Annual Fund

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Frequently Asked Questions About Annual Fund

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 $5,000 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.

What are Annual Fund contributions used for?

Your gift benefits every student and every classroom. The Annual Fund supports:

  • Salaries and benefits for our exceptional and dedicated teachers
  • Music, Fitness, 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
  •  Books
  • 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.

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:

“100% participation in an Annual Fund is absolutely unprecedented!  Congratulations!!  That really shows the commitment your parents have to their children’s wonderful school.” 

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.

What if this is not a good time of year for my family to give?

That’s okay.

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 2022-23.  Also, keep in mind setting up monthly installments is always an option that helps contribute while managing family budgets.

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. $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? 

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’m ready to make my Annual Fund Contribution. How do I do that?


  • You can make your gift online.
  • You can donate using our Venmo account #HMS1972 and indicate that it is for the Annual Fund.
  • 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, which 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.

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.

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 Sarah Thessing, Development Director, or stop by her office to discuss.

I’d like more information. Can I talk to someone directly?

Yes! Please contact Tamara Mount, Head of School, or Sarah Thessing, Director of Development, with any questions. Stop by, call or email Tamara  [email protected] or Sarah [email protected] and they will do their best to answer your questions.