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Philanthropy FAQ

Q: Why should I contribute to the Annual Fund?  Isn’t tuition enough?

A: The Annual Fund has a direct impact on the quality of a Horace Mann education. Gifts to the Annual Fund comprise approximately 8% of the school’s operating budget not met by tuition revenues. The school is dependent on money raised through the Annual Fund to help bridge this gap, approximately $2,500 per student.

Q: Why can't the School draw more money from the endowment instead of fundraising?
A: Horace Mann School is fortunate, thanks to the generosity of generations of philanthropic alumni, parents, grandparents, parents of alumni, faculty, staff and friends, to have an endowment that allows the School to pursue its educational mission without jeopardizing its financial stability. Endowment income does fund a portion of the yearly-operating budget. Endowment income in excess of 4.5% is reinvested each year to ensure that the endowment keeps pace with inflation. Endowed funds are held in perpetuity. In addition, some contributors to the endowment have set specific restrictions on how these funds may be used.

Q: Do major gifts make up most of the Annual Fund?
A: Yes, leadership giving is the mainstay of the School's Annual Fund. Last year, leadership gifts represented more than 80%, of the total unrestricted annual gifts received. The School depends on strong leadership giving from its most loyal and generous benefactors and gives special recognition to them through membership in the Maroon and White Circle or Maroon and White Fellowship (young alumni). All leadership donors are acknowledged in the Annual Report of Donors and invited to different events hosted by the Head of School, the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Council. Nearly 800 graduates, parents, grandparents, and parents of graduates are counted among the school's most generous philanthropists. As you consider your level of support for Horace Mann School's Annual Fund, please consider joining the Maroon and White Circle, the Maroon and White Fellowship or moving to the next highest level of support. Company matching gifts received by the Fund's closing date, June 30th, are counted toward membership in the Maroon and White clubs.

Q: If I can't make a large gift, does a small gift really make a difference?
A: Yes! The School values every gift regardless of the size. Last year, one quarter of all donors gave $100 or less which represented tens of thousands dollars. Thanks in part to these contributions, the Annual Fund reached a new milestone for total giving, directly benefiting each student's Horace Mann experience! Horace Mann greatly values participation as it ensures the strength of our Annual Fund year after year.

Q: How much should I donate to the Annual Fund?
A: We anticipate that parents will make Horace Mann School their highest philanthropic priority while their children are students here. We also believe alumni will recognize the critical importance Horace Mann played in their success and will support the School's ability to provide a similar opportunity for those who follow. Annual Fund gifts to the School range in size from $5 to $50,000. While leadership gifts are important for the School's economic strength, every gift does matter and every gift does make a difference. Strong financial support of the Annual Fund demonstrates the donor's understanding and commitment to the School.

Q: Who will be solicited for Annual Fund?
A: More than 13,000 alumni, parents, parents of alumni, grandparents, faculty and staff are solicited each year by mail and/or in person and asked for their support. Two goals drive the Annual Fund - the total dollar amount raised and percentage of participation.
Horace Mann School values the inclusive nature of its community and participation in the Annual Fund is an important priority. The alumni participation goal is in excess of 30% and the parent participation goal is 100%.

Q: Are Annual Fund gifts tax deductible?
A: Horace Mann School is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization under the Federal Internal Revenue Code. Unlike tuition fees, all contributions to the Annual Fund are deductible pursuant to the prevailing tax laws. All donors to the Annual Fund receive a letter noting their gift amount, date of gift, and the disclosure that no goods or services were provided.