Frequently Asked Questions
“We already pay tuition. Why is Hilltop asking for more money?”
Hilltop Montessori School works hard to keep tuition as affordable as possible for as many families as possible. The tuition income that we receive from parents does not cover the cost of each student. As a matter of fact, there is on average about a $4,700 gap between tuition income per student and the actual cost of a Hilltop education. That gap is covered in part by state funding we receive thanks to our participation in various special programs. Some of it is covered with grants and foundation donors. The critical piece is from families, alumni, alumni families, grandparents, alumni grandparents and businesses, who help us close that gap by giving tax-deductible contributions in accordance with their financial ability.
“Why limit the Annual Fund ask to only a week?”
Short & sweet…we do not want to prolong the request beyond the week.
We approach the staff, faculty, board and current parent community first because this is the group that sets the tone for Annual Fund giving for the rest of our Hilltop community and beyond. Shouting from the rooftops that we have the support of our constituents sends a very strong message that we’re worthy of support! We then proceed through the year to contact grandparents, friends, and businesses.
“What’s the deal about 100% participation from families?”
The higher the current family participation in the Annual Fund, the more likely we are to appeal to major donors.
Here is a lovely quote from a major donor, from a year we had 100% participation, including our current parent group…I think these words are poignant.
“100% participation in an Annual Fund is absolutely unprecedented! Congratulations!! That really shows the commitment your parents have to their children’s wonderful school.”
“O.K, I’m starting to see the point. How much should I give?”
That part is up to you. Last year, gifts from current parents ranged from $20 to $3,700 with an average gift of $292. Many families who felt strapped but wanted to give a little bit more, opted to pay a smaller amount automatically each month using Paypal or credit card. $10 a month for nine months is an amazing gift! We’re asking families to stretch this year. Could you afford to give, say 10, 20 or even 50% more than you did last year? If you gave $20 last year, could you give $25 this year?
“What if this is not a good time of year for my family to give?”
You can always make a pledge during Annual Fund week and pay later. You have until June 30th to make a contribution to the Annual Fund for 2019-20. Also, keep in mind setting up monthly installments is always an option that helps contribute while managing family budgets.
What are Annual Fund contributions used for?
Your gift benefits every student and every classroom. The Annual Fund supports:
● Financial aid – currently 52% of Hilltop families receive assistance
● Salaries and benefits for our exceptional and dedicated teachers
● Music, PE and art enrichment programs, performances and supplies
● Quality learning materials and our inspiring classroom environments
● Field trips and community learning opportunities
● Visiting artists, authors, poets and musicians
● Maintenance of our beautiful 43-acre campus
● Technology, software and computing resources for students and staff
The Annual Fund dollars are a crucial component of the school’s operating budget.
If I give money to the Annual Fund now, will I be asked to give again?
Hilltop will thank you profusely, and you will not be asked to give to the Annual Fund until next year.
Is a gift to the Annual Fund tax deductible?
Yes! As allowed by the IRS, all charitable gifts are tax-deductible. Hilltop Montessori School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Will the amount my family gives be made public?
We publicly acknowledge all our donors in a list of names published in the monthly newsletter and the Annual Report, but we will not share the specific dollar amount of contributions. Your gift may be completely anonymous if you would prefer – just let us know.
Why can’t I earmark my Annual Fund contribution for a specific project?
One of the most valuable aspects of the Annual Fund is its flexibility. Annual Fund contributions, like tuition payments, go into the general operating budget. This system allows us to set budgetary priorities and to react quickly to opportunities and needs as they arise.
I’d like to make a significant one-time gift to Hilltop. How can I do that?
Endowment gifts, financial aid support, and contributions to our endowment are different ways to create a lasting legacy at Hilltop. Contact Roselle Garro or stop by her office to discuss.
I’m ready to make my Annual Fund Contribution. How do I do that?
■ You can make your gift online on our secure website, using a PayPal account or a major credit card.
■ You can mail in a check to: Hilltop Montessori School, 99 Stafford Farm Hill, Brattleboro, VT 05301.
■ You can drop off a check at the front desk.
■ You can set up a monthly payment plan, either online or with a pledge card, this is a great way to maximize your gift. For example, one payment of $500 might be out of the question for your family, while 10 payments of $50 may be quite possible.
I’d like more information. Can I talk to someone directly?
Yes! Please contact Tamara Mount, Head of School, or Roselle Garro, Director of Development, with any questions. Stop by, call or email Tamara firstname.lastname@example.org or Roselle email@example.com and they will do their best to answer your questions.
Hilltop Montessori School’s mission is for students to practice responsible independence in a caring community of curious, critical learners and thoughtful citizens.
Lower Elementary talk about the caring community.
Help support our students practice responsible independence as they become curious, critical learners and thoughtful citizens.
Help support our youngest and ALL our students practice, as they become curious, critical learners and thoughtful citizens!
2015 Annual Fund