1) Why is there a parent pledge program?

Tuition and fees cover 89% of the cost to educate your student at O’Dowd. In order to minimize tuition increases and still provide an excellent education, we depend on the generosity of parents, family and friends to help close the gap. Parent pledge program dollars support the retention and development of our talented educators, technology upgrades, facilities enhancements, counseling, academic support and co-curricular programs – all the things that make O’Dowd an amazing place for our students to learn and grow.

2) What are the pledge levels and payment options?

  • $834 monthly ($10,000 annually) for four years
  • $417 monthly ($5,000 annually) for four years
  • $209 monthly ($2,500 annually) for four years
  • $150 monthly ($1,800 annually) for four years


OPTION A: Annual direct debit payment in July
OPTION B: Semiannual direct debit payments in July and January
OPTION C: Twelve monthly direct debit payments

3) What are the tax benefits of participating?

Unlike tuition, the full amount of your gift is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by state and federal law. The average family pays between 20 to 40 percent tax on their income. Therefore, if you pledge $2,500, you may receive a tax deduction between $500 and $1,000.

4) How much am I expected to give to the parent pledge program?

Each family is asked to make a minimum four-year, tax-deductible pledge of $1,800 per year for each of their students attending O’Dowd. We encourage families with the financial capacity to pledge at the $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000 level and to enjoy the increased impact they have on the quality of education at O’Dowd.

5) I have more than one child at O’Dowd. Do I need to make a pledge for each student?

While we realize that sending multiple children to O’Dowd can be a major financial commitment, the cost to educate each student remains the same no matter how many of your children are attending. Therefore, we ask that you make a pledge for each of your students enrolled at O’Dowd.

6) Do I still need to participate if I receive financial aid?

Families who qualify or receive serious consideration for financial aid will be asked to participate at a level in line with their particular financial situation.

7) If my employer has a matching gift program, does my employer’s contribution count toward my pledge?

Matching gifts serve as an additional way to support your student’s education and we appreciate your efforts in making your gifts go further through these programs. However, O’Dowd does not credit gifts made from employee matching gift programs toward your annual pledge amount.

8) Can my friends and family pay my pledge on our behalf?

Yes. Please contact Elizabeth Horpedahl at (510) 553-8632 or ehorpedahl@bishopodowd.org to make arrangements.

9) Can I volunteer instead of donate through the pledge program?

O’Dowd appreciates volunteers who help throughout the year to improve your students’ experiences and studies show that parental involvement increases student performance and engagement. However, volunteering does not directly address the 11% tuition gap needed to provide a high quality O’Dowd education for all students. Therefore, participation in the parent pledge program is requested in addition to any time spent volunteering. Visit the Dragon Parents’ website for more information on volunteer opportunities.

10) My student is transferring from another school. Do I still need to pledge for four years?

If your student is transferring in, your pledge commitment (1-3 years) will be adjusted manually to reflect the length of time your student will attend O’Dowd.

11) I still have questions. Who do I contact?

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Horpedahl in the Development Office at (510) 553-8632 or ehorpedahl@bishopodowd.org