The Biology II honors class discuss genetics in their class held on Jones Lawn on the Hill Campus (March, 2021).

The challenges of the 2020-21 school year, and their associated costs for our community, emphasized the importance of the Annual Fund and the role of flexible and undesignated support. Although schools relied heavily on their Annual Funds to balance the budget this past year, this source of funding has always been a cornerstone of support for educational institutions. Riverdale’s philanthropic community has, for generations, provided funds necessary to help run the school. Annual Fund donations make an undeniable impact on our community and make it evident that the Riverdale experience can only happen if we join together.

Marie Capasso, director of annual giving and development operations, reflects on the significance of the Annual Fund: “To raise $5 million any year but especially this year, is no small feat. What I love the most about the Annual Fund is that it is a product of thousands of individual gifts — and that we need each and every one of them to achieve these impressive results. Your donation, no matter the amount, is a place where your participation matters greatly. Annual Fund support creates the stability that helps our students succeed and, in a year where so much has been uncertain, it has been heartening to see so many parents, alumni, and friends step up and show they’re here for our school community.”

Although it may be more apparent than ever during times of change, unrestricted funds give Riverdale the ability to grow, innovate, and excel in all aspects of education. A robust Annual Fund gives us the ability to provide resources in the classroom, travel and experiential education opportunities for all, and two beautiful campuses where our students will have the space to question, experiment, and learn. Collectively, this is the gift we give to our community each year and what makes the Riverdale experience possible.