Ensuring Financial Robustness

Our Model

The Thacher we know and love today would not be possible without the care, investment, and generosity of previous generations. 
Each of us are the beneficiaries of decades of alumni, parents, and friends of the School who made Thacher a philanthropic priority in their lives, who benefited from the magic of Thacher and then "paid it forward." To ensure that the School continues to provide future generations of Toads with the same transformational education, we must come together and attend to the School's key attributes of success: good governance, excellent teachers, capable students, strong culture, succession planning, alumni engagement, and careful management of our facilities, among others. Underlying it all is our charge to build a strong economic model that will make all of these things possible and carry the School well into the next century.

Like most private schools, Thacher relies on three major revenue sources: tuition, annual giving, and endowment. Our total budget is currently about $25M per year. Gross tuition covers around 60 percent of that budget; approximately 25 percent of that budget is underwritten by the draw from our endowment; and another 15 percent is covered by the annual giving program. 

As we look toward the future—including maintaining a balanced budget with our existing program and introducing new initiatives and programs that address the realities of an ever-changing world—we see both limits and big opportunities. Our ability to increase tuition in the future beyond the rate of inflation is limited, as adding to our $57,000+/- a year tuition puts us in jeopardy of pricing out our families. Within the Annual Fund, there are opportunities for some growth. Our $14,000+/- Annual Fund giving-per-student, which ranks among the highest of our peer schools, bodes well, but we have a relatively small community that we can turn to for support every year. The good news is that we believe that there's a significant opportunity to substantially grow our endowment during the course of this campaign, preparing Thacher to meet the needs of 21st-century students, scholars, and leaders.
Planned gifts ensure the sustainability of an organization. Thacher’s Boot Hill Society is a tax-free, non-binding way to both leave a legacy and ensure that Thacher will be here for future generations. If you are over 68 years of age, your planned gift will immediately count towards the Next Peak Campaign which supports the endowment of the School. Joining Boot Hill could not be easier.
To learn more, click here.

Our Future Endowment

We believe that our endowment has the opportunity to grow substantially; in fact, the majority of The Next Peak campaign will be dedicated to that effort. With your support, we aim to raise over $90 million in endowment against the core needs identified in our Strategic Plan: financial aid, faculty, academic programs, facilities, environmental sustainability, and financial robustness. Included in this goal are plans to attract significant unrestricted endowment dollars, especially through a more robust planned and estate giving program.

Ensuring Financial Robustness

Our Goals

It’s our responsibility to ensure future generations of students and faculty are able to enjoy the same opportunities that were made possible for us.
With 427 acres to care for, 386,000 square feet of buildings to maintain, and a horse program that requires millions of dollars per year in upkeep, Thacher must always work to prudently manage our one-of-a-kind campus facilities. As we look toward the future, we know our current allocation of approximately $1M per year in capital expenditures isn’t enough. To responsibly manage one of our most important assets well into the future, our depreciation model suggests that we should be investing approximately $2.2M annually. Increasing our level of investment in facilities upkeep will ultimately save the School money and ensure that our campus continues to meet the needs of tomorrow’s programs. Thacher needs to fully endow this initiative, allowing us to sustainably provide for the ongoing, but not yet funded, upkeep expenditures.

We know that evolving School programs will also require new facilities. With the School’s continued financial health in mind, the Board of Trustees has established a policy that mandates additional endowment for maintenance and operations be included in plans for any new facilities. Every new building will be accompanied by an endowment equal to 50 percent of the construction cost to pay for future upkeep.

As we move through The Next Peak campaign, we’ll always keep in mind the critical importance of an unrestricted endowment, which provides the ultimate flexibility and sustainability as new and varied needs arise in the future. While we, of course, welcome restricted gifts to any campaign priority, it's our sincere hope that during the course of the campaign many of you—parents, alumni, and friends of Thacher—will consider providing fully unrestricted dollars to the School, helping to bolster our financial strength and longevity for the next generation.

Fundraising Breakdown

List of 3 items.

  • 14M

  • 5M

    Endowment for facilities
  • 15.15M

    Goal for increasing planned giving

Campaign News

Back-to-School Playbook for the 2020-2021 School Year
The Thacher School
5025 Thacher Road
Ojai, California, 93023

Tel : 805-646-4377

Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.