DVWS Giving Circle 2018 – Recap, Proposal Summary & Thanks


This year’s Giving Circle fund sharing event took place last weekend, Saturday February 3rd, and was a very successful evening of building friendships and strengthening our community from the inside out. Our only wish is that we’d had more members join together with us!

Twenty-six parents, faculty, staff and board members gathered together to consider thirteen proposals, which had been submitted by various Giving Circle members in the week leading up to the event. The choices weren’t easy—every single proposal would have been beneficial for our school and our students. We began with slightly over $13,000.00 in the fund. By the end of the evening we had fully or partially funded eleven of the proposed projects. You can see a summary of the projects below.

A true community spirit comes to life each year at the Giving Circle event. This was our third year, and was certainly no exception. After the projects were presented and explained by their champions it was time for us to vote. Generosity came to life immediately and tangibly. Before any of us could make our way to the proposal boards to place our votes, five projects had been fully funded via private sponsorship with spontaneous additional donations. Over the course of the evening votes were placed and even more dollars were pledged. In the end the Giving Circle was able to put $16,336.21 worth of new projects in motion. It’s truly humbling and inspiring to witness that kind of shared support of a common purpose.

That’s what the Giving Circle is! It’s an opportunity, open to all, to play an integral part our school’s direction and focus. It’s an invitation to lead, to have a say, and to share any vision you might have for your child’s school experience. This year twenty-six of us made the decisions that will be carried out in the coming year. What do you think of the projects that were funded? Where will you be this time next year?

If you have any questions at all about the Giving Circle, please ask. We’ve come to realize that the purpose and process aren’t fully clear to many of you, and we’d welcome an opportunity to change that.

There are so many thanks to go around! Thank you to Amin Setoodeh for so generously giving of his time by serving as our able emcee and event leader for the evening. Thank you to each and every Giving Circle member who attended the event or sent votes by proxy—you are our mainspring. Thank you to those who made a donation and trusted the group to put your money to work in the best way possible for the community—we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you to those who stepped up to fill a specific need with additional donations during the Giving Circle event—we appreciate your willingness to go above and beyond.  Thank you to those who submitted proposals for consideration—we are grateful for your leadership. Thank you to everyone who invited friends and family to share in our vision—a new record was set this year with an amazing 47% of donors coming from outside the core group of parents/faculty/staff/board of the school. Thank you to every one of the mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends of our students who see the worth and value of what we do for the children you love, and who so generously support our efforts. Our gratitude overflows!

Giving Circle 2018 Project Summary

The following eleven projects were fully or partially funded by the Giving Circle and will be carried out over the next year!

A word from Stephanie and Brandon Gray, parents of two children in Sunflower Garden:

This is our third year giving and second year participating in the giving circle. The two times we’ve been able to attend have been not only fun, but also fulfilling. Brandon and I work a lot of hours and don’t get to help out at the school as much as we’d like. This event builds a sense of community and contribution in us that I am grateful to have. The best part of the event this year was watching so many projects get funded before the voting even began! My favorite part of the giving circle in general is the immediate, tangible impact. When a project is funded and then we see it come to fruition over the following months, it is such a satisfying feeling! Finally, I love that everyone gets an equal vote, regardless of the size of their donation. This is one of the best methods of fundraising I’ve seen. I’m so glad to be able to participate.

A perspective from Miriam and Barry Swann, parents of an eighth grader in Mrs. Ecklund’s class:

We have contributed to the Giving Circle before, but this year was our first time actually participating in the event.  Many wonderful ideas were proposed to enhance the school, from replacing carpeting and adding a sand table to building a long jump course, funding teacher training and paying for teacher mentors. We voted with our dollars (represented by sticky notes, which we placed on the boards representing the projects of our choice) and decided together as a group which programs we wished to support. Once these votes were tallied, the conversations continued as we narrowed down the proposals and reallocated money from those that were complete. During the event, people even spontaneously donated enough extra money to fully fund five proposals. The joy and camaraderie was everything we have come to expect from Da Vinci Waldorf School, and made me proud (as always) to be part of such an incredible community.