NewsWith your help we turn great into exceptional!
October 15th, 2020

With your help we turn great into exceptional!

Dear Greene Towne parents,

The school year is in full-swing and we look forward to partnering with you this year on behalf of your children and the faculty. The enduring strength and longevity of Greene Towne Montessori School is a result of the deep investment and stewardship of parents. Fundraising and Development at Greene Towne help make this possible. We share the following overview to give you an idea of what to expect this year, and to inform you about the school’s Development plan. We invite you to learn more, meet with us, and ask any questions you may have. Thank you for your commitment to Greene Towne.

 

Why does Greene Towne need to fundraise? Isn’t tuition enough?

Greene Towne is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Like most independent schools, revenue to operate our school is received through tuition. We have the highest standards and expectations for our school. We are committed to continually enhancing our programs, providing exceptional professional training and preparation for faculty, and financial aid that makes our school accessible to a broader range of families. To do this, we seek to supplement tuition dollars with significant fundraising dollars. These gifts are essential to the high quality of your child’s Greene Towne education. Every family ultimately benefits from a successful fundraising effort.

 

Special CARES Act Provision

For gifts made by 12/31/20, a $300 individual ($600 for couples filing jointly) above-the-line charitable deduction for cash gifts to charities is available to ALL taxpayers, including those who do not itemize. This was previously not available. Please consult your tax/financial advisor.


How does it all work? Annual Fund, EITC, and the Auction?

We reach out annually to ask for support across our stakeholder spectrum of current parents, staff, alums, alum families, grandparents and other friends of Greene Towne. Our fundraising falls under three categories: Annual Fund, EITC/OSTC, and the Auction.

 

• The Annual Fund provides a foundational level of support for the strategic and greatest needs of the school as determined by our Head of School in collaboration with the Finance Committee. This includes sponsoring faculty for Montessori training, conferences and workshops, physical plant improvements, and classroom enhancements. All gifts are fully tax-deductible for the donor. Leadership gifts and participatory gifts of any size are important for a successful Annual Fund. Questions about the Annual Fund should be directed to Bonnie Clark, Director of Development at bclark@gtms.org or 215-563-6368.

 

Supporters of the Annual Fund may choose to direct their gift to a certain area of the School as follows:

- Area of greatest need

- Classroom materials

- Faculty/Staff professional development and training

- Financial Aid

- Facilities

 

These selections appear on the online giving form at www.gtms.org/giving as well as printed gift envelopes. Should designated contributions exceed a fund’s budgeted limit, the School will direct the funds to the area of greatest need. If no preference is indicated by the donor, the gift will be directed to the area of greatest need.

 

EITC/OSTC gifts are made by businesses and individuals through special purpose entities. All gifts are restricted to specifically help to fund need-based scholarships as part of our financial aid program. Donors are approved through a PA state-run program and receive PA state tax credits of up to 90% in exchange for their gifts. For example, your $5,000 EITC gift will result in a $4,500 PA tax credit for you, and Greene Towne receives $5,000 to award in financial aid for students. Your net contribution after the tax credit is only $500. It really is a win-win for you and the school. GTMS applies annually to remain a qualified recipient for EITC/OSTC funding for qualified families. To participate or learn more, contact Bonnie Clark, Director of Development.

 

• The Auction is an important community-wide social and fundraising event. The Auction is parent-led by a committee of volunteers, with support and oversight by the Development Office and the Development Committee. The 2021 parent co-chairs are Lauren Friedman and Colleen Smith. They can be reached at auction@gtms.org.
 

Auction proceeds are used like the Annual Fund (the Head of School and Finance Committee determine the allocation based on greatest needs). However, the tax impact on donors is different. Because auction supporters receive merchandise and services in return for their contributions, auction “donations” are usually not fully tax- deductible. Rather, the amount contributed over fair market value typically qualifies as a donation. A tax advisor should be consulted. Participation in the Auction isn’t tracked or considered when institutional donors are thinking about a gift – they look to Annual Fund participation.

 

Each year we seek a high current parent participation rate specifically in the Annual Fund. Why?

Strong volunteerism and philanthropic participation from current parents takes our program from great to exceptional, and high participation is one marker of the overall strength of our school. This is true when we turn to businesses and foundations and ask for their support, and when we appeal to other stakeholders including alumni parents. Prospective families also look at parent participation rates in the Annual Fund as one marker of parent engagement and commitment.

 

Strong overall parent participation resonates and has far reaching impact. When you give, others will give. The Annual Fund is the foundation of the school’s fundraising program. Each of us being part of it makes a difference in the longevity and vitality of our Montessori program. Our hope is that even though a family may have made significant contributions through either the EITC program or the Auction, we also ask for participation in the Annual Fund at any contribution level.

 

No gift is too small and gifts of all sizes make a difference in every case, but especially with the Annual Fund. If you’re wondering whether your gift matters, the answer is an emphatic YES! Participation at any level matters.

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact either of us. Wishing you a wonderful school year full of growth and learning for your children.

 

Warmly,

Bonnie Clark

Director of Development

 

Tracy Dowling

Trustee, Parent of Sam ’20, Eve and Nora

Chair of Development Committee