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 provide a transformative education, we depend on the generosity of parents, grandparents, and friends to help close the gap between tuition and the actual cost of an O’Dowd education. The Parent Pledge Program is an essential element of our fundraising efforts that ensures the highest quality education for your student.

2) 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 $2,100 per year, for each of their students attending O’Dowd. We encourage families with the financial capacity to pledge at the $3,000, $5,000, or $10,000 annual level to enjoy the increased impact they have on the quality of education at O’Dowd.

3) What are the pledge levels and payment options?

All families are asked to make a four-year, tax-deductible pledge to the Parent Pledge Program to maintain an excellent O’Dowd education and bridge the gap between the actual cost to educate your student and the cost of tuition. During enrollment, you will be asked to select the commitment level that works best for you:

  • $175 monthly ($2,100 annually)
  • $250 monthly ($3,000 annually)
  • $417 monthly ($5,000 annually)
  • $834 monthly ($10,000 annually)


We offer multiple payment options:

  • Annual direct debit payment in July
  • Semiannual direct debit payments in July and January
  • Twelve monthly direct debit payments


4) I receive tuition assistance, do I still need to participate?

Families who qualify for tuition assistance are asked to support the Parent Pledge Program at a level in line with their particular financial situation.

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) 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, after enrollment, to reflect the length of time your student will attend O’Dowd.

7) 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. Our Tax ID is 94-1547088.

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

Yes. Please contact  Karolyn Cherryhomes, in the Development Office, at (510) 577-9100 x304 or kcherryhomes@bishopodowd.org to make arrangements.

9) 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. See our Matching Gifts page to learn more.

10) Can I volunteer instead of donating to the Parent Pledge Program?

O’Dowd appreciates volunteers who help throughout the year to improve the students experience 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.

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

If you have questions about the Parent Pledge Program, please contact Karolyn Cherryhomes at (510) 577-9100 x304 or kcherryhomes@bishopodowd.org.