Celebrating Ambitious Volunteerism

Celebrating Ambitious Volunteerism

Over the past several years, numerous volunteers have devoted time and energy to shape and lead this Campaign to success in support of the Strategic Plan for Sidwell Friends School. With the support of the Board of Trustees, Head of School Bryan Garman recruited a steering committee who worked alongside him to draft the case for support, recruit additional leadership, identify prospective donors, and respond generously when asked to make a philanthropic commitment. The courage and conviction of these early committee members created the foundation for success and launched the most ambitious capital campaign in the School’s history with a goal to raise $152 million. 

The steering committee was instrumental in securing early support of the Campaign and raised $80 million by June 2021. Inspired by this initial success, Bryan and the campaign leadership welcomed additional volunteers who broadened our outreach to even more members of our community. The Current Parent and Grandparent Campaign Committee partnered to invite members of that important community to consider support.

As Jin Wang P’22, P’24 puts it: “I joined this committee because I felt it was critical to engage our current families in this opportunity. I am personally invested in helping transform the new Upper School campus into a modernized space for teachers and students and ultimately uniting the entire campus.”

The Planned Giving Committee renewed its commitment to expand and deepen the engagement of members in the Thomas and Frances Sidwell Society, who generously named the School in their estate plan. More than 140 individuals have made a planned gift to benefit the School, providing significant support today and in the future. “Engaging those who are interested in naming Sidwell as part of their estate is essential to our long term financial success as a school and critical to our success in this Campaign”, says Helen Colson ’53 P’82 ’84 ’87, a member of the Campaign Steering and Planned Giving Committee.

Members of the Alumni Campaign Committee, a diverse group from across the country who span generations, are committed to engaging their peers in this Campaign. Alumni have responded enthusiastically to the opportunity to give back to their alma mater. “Rallying the community around a transformational Campaign is our first step in uniting the campus and I am excited about that”, says Camilo Acosta ‘02. The Alumni Campaign Committee will continue to be active in welcoming peers across the country in the coming year at regional alumni events and through personal connections. “The historical nature of this Campaign is special for us as alumni. Being able to support the vision of the school is what we need to do,” says Acosta.

By June 2022, nearly 40 volunteers were actively engaged in broadening the network of support. Working toward a challenge to raise an unprecedented $20 mllion in new commitments by this fall, their unwavering dedication and resolve helped us surpasse the goal by welcoming numerous donors who contributed a collective $35 million. This momentum catapulted the Campaign to 76 percent of its goal and positioned it for continued success as we prepare to enter the public phase in October.

All committee members have made a multi-year financial commitment and look forward to engaging their peers to do the same. To get involved with the Alumni Campaign Committee or the new Sidwell Friends Fund Committee, please contact Tara Arras (arrast@sidwell.edu).

Thank you to our dedicated volunteers for their commitment and leadership!

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