Giving & Getting Involved : Annual Giving FAQ


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What is the Annual Fund?

Ruffing Montessori School’s Annual Fund is the school’s most important source of revenue other than student tuition. It is a vital part of each year’s operating budget, contributing to every part of the school’s operation, such as Classroom Materials, Fine Arts, Faculty Professional Development, Financial Aid, and Technology. Annual Fund gifts enable us to attract and retain the best teachers, provide quality materials, and provide our students with a wide variety of diverse experiences. In brief, these funds are used to run the school.

How important is the Annual Fund?

Without the Annual Fund, the school would need to reduce every budget line item to cover expenses. Unrestricted annual monetary gifts enable Ruffing to enhance programs and facilities, attract and retain top-notch teachers, and help keep tuition affordable.

How important is my participation?

Last year, we had 100% participation by both the Board of Trustees and the faculty/staff.  Ruffing community participation is crucial as we seek funds from outside sources, such as grants, foundation gifts, matching programs, gifts from trusts, or gifts from individuals. One important question they ask is, “What percent of your alumni, parents, or trustees give to the Annual Fund?” Outside funding sources and individual are much more willing to consider supporting Ruffing if it is demonstrated that hose who know the school best have generously given to support it.

How can I contribute?

There are many ways to support Ruffing. You can choose to donate by cash, check or credit card, you may also make an employer-matching gift, make a pledge, and/or donate stocks. You may consider making a gift in memory of a loved one or in someone else’s honor such as a child, faculty member, or friend. Click here to make a gift now.

How much should I give?

Gifts of every size are gratefully appreciated. Only you can determine the amount that is right for you and your family and participation is more important than the amount. Higher participation rates, especially by parents, enables Ruffing to qualify for foundation grants and other funding. Having said that, we ask that you please give as generously as you can. An investment in Ruffing Montessori School is one that will pay life-time dividends for your children, grandchildren or for future generations. In addition, your contribution is 100 % tax deductible.

Recognition Levels

 Investor

$10,000+

 Visionary

$5,000-$9,999

 Futurist

$2,500-$4,999

 Guide

$1,000-$2,499

 Granite

$500-$999

 Green

$250-$400

 Blue

$100-$249

 Orange

Up to $99

When should I give?

Gifts should be paid in full by June 30, however, the earlier you give or pledge, the sooner our efforts can be focused on finding outside funding.

Why not just raise tuition?

A full tuition at Ruffing only covers roughly 87% of the cost of educating each student. This means that every student is subsidized through the generosity of our larger community. If Ruffing relied solely on tuition income, we would price ourselves well beyond the means of most families. In addition, gifts to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible, while tuition is not.  

Who supports the Annual Fund?

Today, as in the past, each Ruffing family plays an active role in the school community. Our parents, grandparents, alumni, trustees, friends, faculty, and staff share the responsibility of meeting the school’s educational goals and ensuring a soundly governed and financially healthy institution. Many donors take advantage of their employers’ matching gifts programs, doubling or tripling gifts to the school. Of particular note, we have 100% participation by both the Board of Trustees, and the faculty and staff this year.

Who raises money for the Annual Fund Drive?

This effort is volunteer-driven. Gifts are solicited by members of the school community who make calls, write letters, send mailings, and work in collaboration with the Development Office, ensuring that 100% of all gifts received go directly to the school.

Ruffing Montessori School   |   3380 Fairmount Blvd Cleveland Heights, OH 44118   |   Phone: (216) 321-7571   |   Hours 8am-4pm M-F   |   After Hours Phone (216) 321-0913