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Annual Fund FAQ

Answers to your questions about the Wilmington Montessori School Annual Fund!

What is the WMS Annual Fund?

The annual fund is a critical part of WMS’s fundraising efforts. It is money donated by WMS trustees, parents, alumni, staff and friends to support the school's operating budget and provide additional resources that enrich the educational experiences of our students. It supplements program funding and helps provide extras. The annual fund allows for a flexible response to the school’s needs and directly impacts the growth of the school.

Independent schools like Wilmington Montessori rely on charitable gifts to provide enhancements to each student’s educational experience and actively fundraise each year to build annual funds. What we are doing here at WMS is also done at most other independent schools (and non-profit organizations) and is crucial to the growth and future of education.

Where do the annual fund dollars go?

In recent years, the annual fund has helped provide financial assistance to families who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford a WMS education, enhanced our enrichment programs (art, Spanish, physical education, music, technology, STEAM), allowed us to maintain and improve our campus and facilities, and helped fund professional development opportunities for teachers and staff that help us stay at the forefront of current educational practices.

If money is needed, why not just raise tuition?

Revenue from the annual fund allows our school to limit our tuition increases, making our school more accessible to a diverse group of students. Also, remember that unlike tuition, gifts to WMS’s annual fund are 100% tax-deductible!

Why is parent participation so important?

Parent participation is critical to the annual fund as it serves as an objective measurement of how strongly WMS parents support the school. Evidence of this support enables the school to successfully seek additional funding from corporations and foundations. When parents participate, regardless of the size of the gift, they clearly demonstrate the confidence that they have in the philosophy of WMS.

How does the annual fund relate to the annual auction?

Like the annual fund, special events like the auction count as unrestricted giving, which can be used by the school as needed. However, giving to an event is not the same as giving to the annual fund. Annual fund gifts are completely tax-deductible and count toward participation while also demonstrating parental support of the school.