HOW IS THIS FUNDING AVAILABLE?
Concordia has an annual fundraising campaign—Strike a Match Light a Fire. Gifts go to the Concordia Fund that supports new, innovative outreach and enrichment programs and projects that are designed by faculty, staff, and students. It accepts and funds proposals on an ongoing basis throughout the year and generally provides a funding decision within two weeks of application.
The Concordia Fund is one of the functions of the Development and Alumni Relations Office. The Concordia Fund is made possible through gifts from many members of our community—parents, friends, employees, alumni, and organizations. Last year more than 2.9 million RMB was give or pledged for enrichment and outreach through the annual Strike a Match Light a Fire campaigns for the Concordia Fund.
WHAT KINDS OF PROJECTS HAVE BEEN FUNDED?
Since its inception in 2018, the Concordia Fund has provided financial resources and support for more than 70 Outreach & Enrichment projects. In addition, the Concordia Fund has provided funds for physical projects such as the EC Play Area, the EC/ES library renovation, new seating in the PC Lounge, and lighting upgrades in Rittmann Theatre. We’ve also facilitated the donations of retired Concordia technology and furnishings to schools for migrant children.
Here is a sample from the 40 OUTREACH & ENRICHMENT projects that received funding and were completed last year, 2020-2021:
- New MS Coding and Robotics Lab located next to the HS Maker Space
- Summer HS internship program for 40 students in law, finance, investing, education, biochemistry, healthcare, marketing, and IT.
- Academic competitions and conferences
- Several new pieces of research lab-level analytical science equipment
- Guest speakers, poets, and storytellers
- New Under the Bridge gathering space
- Learning about and supporting Syrian refugees
- Student developed books for teaching math concepts and about Big Data
- Sustainability projects related to composting, recycling, food waste, and green initiatives
- Student developed equity and inclusivity programming
- Launch of The Concordia Phoenix Post Newsmagazine
- Concordia Masterclass, an educational experience for parents featuring Concordia faculty
- Nursing training equipment
- Daily meal sharing with our neighbors who are homeless
- Eight MS service trips to the WILL Foundation helping in their inn and hydroponic farm and building friendships with their young residents
- A summer service trip to work with children who have been left behind when their parents leave to find better work
You can read about the full list of projects here:
HAS THERE ALWAYS BEEN A CONCORDIA FUND?
The Concordia Fund was initiated in 2018 in celebration of Concordia International School Shanghai’s 20th anniversary. The Concordia Fund is made possible through gifts from parents, alumni, friends, and employees.
WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE THERE WAS A CONCORDIA FUND?
Concordia Shanghai was founded by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and throughout our early years, families, Lutheran churches, schools, and church-affiliated organizations gave generously to help Concordia International School Shanghai build and grow. Many of the people who gave have never even been to Concordia! They were people who believed in the a school based on Christian values in mainland China.
Later, Lutheran Church Extension Fund provided a loan and parents and employees also made donations to support projects like the HS library and Rittmann Theatre. Concordia has been blessed by the generosity of so many people. Even now, we still receive gifts from schools, churches, and individuals who want to support our school in China. In fact, this week I received an email from one of our supporters in Washington State.
Concordia’s 20th anniversary in 2018 provided an opportunity to reimagine what giving could look like at Concordia Shanghai and provide an opportunity for today’s Concordia community to give to support the school. Recognizing our abundant blessings as a school, the Concordia Board of Directors approved the start of the Concordia Fund to support two areas:
- Opportunities for ENRICHING student learning beyond the normal classroom experience, and
- Opportunities for students to use their education in SERVICE to others.
The Concordia Fund enables exceptional experiences and ways to give back to our community and host country.
In the first year, more than 2 million RMB was donated by 500 members of our community! During the outbreak of COVID-19, our community gave again through our Jiayou China campaign and we supported the work of first responders and healthcare professionals through the Concordia Welfare Education Foundation (CWEF) and Shanghai Education Development Foundation (SEDF). As of this writing, about 6 million RMB has been donated since the start in fall 2018.
WHAT ELSE DOES THE OFFICE OF DEVELOPMENT AND ALUMNI RELATIONS DO?
The Concordia Fund falls under development and our staff works with families, individuals, and organizations who desire to make gifts to support ENRICHMENT & OUTREACH at Concordia International School Shanghai. In the future, we may raise support for larger capital projects that result from strategic planning initiatives.
We also host events that foster a closer connection to the school and build memories, and community, including: Homecoming, the Christmas Tree Lighting, the Employee Easter Brunch, the Gala & Auction, Business Networking Group events, donor events, and alumni gatherings both here and in the U.S.
This summer we organized five service trips with MS students to the WILL Foundation and the HS summer internship program. We are grateful for the support of our community that helps make these things possible.