850-763-1775 | 1005 Fortune Avenue Panama City, Florida 32401

Questions and Answers about the St. John Annual Fund

  • Q: Is 100% parent and community participation that important? A: YES!  100% participation is as important as meeting our overall financial goal. Before outside funding sources, such as foundations, will consider donating their dollars, they want to know that SJCS families are supporters as well. With the increasingly competitive market in Bay County, a high percentage of participation in the St. John Annual Fund is extremely important.
  • Q: Why not run the school like a business and charge the full cost for the services provided instead of asking for gifts?  Why doesn’t St. John Catholic School just raise tuition to cover the added expenses? A: A school, whose primary mission is to provide children with a good education, cannot be compared to a business, whose objective is to make money.  By their very nature, excellent schools are labor-intensive and people-oriented.  Moreover, the costs of faculty salaries and benefits and building/maintenance, to a large degree, drive the cost of an independent school education. To offer competitive salaries to faculty and staff and to provide desirable programs, SJCS has to do the following:
  • ask for donations
  • raise tuition
  • pursue corporate and foundation gifts and grantsWe do not want the expense of tuition to prevent qualified students from attending our school. It is especially important that tuition remains as affordable as possible to serve all families choosing a Catholic education.

Making Your Donation

  • Q: I have no idea how much to contribute – what is the suggested gift level? 
A: The difference between cost of education and tuition charged is $930 per student.  A monthly suggested pledge of $78 from June through May will “bridge” the gap.  It is our hope that all stakeholders in the success of SJCS Catholic School prayerfully discern a meaningful amount to donate. We hope that SJCS families will choose to make their children’s school their philanthropic priority.
  • Q: I want to make a sizable gift.  Is it possible to spread it out over time? 
A: To make a gift that spreads over several months, we ask that you fill out the St. John Annual Fund Commitment Form, including on it the total amount you wish to donate for this year and the increments in which you wish to make your gift.  Make your checks out to: St. John Catholic School Annual Fund.  We can also send reminders at intervals that work best for you.
  • Q: Will I receive a tax benefit from my gift? 
A: Yes.  St. John Catholic School is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation under the laws of the United States. No goods or services will be received in exchange for your gift, so it will be tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.  Written recognition of your gift will be provided for tax purposes. (Note that the amount donated is tax-deductible in the year in which it is deposited by St. John Catholic School.)
  • Q: Is there anything I can do to encourage my employer to contribute to the school?
 A: Yes.  Many employers offer Matching Gift programs.  Sometimes, gifts from spouses, directors, and retired employees will be matched as well.  Please take the time to confirm whether your employer offers such a program – it could serve to double your gift!  Do not hesitate to ask the school for whatever documentation you might need to facilitate a matching gift.
  • Q: Is it possible to make a memorial or “in honor of” gift?
 A: Memorial gifts – gifts in memory of someone you loved or admired – are a particularly meaningful way to contribute to the St. John Annual Fund. “In honor of” gifts for all occasions (a student’s birthday or parents’ anniversary, for example) are also lasting tributes.
  • Q: What other choices are available for supporting the school? 
A: The general rule in the not for profit world is that everyone with an interest in the organization should contribute at least one of the so-called “Three T’s” – Time, Talent, or Treasure. Undoubtedly, each of us can contribute to the school in any of these areas, each of which is needed to the success of the school. However, please note that it is still extremely important that we have 100% participation in the St. John Annual Fund. Some other ways to help St. John include:
  • Gifts of Securities: Gifts of appreciated securities can represent a twofold tax saving opportunity because donors may avoid paying any capital gains tax on the increased value of the stock.
  • Planned Giving & Bequests: There are many ways you can help the school through planned giving-options include bequests, annuities, and trusts.  Prayerfully consider our 1% campaign when planning your will.  When you name St. John Catholic School the beneficiary of 1% of your retirement plan assets and leave other less-taxed assets to your children, you can positively affect St. John Catholic School and leave more for your loved ones.
  • IRA Charitable Rollover: IRA owners beginning at age 70? are permitted to make outright charitable gifts totaling up to $100,000 per year from their IRAs directly to eligible charities. The donor does not have to report the distribution as taxable income.  Consult with your financial advisor for further information.
  • In-Kind Gifts: Certain types of in-kind gifts may be extremely useful to the school;
  • Building Outside Support for St. John Catholic School: Spread the word about St. John Catholic School!  Be an advocate for the school!  Ask your family, friends and employers to make donations, or simply make an introduction to the school.  (Particularly, many grandparents of St. John students continue to be generous supporters of the school); and Volunteer: If you see a need that you can help fill, don’t hesitate to speak up and let us know on the Commitment Form.


If you have other questions, please feel free to contact the St. John Catholic School Development Office, Shannon Wilson at (850) 763-1775.