You are a Philanthropist

By Claire Bracco, Alex Buchanan, Nick Love, and Filomena Spero, the Near North Development Team

Near North is a Montessori school within the city of Chicago, AND it is a non-profit organization. 

Inherently, as a part of this incredible community, you and your family are Near North Montessori Ambassadors. We are all philanthropists. Your role in our community is essential in establishing our Culture of Philanthropy and Community of Care. 

What is philanthropy? 

phi·lan·thro·py /fəˈlanTHrəpē/ | noun

A love for humankind. It is derived from the Greek words "philos," which means loving, and "anthropos," which means humankind. A person who practices philanthropy is called a philanthropist. The purpose of philanthropy is to improve the well-being of humankind by preventing and solving social problems.* 

What does philanthropy at Near North look like?


  • At the most basic level, being a part of this community and sharing your stories and memories makes you a philanthropist

  • Sporting your NNM spirit wear and showing your NNM pride

  • Joining the conversation on social media and sharing stories with the broader community 

  • As alumni & alumni families, coming back to the school, sharing your experiences, and continuing to engage beyond your graduation

  • Participating in parent affinity groups, SEED, and AWARE 

  • Holding the school and community accountable to creating a safe space for all


  • Sharing your talents with our students, whether this be in classrooms or at community events

  • Donating supplies for classrooms and spaces within the school so that students can continue to learn and participate in unique experiences

  • Supporting extracurricular activities such as afterschool programs, sports teams, school trips, etc. 

  • Donating to support the Near North Fund 

  • Attending community and fundraising events like Fall Fest, Big Night, Parents Night Out, Graduation, and more 

  • Participating in opportunities to support Near North such as the annual book fair



Your role as philanthropists has allowed Near North to: 

  • Provide $1,001,085 in tuition assistance in 2021-22, including 66 fellow families with 93 classmates (just over 16% of students)

  • Increase the accessibility and affordability of a Near North education 

  • Provide students with world-class Montessori programming; orderly, beautifully prepared environments, and support of experiential learning activities.

  • Recruit and retain top Montessori faculty and provide ongoing professional development and training, enriching their knowledge base and improving their skills in the classroom.

  • Be nimble, responsive, and explore new initiatives.

  • Create dedicated spaces which provide students with the tools to be innovative

  • Embrace technology and problem-based investigation, which prepares our graduates for problem-solving.

  • Provide students access to studios for work in textiles, art, drama, recording, video, and sound production, as well as a technology and robotics lab and a woodworking shop. 

  • Establish an outdoor curriculum that teaches students how to be stewards of the earth and responsible participants in urban ecology



Thank you for playing an important role in Near North’s Culture of Philanthropy & Community of Care. 

Keep reading this blog to learn from all corners of the school about the great work that your philanthropy continues to support. 

*Definition provided by Learning to Give