The Student News Site of Taipei American School




TAS aims to boost culture of giving


According to the National Association of Independent Schools, donations in private day schools in the US average at 69 percent. At TAS, the current parent participation rate for this school year is 16 percent.
This doesn’t mean that TAS parents donate less money, but that far fewer parents donate to the school. Why such a large discrepancy?
The donation culture that dominates most American private schools is less prevalent here. Ms Summers, the Assistant Superintendent for Advancement, believes this is because of a lack of awareness. Furthermore, at TAS it has only been the past four or five years that parents have been asked to give annually. As Ms Summers said, “It is a newer concept at TAS than at many other schools we compare ourselves to.”
Besides parents, few students realize the importance of donations. In fact, the entire library system was built on monetary gifts from TAS parents. Kenny Cheng, a former TAS parent with two daughters, Alana (‘10) and Joy (‘08), donated the majority of the funds for the LS, MS and US libraries. Dr Hennessy describes him as “the greatest, greatest friend of TAS” and “[the school’s] earliest and most frequent donor.” Mr Cheng still gives to the school, even though his daughters have graduated, in order to benefit current students.
More recently, a number of TAS parents have donated money to the Building Excellence initiative, which includes plans for the Tiger Health and Wellness Center, as well as the bleachers in the US gym. Future donations will be used to renovate the auditorium.
To boost parent participation at TAS, Ms Summers has been working to help the TAS community realize how important donations are to the school. Currently, there are a few parents in each grade level who are Annual Giving Advocates, and they help by asking friends and parents in the same grade level to participate.

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