The Gunnery, a private school in Washington, has been recognized with an Award for Excellence in the Independent Schools category from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

The Gunnery joins a list of schools that have received this recognition, including The Thacher School in California, Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania and Phillips Academy in Massachusetts, and earned a place on CASE’s first-time winners list, alongside the University of California, Davis, Fordham University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Educational Fundraising Awards annually recognize exemplary development programs based on a blind review of data submitted to the CASE Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey.

CASE member institutions that have participated in the VSE for the past three years are automatically considered. There is no entry fee or application. Winners are announced in categories based on institution type and, in some cases, endowment size.

“We are excited to have received this significant recognition from CASE for The Gunnery,” Head of School Peter Becker said.

“It is a great credit to Sean Brown, Director of our Alumni & Development Office, and his team, and a good measure of the momentum that has been building at our school over the past several years,” Becker said. “We’re seeing further evidence of that in our record high enrollment figures, new records set for alumni support and engagement and, most visibly, the overwhelming support we’ve received for our new Arts and Community Center, which is set to open in January 2020.”

Brown acknowledged the funds raised in direct support of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center may indeed have played a role in The Gunnery’s selection this year.

“We’ve also received increasing support from our Board of Trustees, and witnessed steady growth in terms of the overall number of people who have supported the school through the annual fund,” Brown noted.

“We set records this year in the total amount raised for The Gunnery Fund, and nearly set a record for participation,” he said. “In fact, the only year we had more supporters was 2016-17, when we achieved 100 percent student participation, and nearly 100 percent faculty participation.”

Independent school chief advancement officers served as the judges for this year’s awards, and judging was competitive, CASE said.

“Fundraising success is measured by many variables, not only by which schools raise the most money,” the judges said.

“Again this year we recognize schools that showed not just measurable growth in dollars raised, but also breadth and depth in terms of diversity of sources from which funds were raised,” they said. “Among the trends we noticed in this year’s judging was a general increase in total support from parents and alumni across all categories. We were especially pleased to see what we believe is a maturing of sustained and ongoing major gift fundraising.”

In showcasing these best-of-the-best programs, CASE helps its members identify schools that excel in their outcomes and do so efficiently, so that others can learn from their best practices,