Understanding the Summit Fund

Each year members of our extended community—current and past parents, Trustees, grandparents, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the School—are asked to make a meaningful and positive difference in the educational lives of our students by contributing to the Summit Fund, the jewel in the crown of Summit’s annual giving program and our School’s top fundraising priority.

Like the vast majority of other independent schools, tuition revenues at Summit intentionally cover only about 85% of the actual costs of educating a student.  Summit (as well as other independent schools) budget in this fashion to keep tuition as affordable as possible to the broadest possible segment of the population. Annual gifts to the Summit Fund are an essential part of our overall operating budget. Contributions to the Summit Fund are unrestricted. This allows the Board of Trustees to use the resources from the fund where they are needed most during the academic year.

The Summit Fund campaign begins in October and closes at the end of June each academic year. Our goal is for 100% participation from parents and Trustees. While the ability to give varies from family to family, full participation of our parent body is vitally important. When every family contributes, it strengthens Summit’s resources and serves as a testament to the commitment of the school community. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

Matching Gifts and Planned Giving

Matching gifts are a wonderful way to make your gift to Summit Montessori School go even farther. Many employers offer matching funds. You can ask whether your company has a matching gift program and get details from the human resources department. Usually, all you need to do is obtain a form from your company, complete it and send or email it to Summit. If your organization does not currently match employee donations, ask it to do so! Matching can extend the philanthropic goals of both employer and employee.

Planned giving opportunities are available to individuals who wish to provide financial support to Summit during their lifetime and beyond. Our Director of Development will be happy to work with you and your financial advisor to offer suggestions on ways for you to support Summit in a manner that is consistent with your own philanthropic, financial, and estate planning goals.

Facts At A Glance

Summit Fund Information Graphic

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Summit Fund and how is the money used?

The Summit Fund is the name Summit’s annual fund, our highest priority fundraising effort. Contributions to the Summit Fund go directly to support critical day-to-day operating expenses of the school. These expenses include salaries for the teachers our students know and love, Montessori materials, faculty professional development, field trips and outdoor education excurions, financial aid, enrichment activities, and campus upkeep.

Is an annual fund unique to Summit Montessori?

Most independent schools rely on the generosity and loyalty of their community (current families, alumni, grandparents and friends) to make charitable, tax-deductible contributions to close the gap between what is covered by tuition and the actual cost of  a student’s education.

Why do we need to donate in addition to paying tuition? Why doesn't Summit simply charge enough tuition to cover its costs?

Traditionally, tuition is set to cover about 85% of a school’s operating expenses. By keeping tuition more affordable, Summit can offer an excellent education to a more economically diverse student body and allow Summit to be accessible to a larger population. The School relies on those who can, and do, give to keep tuition more  affordable for everyone. Gifts to The Summit Fund are entirely tax-deductible.

Who gives to the Summit Fund?

The entire Summit community of parents, faculty, staff, board members, family, and friends participates in the Summit Fund. Every gift makes a difference—every gift has an impact on every student in every Summit classroom. Strong participation from all of our families is a wonderful indicator of support for our School.

How much should I give?

The level of your gift is something only your family can determine. We ask that current families consider making a meaningful gift, what we like to call their “Best  Effort.” We ask that current families consider Summit their top philanthropic priority. Although there is a wide range in the amount of gifts, the typical gift to the Summit Fund is in excess of $1,000. We cannot emphasize enough, however, that every gift makes a difference, regardless of its size.

May I charge my gift?

Absolutely! You may charge your gift with a credit card by clicking Donate Now link in the Giving section of the Summit website. You may also donate through the website by using PayPal.

If I can't donate what I 'd like to right away, can I make a pledge to The Summit Fund?

Many donors submit a pledge form and make the payment at some other time. Payments may also be made in installments over time provided that they are paid in full by June 30, the end of Summit’s fiscal year.

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