The Interlochen Fund fuels the very heart of Interlochen. This pooled fund provides critical support for the Interlochen experience. We make the Interlochen dream possible for our students through scholarships and financial aid. The Camp and Academy are not collections of students from wealthy families, which is why half of our students receive some form of financial aid. Your gift will go directly toward student support—not to administrative overhead. It is a gift that will change a life.
What is the Interlochen Fund, and why do you ask me to make a gift every year?
Of the more than $10.9 million that was awarded to students as scholarships and financial aid in fiscal year 2012, more than $2.4 million was derived from the Interlochen Fund, making the Interlochen experience available to the most deserving students irrespective of financial means.
Interlochen Center for the Arts, like all independent schools, can't charge in tuition the true cost of education. In effect, every student is subsidized. Revenue sources include tuition, endowment income, Arts Festival proceeds, and Scholarshop profits, but every year a gap remains that must be closed, every year, by the Interlochen Fund.
Why not raise tuition and reduce the emphasis on fundraising?
This sounds like the easiest solution. But it's a catch-22. Many families are already making considerable sacrifices to send their children here, and we are committed to maintaining our accessibility through financial aid for eligible students from around the world who have the talent, but bring limited financial resources.
For example, tuition for the Interlochen Arts Academy runs nearly $47,000 per year, about half the average family income of Academy students. As you can see, we are exclusive when it comes to talent, not when it comes to financial background. Every year about 70% of students at the Academy are receiving financial assistance to attend Interlochen. Raising tuition to meet the cost would mean that more families would require financial aid, which would mean more need for fundraising.
So, The Interlochen Fund will always be here, and I'll always be asked to make a gift?
Yes. What you and others – parents, grandparents, alumni and friends – accomplish with your Interlochen Fund gift is the precious provision of scholarship assistance to our students and campers. Every dollar given to The Interlochen Fund goes directly to students in the form of scholarships and financial aid.
I'm usually asked to increase my gift. Why is that?
Annual operating costs at Interlochen Center for the Arts increase just like food, healthcare, and gasoline prices. As a result, tuition goes up each year, and so does our Interlochen Fund goal.
How much should I give?
The important thing is that you do give. Every gift is important. It really depends on how much you choose to stretch your own resources to make a gift. Whether your gift is $40, $400, $4,000 or $40,000, the most important consideration is that you choose to make a difference for Interlochen Center for the Arts. If you need to benchmark your contributions, The Interlochen Fund would like to be one of the top three charitable gifts you make this year. That will mean different amounts to different people.
Does my gift have to be in cash?
No. Although gifts are usually cash given via credit cards or checks, appreciated securities can be a tax-wise alternative. If you hold stocks or bonds that have appreciated in value (and that you have held for at least a year), you can give them to Interlochen Center for the Arts and save taxes twice. Take a charitable deduction for their full market value and save the capital gains tax that you would incur if you sold them. Please contact the Advancement Staff at 231.276.7623, or e-mail at InterlochenFund@interlochen.org for details on the best way to make this type of gift. Click here for more information on gifts of securities
What if I want to restrict my gift to a specific part of the operating budget, say the summer theatre program, the visual arts department, or scholarships? Can I do that?
Absolutely. However, we encourage you to speak with an Advancement officer to be sure that your gift will have the impact you intend. Contact the Advancement Staff at 231.276.7623 for help making a gift to a specific part of Interlochen.
When does my gift have to arrive at Interlochen Center for the Arts?
Interlochen Center for the Arts operates on a June 1 through May 31 fiscal year, but you can give at any time. Keep in mind that gifts need to be postmarked by December 31 for you to qualify for a tax deduction in this tax year.
How can I find out if my employer (or my spouse's employer) matches gifts to independent schools, thus doubling or tripling my gift to Interlochen Center for the Arts?
Click here to find employers who match gifts made to Interlochen.
What more do I need to know?
Only this. You need to know how grateful the students, faculty, staff and trustees are for your support of Interlochen Center for the Arts. Whatever amount you decide to give, know that the most important consideration is that you choose to advance the quality and caliber of learning and performance at Interlochen Center for the Arts.