Save Connelly

Please note that this GoFundMe campaign is parent/student-led.

Save Connelly – October 21, 2019, Update

It is with very heavy hearts that we announce the end of the Save Connelly campaign. Please read further below for details on why and two options for the future of your donation.

Since October 1, 2019, when the decision to close Cornelia Connelly School at the end of the 2019 – 2020 school year was made, students, parents, school staff, alumnae and friends near and far united as one to save our beloved Connelly. Unfortunately, intense headwinds made our efforts difficult:

· Officially, the school’s sponsoring order has not expressed willingness to reconsider the decision. Affirmation would surely give the campaign a shot in the arm, but silence has the opposite effect.

· Unofficially, it is believed that fundraising would need to generate a total of $10 - $15 million or more in order to change the outcome. We simply don’t have the capacity to raise this amount, particularly under a tight deadline.

· Financial statements, forecasts, and other data – which may be necessary to inspire the confidence of big donors that their generosity will support a viable endeavor long into the future – are not available.
For these reasons, we believe it best to suspend the Save Connelly campaign and, instead, focus on students’ transitions and ensuring that the rest of their time at Connelly is outstanding.
We are grateful for your contribution to the Save Connelly GoFundMe campaign. Under the circumstances, you have the following two options:

· Option 1: To request a full refund, click here ( to connect with the Customer Happiness Team at GoFundMe. The deadline for initiating a refund request is October 31, 2019. Once issued, a refund will return to the credit card you used within 3-7 business days.

· Option 2: All funds remaining in the Save Connelly GoFundMe account as of November 1, 2019, will be used to help students’ transitions to other schools. Depending on where they go, students may incur additional costs such as application, registration fees and uniforms. Because almost 60% of Connelly students receive need-based aid, providing them with even a small sum will make their transitions a little easier. All funds remaining in the Save Connelly Go Fund Me account as of November 1, 2019, will be divided equally among all Connelly freshman, sophomore, and junior students who successfully complete the 2019 – 2020 school year at Connelly.

When circumstances brought us together almost three weeks ago, we embraced hope in the face of adversity. And while we all hoped for, prayed for, and worked for a better outcome, it is better to abandon a futile effort than keep it on life support. Our true character as a community inspired so many – not least significantly Connelly students. As young women who are being inspired to change the world, they witnessed first-hand their parents, fellow students, staff, alumnae, and friends come together and saw that we did everything possible to change the outcome.

Let our collective courage inspire them for the rest of their lives.

Save Connelly – October 7, 2019, Update

Thank you for answering the call to help save Connelly!  We are deeply humbled by the support of so many generous donors.  Your generosity, supportive comments, and prayers have invigorated the Save Connelly campaign with energy, and fuels our commitment to achieve this critically important goal!

Some have asked for more information regarding Cornelia Connelly School’s needs and clarification on the goals of the Save Connelly campaign.  The near-term goal is to raise a total of $1.9 million by December 31, 2019.  When we achieve this goal, Cornelia Connelly School may remain open through at least the 2020 – 2021 school year with the approval of the school’s sponsoring religious order, the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.  The near-term goal is divided into two parts:

·       The $1.1 million GoFundMe campaign with support from the broader community

·       A parallel $800,000 direct-giving campaign which is supported by larger, but less numerous, gifts

Cornelia Connelly School’s total projected need is $3 million to assure long-term viability, but raising only a portion of this sum may address the immediate crisis.  Undeterred, we are setting our sights much higher -- $10 million or more – so the school may retire debt, fund an endowment, and thrive for decades to come.

If we fall short of achieving our $1.9 near-term fundraising goal:

·       All GoFundMe contributions will be returned (less transaction processing fees)

·       All direct donations to the school will be returned

·       All remaining funds will be used to help students transition to other schools

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and saving Connelly is no exception.  May we be inspired by Matthew 17:20:

“Amen, I say to you, if you have faith like the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Much work lies ahead, and your help will enable us to continue on.

Original Message:
Cornelia Connelly School is a college-prep school in Anaheim, California, that develops young women from Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties into confident, articulate leaders and inspires them to change the world.  Unfortunately, years of structural deficits took their toll, and on October 1, 2019, the school’s board of trustees voted to close our beloved Connelly in June 2020.

The school is on the brink of emerging from a years-long enrollment slump, and actionable plans are in place to operate without a deficit for the first time in years.  But with no clear path forward to cover this year’s projected deficit, there was no responsible choice other than to close, as devastating as that is for the Cornelia Connelly School community.

Our Connelly girls' high school experience is filled with a loving sisterhood, beautiful traditions, deep faith, and an environment where girls feel safe, can build confidence, and are encouraged to try different things inside and outside of the classroom. 

Inspired by the school’s namesake, hundreds of school parents, students, alumnae, staff, and friends have banded together to save Cornelia Connelly School.  Our mission is clear – to raise $1.1 million by December 31, 2019 – which will cover this year’s projected deficit. 

This multi-pronged campaign is all or nothing – if we do not raise the full amount by the deadline, all gifts will be returned.  While some in our community are working to secure substantial gifts, others are organizing smaller fundraising initiatives, while others more are helping out in any way they can and in every way they can.  We are bonded to the mission of ensuring this school’s lasting legacy.

This GoFundMe page is specifically directed to friends near and far.  All gifts large and small are appreciated, and your collective contributions will cover 2019–2020 school year expenses.  Other initiatives are specifically covering 2020–2021 school year expenses.

If you believe that more young women should be empowered to lead so they can solve the problems of the future and change the world, please help us save Cornelia Connelly School!  #SaveConnelly

Donations (0)

  • Hodel/ Horodyski Family 
    • $1,500 
    • 15 hrs
  • Libby Coker 
    • $250 
    • 1 d
  • Alicia Raya 
    • $20 
    • 2 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 2 d
  • Darrell Zehner 
    • $500 
    • 4 d


Julie Showalter 
Anaheim, CA
Cornelia Connelly-School of the Holy Child Jesus 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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