What is the Annual Fund Campaign and where does the money go?
The Annual Fund is a month-long campaign where we ask all our board members, staff, parents, alumni, and community friends to make a voluntary and 100% tax deductible financial contribution to our school.The gifts received during the 2016 Annual Fund Campaign will support our general operating account, which will allow us to maintain high quality staff and environments, and to meet our financial goals. The campaign starts Friday, October 21st and will last through Wednesday, November 23rd. For more information please read annual fund letter 2016.
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How about some friendly competition?
The guide and assistant of the first classroom to reach 100% participation among their families (meaning 100% of their families have made a financial contribution during the campaign) will be treated to lunch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Annual Fund?
A: The Annual Fund (formerly known as Annual Giving) is a month-long campaign where we ask all our board members, staff, parents, alumni, and community friends to make a voluntary and 100% tax deductible financial contribution to our school. The Annual Fund Campaign will begin Friday, October 21, 2016 (Private School Day) and end Wednesday, November 23, 2016.
Q: Where does the money go?
A: The money raised during the 2016 Annual Fund will support our General Operating account, which covers the day-to-day costs of our school such as staff salaries and benefits, printing materials, and building and grounds maintenance. Three Tree Montessori School has experienced significant growth in the last year, which we are extremely excited to report. Specifically, we increased staff salaries and expanded our administrative staff. Both of these decisions were strategically made to ensure we retain quality staff and environments to continue to implement high quality Montessori philosophy in the classrooms. These changes, however, did increase our operating expenses for the 2016-2017 academic schoolyear. Therefore, we are asking all board members, staff, families, and community friends to contribute financially during the 2016 Annual Fund Campaign in a way that is meaningful to them.
Q: We already pay tuition, so why are we being asked to pay more?
A: Your tuition dollars are greatly appreciated and are also necessary for us to maintain the day-to-day operations of the school. In addition, as an independent school, we do not receive any financial assistance from the federal or state government. Philanthropy is an important component to independent school culture, and the Annual Fund Campaign is one way we as a community can ensure the ways in which Three Tree Montessori School provides high quality learning environments for children remain so: low adult to student ratios, opportunities for staff to participate in professional development trainings, beautiful environments, and opportunities for families of all income levels to be a part of our community.
Q: Why don’t we just increase tuition?
A: It is very important for our community to be socially and economically diverse. Every tuition increase holds the potential to place serious financial hardship on some of our families and to exclude other families who would like to be a part of our community. We intend to keep tuition as low as feasibly possible to ensure the accessibility and sustainability of our school.
Q: In addition to tuition, when else will I be asked to give financially to the school?
A: The Annual Fund Campaign and the Auction are our two primary fundraising events of the school year. The Auction will take place on Friday, April 21, 2017. The auction is intended to be a celebration of our school, but also an opportunity to raise money.
Q: What is the financial goal for the Annual Fund Campaign?
A: Our goal is to raise $25,000 during the 2016 Annual Fund Campaign. More importantly, our goal is to have 100% participation amongst our board members, staff, and current families during the campaign. Participation means that each member of our community makes a financial contribution to the school that is at a size meaningful and feasible for them.
Q: My child is in 6th grade and will not be attending Three Tree Montessori School next year. Why should I give to the Annual Fund?
A: We hope you view Three Tree Montessori School as more than just a school but as a community that has played an integral role in shaping who your child is today and who they will become tomorrow. It is also our goal that some of the Annual Fund will be used for immediate improvements, so you will see your contribution affect your child in the current school year. With that in mind, we hope you see the value in contributing to the 2016 Annual Fund so your student this year, and the many students who follow, will have opportunities to develop foundational skills, build lasting relationships, and experience the high quality Montessori philosophy we value so much.
Q: How much should I give?
A: We hope you give at a level that is meaningful and comfortable to you and your family. No amount is insignificant. Here are some examples of items that fall under our General Operating account, and can put into perspective just how far your financial contribution could go: $5 covers the cost of one ream of paper, and $50 is the equivalent to one staff person completing their required CPR/First Aid training. As you know, we also value the beauty of classroom environments: $125 is the cost of one metal inset, $150 is the cost of one pink tower, and a complete bead cabinet can reach upwards of $2000.
Q: Money is tight for my family right now. Are there other opportunities for me to give?
A: Our goal is to have 100% of board members, staff, and families make a financial contribution to the school during the 2016 Annual Fund. We understand each family’s financial situation is different, but every single financial gift made during this campaign, from $5 to $500, is significant. When added together these gifts have the potential to make a substantial and lasting impact on our school. If you are still unable to make a financial gift at this time, we hope you ask a friend or community member to do so, and we are happy to help you with this process. There are also many other ways you can give back to the school such as joining a task force or committee or volunteering at a school event.
Q: When should I give?
A: The 2016 Annual Fund Campaign starts on Friday, October 21st and will end on Wednesday, November 23rd. However, you can make a financial contribution to Three Tree Montessori School at any time.
Q: How do I give?
A: You can make your financial gift by mailing or dropping off cash/a check to the school. Please make checks payable to Three Tree Montessori School, and our address is 220 SW 160th St., Burien, WA 98166. You can also make your financial gift with your credit/debit card online at https://thrtrms.ejoinme.org/2016annualfund.
Q: Will my company match my gift?
A: There are many companies throughout our community who will match their employee’s charitable contributions. Ask your company’s human resources department about their policy, and we will be happy to provide you with any support and/or documentation you need to complete this process. This is a great way to make your financial contribution to Three Tree Montessori School go even farther!
Q: Is my gift tax deductible?
A: Yes! Three Tree Montessori School is a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status. When you make a gift, you will receive a tax receipt along with a letter of our sincere appreciation.
More questions? Contact Rachel Haas, Development Manager
Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-242-5110