From the Director of Advancement

Dear PCDS Families, Alumni, and Friends,

In Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book, The Tipping Point, we learn of that “magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” Gladwell challenges the reader to understand that small changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving a certain way, that behavior can ripple outward until a “tipping point” is reached, changing the world. I would argue that during this past fiscal year, Phoenix Country Day School began the ascension toward our very own tipping point!

A full 75% of our families made gifts to the Annual Fund last year — giving what they could when they could — a tremendous jump from 40% just three years earlier. Not only did Annual Fund participation soar to new heights, but we raised over $815,000. We offer our heartfelt thanks for making this another record year for giving to PCDS. As we inch toward that tipping point, with your continued enthusiasm, support, and investment, those numbers will climb, others will feel the momentum in our community, and our school will only get stronger in our next 50 years! 

Over the course of the year, our Advancement Office and Committee had the humble pleasure of speaking with so many parents and alumni about the importance of investing in our school beyond tuition; about the need for participation from all of our families; and about the care for our school that was not being represented in the percentages of financial support. These phone calls, parking lot conversations, small group meetings, and personal sit-downs made our entire advancement team more knowledgeable about your views regarding PCDS and even more excited about your enthusiasm to keep the conversation going.

That’s exactly what we hope to do this fiscal year. Raising dollars to offset tuition helps us retain the very best faculty and staff and provides our students with programs that no other school in Arizona can offer - this is certainly reason to celebrate! However, we are most proud of our participation numbers, which is why we created events like the Bridge-the-Gap Celebration, which will continue this year and for years to come.

I believe we can all find inspiration in Malcolm Gladwell’s final thoughts: “The best way to understand a dramatic transformation is to think of it as an epidemic.” He clarifies by writing, “There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics or tipping points. All you have to do is find them.” Fortunately for us, we have found them, and they are running around our campus at 40th St. and Stanford each and every day!

I greatly look forward to speaking with you and continuing our conversation.

With appreciation,

C. Ryan Joyce
Director of Advancement
ryan.joyce@pcds.org
602.955.8200 x 2310