Why Give to WIS

Donations from individuals and organizations are critical to meeting our financial needs, so we appreciate your interest in giving to WIS.

Like all independent schools, we rely on community members' generosity to help build and maintain facilities, hire well-qualified faculty and staff and assure their ongoing professional development, and provide financial aid to deserving students. To find out how you can play an active role in fostering WIS's mission and maintaining the best possible educational environment, please explore the giving opportunities below.

  • The school's Annual Giving program immediately puts gifts to work to support: faculty development; financial aid; exchange and service learning trips; library and instructional resources; arts; athletics; and technology.
  • Endowments provide permanent revenue streams to support both faculty and students.
  • The Cathya Wing Stephenson Planned Giving Society offers donors options for making gifts to the school through various financial instruments, such as a will.

Giving FAQ

What is Annual Giving?

Annual gifts are the foundation of all charitable giving to WIS and directly support students, teachers, and academic programs. Each year the School depends on Annual Giving revenue to fund basic budgetary priorities as well as allow for new, imaginative programs and plan for future initiatives.

Who makes annual gifts?

All members of the WIS community: parents, alumni, faculty and staff, parents of alumni, grandparents, and friends are asked to make a gift each year. Annual Giving is an excellent opportunity to support the outstanding teaching and learning that takes place every day at WIS.

How much should I give?

Every gift to WIS—large or small—makes a real, tangible difference in the educational experience of every child. Financial circumstances differ, but we hope WIS will be your family’s primary philanthropic priority while your children attend the School and we simply ask that each family makes a gift that is meaningful given the family's circumstances.

Leadership gifts at WIS range from $1,966 to $25,000. Specific leadership giving club information is available here.

What is participation? Why is it important?

Participation is the percentage of parents who make a gift of any size in a given year. This percentage is a key indicator of the strength of the school community and can also have an impact on giving from outside sources; many foundations consider parent participation rates before agreeing to make a charitable gift to a school. We aim for 100% participation each year from our parent population. In each of the last several years, we achieved record-breaking 80% parent participation and we’re counting on everyone’s support to bring us one step closer to 100%!

I want to support both Annual Giving and the Auction. Am I able to do that?

Absolutely! The WIS Auction is an important component of Annual Giving, raising much needed dollars designated for Financial Aid. We hope families make a gift to Annual Giving as well as support WIS by attending the Auction, donating items to the Silent Auction, and/or volunteering and bidding during the Silent Auction and/or Fund-a-Student portion of the night. For more information on the Auction and ways to become involved, please contact Marcela Churchill at (202) 243-1821.

I already pay tuition. Why should I make a gift to Annual Giving?

Annual Giving enables WIS to plan and save for the future while investing in teaching and learning, and to provide financial aid for families for whom a WIS education is not possible without assistance. Also, Annual Gifts are tax deductible for some families, and tuition is not. Please consult your tax advisor.

When should I make my gift?

Annual Giving operates on a fiscal year of July 1 to June 30, and we ask that you make a gift when it is appropriate for your family. A commitment early in the academic year will give momentum to the Annual Giving campaign. Annual Giving peer parent volunteers contact WIS families to thank them for support and answer any questions they may have about gifts to WIS.

How do I make a gift or pledge?

There are several ways to make your annual gift or pledge to WIS: 1) by Visa or MasterCard, securely and conveniently here; 2) by check via mail to the Advancement Office (3100 Macomb Street NW, Washington DC 20008); 3) make a pledge to give later in the year or split your gift into monthly pledge payments here; 4) through the United Way (write-in) or Combined Federal Campaign (our CFC number is 58598); 5) through a gift of stock – contact the Advancement Office at (202) 243-1816 for details; or 6) double the impact of your gift through a corporate match – speak with your company's human resources office to find out if your company participates. Our EIN is 52-0822077.