WMS people

annual giving faqs

What is the WMS Annual Fund?
The WMS Annual Fund, run annually, is made up of gifts from parents, alumni, faculty and staff, parents of alumni, former faculty and staff, grandparents, and friends. In 2015–16, gifts from our donors added up close to $217,000 in operating support. All these contributions have an immediate impact on the quality of the school and directly benefit WMS students.

Why is the WMS Annual Fund important?
Tuition alone at WMS does not cover the cost of educating a student. WMS, like most independent schools, colleges, and non-profit organizations, relies on gifts to help meet annual operating expenses. For the past few years, the gap between tuition income and expenses was around $2000 per student. The WMSAF helps to bridge this gap. It is this legacy of voluntary giving that enables schools and other organizations to remain independent and healthy. Many of us stretch to give to the Washington Montessori School Annual Fund because of the value we place on a WMS education. It makes the difference between good and great in terms of the programs WMS can offer our children. Raising tuition would restrict even further the number of families who could attend WMS. Charitable contributions, unlike tuition, are tax-deductible, and allow us to offer a WMS education to many more families, while also maintaining the excellence of our programs.

What are the sources of revenue for Washington Montessori School?
The sources of funds for the yearly operation of the school are tuition, the WMS Annual Fund, Parents’ Association fundraising, WMS Community Partnership Program (WMSCPP) fundraising, school programs (MAP, summer camps), WMS Presents, The Polar Plunge and other passive fundraising (Stop & Shop, One Cause, Target, etc.)

If I am receiving financial aid, why am I still asked to give to the WMS Annual Fund?
The health of a school is measured in part by the support generated by all the school’s constituents. Foundations, for example, are more likely to help a school that demonstrates support from its own community. Our larger donors also want to see across the board community support. Therefore, our parent participation rate is extremely important even if the amount donated is modest. We strive for 100% participation across our community, which includes the board of trustees, faculty and staff, parents, alumni, parents of alumni, and grandparents, and friends. We recognize that every family has a level of giving that’s comfortable for them, and we are grateful for every contribution, no matter its size.

When should I make my contribution?
We would like to make every effort to gather pledges and gifts early in the campaign (throughout the fall and early winter). Many of you choose to give before the end of December for tax purposes. Others may find it more convenient to give at a different time. Whichever you choose, returning the envelope indicating your pledge and/or payment schedule is a help to the volunteers. Once your envelope is returned, you will not be contacted again except for collection of a pledge toward the end of the campaign. The close of the WMSAF campaign is on June 30.

Is my gift to the WMS Annual Fund tax-deductible?
Yes, 100%.
Unlike tuition, any charitable contribution to our annual fund is tax-deductible. Your thank you note serves as a receipt for tax purposes.

Who runs the Washington Montessori School Annual Fund?
A committee of volunteers, including members of the Board of Trustees, parents, parents of alumni, grandparents, alumni and others work together with the Director of Development to reach all of our constituents.

How are gifts from the WMSAF used?
All gifts to the WMSAF are unrestricted. Listed below are several examples of areas that annual fund contributions support. The WMS Board of Trustees reserves the right to redirect any/all gifts to the Washington Montessori School Annual Fund.

  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • Financial Aid
  • Professional Development for Teachers
  • Greens & Grounds
  • WMS Community Partnership Program

How much am I expected to contribute?
Only you can determine the amount that’s appropriate for your family. Your generosity will benefit your child now, and will continue to benefit WMS children throughout the years.