Winter 2014

Friends of Wingra

The Future of Wingra Is Now!

by Greg Simmons, Board President

I am really excited to share a new opportunity for Wingra that has very important implications for the future of the school, both in plant and in program. I have been affiliated with Wingra for about six years. My son Grant is a sophomore in Middleton and is doing very well, largely, I believe because of his experience at Wingra.

As a member of the board I have had the opportunity to attend the National Progressive Education Network Conference and learned that Wingra is not only a wonderful resource for the Madison community but also an outstanding role model for progressive education nationally.

Another thing that is unique about Wingra—and maybe in the nation—is that we have a very generous and obviously loving group of donors that stepped forward a number of years ago, in 2006, and promised a large amount of money to the school, both to buy the building and to match community donations.

Exciting Changes to Wingra’s Capital Campaign

When the campaign started in 2007 there was a 1 to 1 match, so for every $1 we raised, they matched it up to a total of $4 million. The exciting new part is, rather than stretch this campaign out until the end of 2017 as originally planned, the anonymous donor group would like to compress and accelerate the campaign... The capital campaign and matching opportunity ends in June. Yes, in less than 5 months!

And between now and the end of June, which is when the campaign will sunset, they will match every dollar we raise 2.5 to 1! Our goal is to raise $1 million in pledges and contributions by the end of June 2014. And, we will receive $2.5 million more dollars from the donor group. That is a total goal of $3.5 million for Wingra.

21st Century Progressive School

The purpose of this campaign is to enhance and update our building and grounds in ways that will best support our educational program and community and establish an endowment to provide a sustainable funding source for tuition assistance. Specifically, we are looking to do the following projects:

  • Build a modest expansion, which will make our building accessible, safer, more welcoming, and more energy efficient. It will provide additional office space, break-out space, and a larger and more effective community gathering space.
  • Renovate classrooms, upgrade our technology, and completely remodel our outdoor learning and play spaces, including building an outdoor classroom.
  • Establish an endowment to provide a sustainable funding source for tuition assistance.

These plans will rely on our ability to raise another million dollars between now and the end of June. To date, we have raised almost $1.4 million in pledges and contributions from the extended Wingra community, which have been matched by the donor group.

“As Treasurer, one of the pieces I find the most exciting is not only can we enhance the building but we can also enhance the financial sustainability. We can permanently fund our scholarship program.

To me, as a donor, that is one of the most exciting opportunities we have.”

~ Warren Palmer, Treasurer, Wingra School Board of Trustees

Thank you so much to everyone who has provided such generous support. With your support we have accomplished a great deal to make the building safe, secure, and more energy efficient. We are now positioned to realize our new vision.

Create Wingra’s Future Now

We have this incredible opportunity between now and June 30, 2014, and we are asking you to consider what you can do to help us arrive at that $1 million goal.

Someone once said that a “stretch gift”—which is what we are asking you to consider—is one you have to talk with your spouse or partner about and one you have to think about how it would fit into your budget.

My family decided that a multi-year gift made sense to us. We are in our 5th year of a 7-year pledge. The way we thought of it, which is not necessarily the only way to think about it, is that we looked at a unit of giving as an extra tuition. So, our 7-year pledge is two extra tuitions that are divided into quarterly contributions.

Not everyone is able to do something at that level, but that is one way to think about it. When my family was first looking at it, it seemed like a lot of money, but when you cut it up and spread it out over time, it starts to look digestible.

All pledges that are made now for up to a 10-year period are matched today. So, if you pledge and give $10,000 over a 10-year period, Wingra will receive the full match for that $10,000 today, which is $25,000, and the total impact of your gift is $35,000!

This is an unprecedented and pivotal time for Wingra School. This is our time, as a community, to come together and create lasting changes that will have a significant impact on Wingra’s future. I know you will seriously consider how you can help us reach our campaign goal.

I am honored to serve as the president of Wingra School’s Board of Trustees. Wingra is such a special place, a wonderful community, and a beacon at the national level for progressive education. We are so grateful that you are a part of the Wingra community.

Thanks again.