a sibling or new student joins the Overlake community.
Yes! When you donate appreciated securities, you not only receive credit for the current market value of the stock, but you avoid paying capital gains tax on the appreciation. View the stock transfer instructions, or contact the Development Office for more information.
Yes! Overlake accepts matching gifts from many employers. Matching gifts accounted for more than $200,000 in additional contributions to Overlake last year. Donors will be recognized for the total of their personal gift plus the matching gift combined.
We encourage families to select “Overlake’s Greatest Need” and make an unrestricted gift to Overlake as it gives the school the flexibility to apply the donation to where it’s needed most. However, we allow families to designate to a cause listed online or to contact the Development Office to coordinate a donation for any cause not listed online.
Yes, contributions are 100% tax deductible as permitted by law.
Why Giving is Important
Everyone’s participation matters, regardless of the size of the gift. Participation is the most important measure to evaluate community-wide support for Overlake. Our goal is to reach 100% participation from parents, trustees, faculty, and staff.
Like all nonprofit independent schools (including colleges and universities!), tuition alone does not cover the entire cost of an Overlake education. Part of independent school life is an annual fundraising effort to help supplement costs and provide the best possible teachers and programs available to our children.
The Overlake Fund accounts for 5% of the school’s operating budget which funds teachers’ salaries and benefits along with maintaining our exceptional educational programs that benefit all our students.
It’s the one time we come together as a community to show our support for the school. Strong parent participation shows strong advocacy for the school’s mission and our faculty.
Tuition is not considered a donation for tax purposes and is not eligible for corporate matching. Donations to the Overlake Fund are, however, tax-deductible and eligible for corporate matching, enabling the school to receive funds that we wouldn't otherwise receive. Last year, the school collected over $200,000 in matching from companies including Microsoft, Expedia, Google, Boeing, F5 Networks, Salesforce, ServiceNow, TMobile, Wells Fargo, and others. Microsoft was actually the single largest contributor to the Overlake Fund, thanks to their matching gifts program.
At Overlake, we consider fundraising a community-wide effort and every gift, regardless of size, makes a difference and is an investment in your child’s education and future. Raising tuition would price out many families in our community and would not uphold our commitment to accessibility and inclusion. And unlike tuition, donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
No, we do not. Overlake operates on a zero-based budget, meaning we don’t assume a surplus. Surpluses are due to: over enrollment; favorable bond interest rates; or strong fiscal management of expenses. Unexpected surpluses (since we don’t budget for them) are used to pay for unforeseen capital improvements (new gym floor, smart boards in Humanities, HVAC in Fulton), to seed new programs (e.g. summer program – both Overlake students and students from other schools attend; alums are employed as counselors and teachers!), or to pay down our debt. An operating surplus indicates a healthy institution with conservative financial projections.
Exceeding our fundraising goals means that programs and projects staged for future years can be funded and executed earlier than planned.
The Overlake Fund benefits every aspect of the school, especially supporting our extraordinary faculty. The Overlake Fund also helped Overlake quickly pivot to a robust online and hybrid learning platform last year, hire medical professionals to help guide our COVID response, and prepare the entire school to resume in-person teaching and learning this fall.
Overlake’s operating budget breaks down as follows:
- 75%: Salaries and Benefits
- 5%: Instructional and Programs (e.g., costs for our programs, materials)
- 14%: Operations and Facilities, Admin and General
- 6%: Debt Service
- 1%: Auxiliary Services and Other
Giving Circles & Other Funds
Leadership Giving Circles
- $25,000+ 1967Founders Circle
- $15,000 - $24,999Head’s Circle
- $10,000 - $14,999Green and Gold Circle
- $5,000 - $9,999Tall Firs Circle
- $3,000 - $4,999Leadership Circle
Participation Giving Circles
- $1,000 - $2,999Owls Circle
- $1 - $999Friends of Overlake
Families who give $3,000 and above are considered leadership donors. Leadership donors are invited to an annual Leadership Donor Appreciation Reception in the fall.
The Senior Class Legacy Fund started with the Class of 2014 as a way for parents to leave a lasting legacy in appreciation for their children’s Overlake education.
Senior families are asked to support their Senior Class Legacy Fund and their participation is counted toward their participation in the Overlake Fund.
All contributions to the Senior Class of 2023 Legacy Fund support Overlake’s endowment for financial aid. Donations help grow the principal of the fund in perpetuity, and the interest earned each year will be used to support Overlake’s financial aid program annually and ensure that students who otherwise could not afford the cost of our program are able to receive an Overlake education for generations to come.
The Senior Class Legacy Fund has a separate $123,000 goal, aside from the $1,055,000 Overlake Fund goal.
Currently, Overlake’s endowment for financial aid, including the Senior Class Legacy Funds, is more than $3.5 million (and growing!).
This year, gifts to the Senior Class Legacy Fund will also count toward our $9 million goal for financial aid endowment as a part of our Doors to Discovery Campaign.
Students are also asked to contribute to their Senior Class Legacy Fund and are invited to make a gift in honor of a teacher, program, club, or team, etc.
The Overlake Fund & Doors to Discovery
The Overlake Fund is our annual fundraising initiative that provides a vital 5% of our current operating budget each year and is critical to maintaining the high quality of our program. This fund directly supports all our students, faculty, and academic and co-curricular programs this school year.
Our capital campaign is a special effort to fulfill our strategic plan goals and address critical facilities and endowment needs that will benefit Overlake students and families not just today, but well into the future. As such, we will be asking our families and donors to consider their Doors to Discovery campaign gifts “above and beyond” their gift to the Overlake Fund, and will ask that families not reduce their essential Overlake Fund gifts while the campaign is underway.
Doors to Discovery was launched in 2017-18 with a goal to raise $35 million for the new Whitten Math & Sciences Center, Financial Aid Endowment, and a new Welcome & Discovery Center - three mission-driven, strategic projects that will strengthen the school for the next 50+ years. Current Overlake families all benefit from the generosity of families who came before us and invested so generously in the previous capital campaigns that created the beautiful campus and academics, arts, and athletics facilities we have today. Now is our turn to give back and leave our lasting legacy to benefit the next generation of Overlake students and faculty.
The Whitten Math & Sciences Center opened in Spring 2021, and our current focus this year is to build our Financial Aid Endowment.
No, because our Overlake Fund is just five short weeks, we are giving families a longer timeframe to consider their important Doors to Discovery support. We hope that families will stretch and consider a multi-year pledge for Doors to Discovery in order to make the biggest impact.
In the meantime, if families are interested in learning more, we hope they will visit the campaign website at overlake.org/discovery and attend a future campaign event – we hope to host various events for families later in the school year. We also encourage families to contact members of our Development team with questions about or consideration for our Doors to Discovery campaign. Thank you!
Assistant Director of Development