Annual Fund FAQ

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Why does NNM need an Annual Fund?
Tuition alone does not cover the cost of educating a student at NNM. Rather, it covers the “bare-bones” of the school. So, like all independent and even some public schools, Near North Montessori conducts an annual fundraising campaign which provides direct funding to educational initiatives not covered by tuition. Families are asked to make the Annual Fund a giving priority. If every family gives every year, we can continue to enrich every child.

How is the money used?
Contributions to the Annual Fund touch every part of the school – from sports and playground equipment to new computers, from books for the library to special Montessori materials for the classroom, from parent education to faculty/staff professional development, from field trips to props for classroom performances.

Why doesn’t the school simply increase tuition?
NNM deliberately sets tuition below full cost in order to keep the school more affordable to a wider range of students. This allows us to maintain a culturally and socio-economically diverse community, which is so important to all of us. It also provides an opportunity for the community to make tax- deductible donations.

Are families receiving financial aid expected to participate in the Annual Fund?
Yes. Every family is asked to give every year. Gifts commensurate with each family’s financial means are welcome and honored.

Is 100% parent and community participation really that important?
YES! Getting 100% participation in the Annual Fund is just as important as meeting our overall financial goal. Completion of a successful Annual Fund campaign each year shows that the entire community – current families, Board members, faculty and staff, grandparents and even alumni families – are supporters of the school. “When everyone contributes to the school’s shared mission, no matter the level, it demonstrates what it truly means to be a community.” It also provides an excellent example to our students of the importance of giving back.

I donate to Big Night and the Teacher/Staff Appreciation Drive. Am I expected to give to the Annual Fund, too?
Yes. At NNM we have three major fundraising campaigns. Dollars raised through Big Night support the Financial Aid Fund, and the Teacher/Staff Appreciation Drive directly funds staff bonuses each year. The Annual Fund, which is our most important campaign, is used for the extra educational initiatives that benefit all students and are not covered by tuition.

Will Annual Fund requests go up every year?
Yes. Like tuition, the needs of the Annual Fund increase each year. We respectfully request families to make the NNM Annual Fund a giving priority.

Who else is asked to give?
Everyone in the NNM community is asked to give – current parents, alumni parents, alumni, grandparents, faculty, staff, and community businesses.

What is the appropriate amount to give?
We know that family circumstances are unique. Each family is asked to give to the best of their ability, and we know that can mean different things at different times. Ideally, each family would give $1,200 ($100 per month). However, we receive annual gifts ranging from $25 to $2,500. We ask just that you give a gift that is meaningful for your family.

When can I give?
Anytime! We are always here and available to help you make your charitable donation to NNM. Our fiscal year runs from August 1 through July 31.

Is my gift tax-deductible?
100% of your gift is tax-deductible.

What is an employer match?
Many companies match employee donations on a 1:1 or even 2:1 basis. Please ask your payroll administrator or Human Resources department if your company matches gifts.

How can I give?
Gifts can be made online, at www.nnms.org/donate, mailed to the school at 1434 W. Division Street, or dropped off in the Development Office. Be sure to check with your employer to see if your gift can be matched.